Last Call for Vendors for Edgemere Food Fair & Market

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Food, apparel, jewelry and novelty item artisans — grab your chance to show off your goods at the Second Annual Edgemere Food Fair & Market this summer! Not only will you be able to make money moves, but according to Beach 17th Street DredSurfer Concessionaire Charles Jacobs, and Nicole Russell of Last Dragon Pizza — you’ll help transform the east end from a food and shopping desert — into an oasis alluring folks from all over the peninsula and beyond.

Last year, after winning the Queens Economic Development Corporation’s "StartUP! Business Plan Contest,” Russell, the owner of Last Dragon Pizza, wanted to bring her delicious pies to the boardwalk to give the east end a boost. She saw that the east end sorely needed food and shopping options, so she contacted Jacobs and together they created the Edgemere Food Fair & Market.

“The east end of the Rockaways is the most populated section of the entire peninsula. Charles, who runs DredSurfer, is the sole NYC Parks’ concessionaire for this entire area. His territory covers everything, including playgrounds, soccer fields, football stadium, etc., from Beach 9th to Beach 50th Streets.

“Prior to the 5.5-mile stretch being reconstructed, the boardwalk was broken down for years in many areas on the east end. Whether folks were on foot or riding their bikes, continuous traffic was prevented all the way down to Beach 9th from the 50s. That's all changed. Now there is continuous traffic, and we thought it would be great to drive folks down by offering a weekend food and novelties fair and market,” Russell said.

The Edgemere Food Fair and Market, located from Beach 30th to Beach 50th Streets, will be open on Saturdays and Sundays only, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., rain or shine, from June 30 through August 12. The fair and market is a Temporary Food Service Establishment/Merchandise permit event. According to Russell, for up-and-coming and veteran vendors alike, the Temporary Food Establishment permit’s requirements are less stringent, lessening the red tape for the barrier-to-entry requirements for food entrepreneurs, and home chefs like herself, and/or restaurant owners. “Charles and I put our heads together, and decided that this permit would give local entrepreneurs, who do not meet the requirements of being a permanent mobile food vendor (food trucks, mobile carts, etc.), an opportunity to sell directly on the boardwalk for an incredibly affordable investment,” Russell said.

The prices to participate as a vendor are as follows (excluding the permit fee and insurance):

For all food vendors: $100/day (four-day commitment minimum to participate) or the complete summer package (14 days) is $1,200. For pop-up food vendors it’s $150/day.

For merchandise and service vendors, it is $75/day or the complete summer package is $1,000. For pop-up merchandise and service vendors, it’s $100/day.

For Farmer’s Market vendors, Rockaway residents pay $50/day and non-Rockaway residents pay $75/day.

The deadline to submit the application and full payment for all dates of participation is Friday, June 15. Note that interested applicants can not sell merchandise not specified within their application. Also, no alcoholic beverages may be sold or served.

Jacobs said that last year’s market was a trial run, but this year will be even bigger and better as vendors and visitors alike will now be feted with live entertainment. “We are going to add a touch of flavor to the fair with live electronic dance music (EDM) DJs every Sunday. With the area already boasting easy parking and even a less congested surf spot, vendors and visitors will get the full east end shopping and beach party experience. After shopping, folks can just plop on the beach and picnic, while vibing to music and just relaxing,” Jacobs said.

He also wants people to know that he wants the market to not just be for shopping and eating, but for an all-round cultural experience. “We urge both traditional and nontraditional vendors to come and showcase their wares, highlighting a plethora of cultures. Even if folks want to offer yoga, art and craft-making demonstrations, we want this fair to be a major draw for everyone thirsting for Rockaway’s unique signature beach experience,” Jacobs said.

As for Russell, she just wants folks to come down and tap into the east end’s beauty and potential. “I’ve lived in Rockaway all my life and know how beautiful the entire peninsula is, especially the east end. The unfortunate beach closings from Beach 91st to Beach 102nd Streets offer even more reason for people to explore downtown and take advantage of the east end’s amazing potential. From sand to ocean, the breathtaking beaches on this side are so vast and pristine. Also for folks looking to vend, it’s an untapped market. Down here, there aren’t many small retail options besides the occasional corner store, and of course DredSurfer on Beach 17th. Also the permit and insurance process for weekend vendors is so much less complicated. All the information on what is needed, can be found on our Facebook and Instagram pages, and website: edgemerefoodfair.com,” Russell said.

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