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Boro vendors to headline new Long Island City market

The Qns Urban Mkt is set to open shop inside Long Island City's historic Standard Motor Parts Building. Photo by Bill Parry
TimesLedger Newspapers

A new indoor market is set to make its debut in the historic Standard Motor Parts Building in Long Island City and showcase Queens’ creative spirit in everything from food to furniture.

Qns Urban Mkt will open Friday evening in a 6,000-square-foot space adjoining Coffeed on the ground floor of a building shared with the Brooklyn Grange, a one-acre rooftop farm that has been there since 2010.

The new market will feature a changing roster of 12 to 15 local vendors selling crafts, furniture, jewelry, clothing and all manner of food.

“I think what we are doing is different than the LIC Flea and other markets,” said Jie Whoon Kang, the market’s director and curator. “We stress community involvement from our vendors to our sponsors — that’s a whole other vibe.”

Qns Urban Mkt at 38-17 Northern Blvd. is working in concert with the Entrepreneur Space, a business incubator run by the Queens Economic Development Corp. less than two blocks away. Up to 160 clients take advantage of industrial kitchen space, at 36-47 37th St., producing food products for their start-up businesses.

“A lot of them get ingredients from the Brooklyn Grange, and come back to the E-Space to prepare the product,” said Rob MacKay, of the QEDC, “and now they’ll go back and sell it. It’s a win, win, win .... good for clients, owners and customers.”

Kang said such local synergy will include pop-up restaurants, where a visiting chef will take over Coffeed’s kitchen and prepare a meal. There will be “TED talks,” networking and discussion events where area business people can exchange stories and experiences with other young entrepreneurs.

Upon opening, Astoria’s SingleCut Beersmiths will be serving a special beer made of Coffeed’s coffee beans and barley and hops from the Brooklyn Grange. The founders of SingleCut Beersmiths will then take part in the TED talk, sharing stories from their own successful start-up last year.

“That’s the type of synergy we’re after here and that’s what makes us different,” said Kang. “I’m a foodie and I love Queens and I wanted to create a place that I would want to hang out in.”

The 34-year-old Bayside native started Coffeed with three friends last year. All four were Wall Street traders and self-described do-gooders who put a portion of the proceeds to local charities: 10 percent of their coffee sales and 5 percent of food sales.

“We do that at every location we open to support our socially conscious message,” Kang said.

There are currently four Coffeed locations with another four on the way. In addition, Kang and his partners have opened a pizzeria in Jamaica called Fetta that draws ingredients from the Brooklyn Grange. They will also open an open-area restaurant by the ferry depot in Hunters Point South Park.

“I’m looking to expand the model all over Queens, Jamaica, Bayside, Elmhurst, anywhere,” said Kang.

“These guys prove that Queens is not Archie Bunker’s Queens anymore,” said MacKay, adding “innovative business people are taking over the entire borough.”

There will be live music during Friday’s opening from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Qns Urban Mkt is open Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Group tours of the Brooklyn Grange rooftop farm are available until 3 p.m.

Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparry@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4538

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