Dear Friends & Neighbors:
Thanks to your ongoing support, New Amsterdam Market has continued to evolve as a respected Lower Manhattan institution and vibrant destination for New Yorkers and visitors. In 2012, we held over 30 weekly markets, staged 15 regional food events, and worked with more than 150 small businesses. We have compiled a complete listing of the market’s accomplishments in 2012 which can be found on our website, and hope you will take the time to learn more about the past year:
Our mission to preserve and revitalize the Old Fulton Fish Market has been embraced by our local Community Board, elected officials, and neighborhood businesses. Editorials by author Paul Greenberg and chef April Bloomfield (who is also our newest Board member) have eloquently captured in writing our vision of a bustling, thriving waterfront marketplace to local and international audiences. With your help, we can make this vision a reality.
Many people have asked us, “Why does a market need funding?” This is a good question with a simple answer. Public markets, as the name implies, are civic amenities like parks, museums, and other organizations that serve more than a commercial function. In the same way that public markets incubate small businesses until they can stand on their own, markets themselves need support from government, foundations, and the private sector until they become economically self-sufficient.
For the past seven years, we have cultivated a growing community of purveyors who seek, procure, and re-sell ingredients on behalf of growers and producers. These vendors distinguish New Amsterdam Market from traditional farmers markets limited to growers only. Since 2005 we have welcomed butchers, bakers, greengrocers, fishmongers, sausage-makers, cheese sellers, fruit-gatherers, and similar businesses who support responsible agriculture, regional sourcing, and fair trade. By continuing to incubate such entrepreneurs, New Amsterdam Market will evolve as the hub of an alternative food system whose vendors sustain hundreds of family farms and small scale manufacturers.
We have already seen several of our vendors grow from one-person, weekend enterprises into thriving small businesses selling in multiple locations and employing several full time staff. These success stories were made possible because we charge affordable weekly rents, supply tables, stalls, & other amenities, and attract an audience of serious food professionals who come to New Amsterdam Market to discover new talent. Our dedicated workforce sets up and breaks down the market, and assists vendors with their needs. As proven by numerous public markets around the world, New Amsterdam Market will grow into a self-sustaining institution that provides such services through the fees paid by its vendors; but we count on our community to reach this point.
In addition, we rely on your support as we continue our campaign to preserve and revitalize the empty, city-owned Tin Building and New Market Building as a public destination for all New Yorkers. A permanent market at this site will serve as a unique and meaningful anchor to the South Street neighborhood, which was always envisioned as a place where commerce, culture, and history would intertwine. This vision has become all the more relevant after October’s floods, which devastated Lower Manhattan. Many of you have been shocked by the state of our neighborhood when you visit on market days, and we now have an important opportunity to steer this fragile historic district in the right direction.
With your help we can grow so much further in the coming year. Your contributions will allow us to add to our team, increase our programming, improve our market infrastructure, and extend our services to more New Yorkers, including the restaurant community. We are excited to build a foundation of supporters who will add to our voice. If you believe in our mission for Lower Manhattan, and a public market site in the Old Fulton Fish Market, please make a contribution today. We appreciate your support.
Robert LaValva, President
New Amsterdam Market
Click here for a PDF version of this letter.