Edie Feinstein (@EdieBKFW) is the Community and Marketing Manager at Brooklyn FoodWorks. As a native New Yorker, Brooklyn is familiar territory, but running a kitchen that houses over 50 food startups is entirely new! We’ve gotten to know Edie and Brooklyn FoodWorks through various events Foodstand has hosted in her space, including Foodstand Spotlight, and most recently our first Food Book & Film Club. Hopefully you’ll join us at our next event and meet Edie in person.
For those just getting to know you, how would you describe Brooklyn FoodWorks?
Brooklyn FoodWorks simplifies food entrepreneurship. Through comprehensive educational events and training, a diverse roster of industry experts and access to a state of the art, commercial kitchen facility, Brooklyn FoodWorks provides culinary entrepreneurs with affordable, turn-key solutions to accelerate their business growth.
What are some of the principles that guide your business?
We operate a 10,000 square foot facility with very few walls, so we are working really hard on building a community based on trust (no stolen ingredients!), and shared learning. We have 50+ companies in various stages of business that have so much knowledge to share with one another (where to print labels, which stores to approach, etc).
What’s one of your first (and most memorable) interactions with food?
I had an adventurous palate from day one. During my second grade graduation speech, I mentioned that my favorite foods were artichokes and hearts of palm.
Are you making a food resolution this year?
I am trying really hard to cut down on added sugar. I have a red licorice, which makes this challenging, but I really do want to cut back.
What inspired you to open your business?
We responded to a Request For Proposal put out by the NYC Economic Development Corporation and the Brooklyn Borough President’s Office, and won the bid! We were interested in this project because we know that there are so many great food businesses springing up in Brooklyn, and recognized the severe lack of shared kitchen space for them to produce out of. We see this as a huge opportunity, and are so happy for the 50+ businesses that we’ve been able to bring on board to date.
Food issues have barely made it into the race for President. If you could ask the future President to consider a food issue that needs to be addressed, what would it be?
Mandatory nutrition education programs in schools! Kids need to learn about this from a young age. Most med schools don’t even include courses on nutrition! Crazy.
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Who is one famous person, dead or alive, that you want to share a meal with? and where?
Julia Child at her home in Paris!
What’s the most rewarding aspect of Brooklyn FoodWorks?
The most rewarding aspect is when I see our members out in the real world—members busting their butts at Smorgasburg each weekend, and #BKFW made products on the shelves in grocery stores around town. Seeing their success makes it all worth it!
If you could get the general population to change ONE aspect of their eating habits, what would it be?
Study the nutrition label before you purchase/eat!
What has been your hardest moment in relation to your business?
Construction was delayed for a few months beyond the expected opening date. This was super tough because we had members already on board who were waiting and waiting. This was a good lesson in setting realistic expectations!
If you weren’t doing what you’re doing, what would you be doing?
Traveling the world. I have incredible wanderlust, and would love to continue to explore various cultures and all of the wonderful food that is out there.
What’s always in your fridge? What do you use it for?
Sriracha on top of everything! Tahini. Soy sauce. Sundried tomatoes. Miso. Lots of flavor bombs!
Your good food wish?
My good food wish is that nobody goes to sleep hungry at night.
BONUS: Favorite recipe.