City seeks to grow specialty food and beverage industry

The city is hoping to help more local food and beverage manufactures distribute their products on a wider scale, like Brooklyn Brewery.  Credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images
The city is hoping to help more local food and beverage manufactures distribute their products on a wider scale, like Brooklyn Brewery.
Credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Small businesses making artisanal cheese, locally brewed beer and other specialty foods are cropping up more in the five boroughs, but the City Council is hoping to make operating these local food and beverage firms easier.

Since 2008, the number of specialty food and beverage manufacturers has grown by more than 11 percent, to 1,097 such firms last year, according a Pratt Center study on the industry commissioned by the council and released Tuesday.

“This report shows there’s a big appetite for economic growth in our local food and beverage manufacturing industry,” City Council Speaker Christine Quinn said in a statement.

The study found the city needs to better support burgeoning small businesses so they can become larger companies and employ more New Yorkers.

The report recommends increasing financial assistance for local businesses seeking to sell their products to larger companies, such as creating a modified loan program for small firms. A Specialty Food Industry Development Corporation, the report says, could address challenges across the sector cooperatively.

The report also suggests creating a co-packing facility for smaller manufacturers to share so that they might fill larger orders and keep production in the city.

“A critical next step for economic growth is for food entrepreneurs to transition from distributing their products themselves to working with other food companies and distributors to get onto more shelves,” Adam Friedman, director of the Pratt Center for Community Development, said in a statement.

The specialty food and beverage industry employs about 15,000 New Yorkers, officials said.

For the report, the Pratt Center spoke with industry stakeholders, including manufactures, distributors, buyers and food experts.

Follow Anna Sanders on Twitter: @AnnaESanders



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Woman dies when run over by bus at…

A woman at the Burning Man arts and culture festival in the Nevada desert died on Thursday when she was run over by a bus carrying participants.

National

Texas parents sue day care center for duct…

By Marice RichterDALLAS (Reuters) - A Texas couple has filed a lawsuit against the owners of a Fort Worth-area day care center seeking $1 million…

National

Santa Fe city council votes to decriminalize marijuana

By Joseph KolbALBUQUERQUE N.M. (Reuters) - Santa Fe on Wednesday became the latest U.S. city to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana, with lawmakers in the…

International

Egypt queries Mursi over documents "leaked" to Al…

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt is investigating jailed ex-president Mohamed Mursi in connection with documents that judicial investigators say were leaked to the Qatar-based Al Jazeera…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

Movies

Criterion's new Jacques Demy box mixes the light…

Jacques Demy, the most effervescent of French New Wave filmmakers, gets a Criterion box all to himself, with classics like "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg."

Entertainment

Comedian Joan Rivers, 81, rushed to New York…

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Acerbic comedian and fashion critic Joan Rivers was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York on Thursday after she reportedly…

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…

Wellbeing

Heart trumps brain when it comes to movies…

When you need a good cry, do you reach for the movie that’s “based on a true story”? Science says you’re giving your brain far…