We are bursting at the seams and now have a bit of extra retail space this holiday season near our Chelsea Market store. Our Warehouse Basket Store is now open right on 15th street (on the north side) in the middle of the block, near the Tippler bar, better recognized as the OPEN sign. This store will only be open during the next couple of weeks and the hours will be flexible.
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Our warehouse is gearing for a very busy and short holiday season this year. Our mail-order business has to switch gears in a big way in December. Usually we ship about 50 gifts per day, during December we plan to ship over a 1000 gifts per day, for hopefully close to a two week period. So, while we normally assemble and ship our gifts from our store in Chelsea Market, during December we do it from our warehouse.
In our warehouse we have been receiving shipments of imported goods for the last few months. We normally receive a container each month, but for the last few weeks we have getting a container about once per week. To unload a 40 foot container takes 3-4 people the good part of a day. We import many of the products that go into our gifts.
Our seasonal staff has been working long days to get all the gifts packed and ready to ship. Some of our holiday help have been with us for many holiday seasons, one in particular for over 15 years. Since many of our products are perishable, we cannot assemble our gifts too much in advance.
photos taken during the last couple of days at our warehouse [click to continue…]
Our store is filled with specialty foods from the United States and Europe. Our company started by importing mostly English foods to the US market. We import a variety of foods that we discover from our travels, most to sell in our store and some to wholesale in the US market. Here are 5 new product lines from the United Kingdom that we recently introduced and why we feel each deserves a spot on our shelves.
Reids of Caithness Oatcakes and Oatie Bites
Reids of Caithness, a family bakery located in Scotland northernmost town of Thurso, use oats grown by local crofters and farmers. The moist and cool climate of Scotland is perfect for growing oats. With baking skills honed over generations, Gary Reid now leads the family business. They create exceptional oatcakes and biscuits with the typical butty taste of Scottish Oats, and a delightful, crisp texture. We stock savory Reids Oatcakes in 4 different flavors ($3.95), and sweet Oatie Bites in 3 flavors ($4.50-$5.50). Reids is also available online . Fun Fact: Owner David Porat traveled to Thurso this summer and celebrated the opening of Reid’s new factory with Prince Charles of Wales.
Gran Luchito Smoked Mexican Chillies
This Mexican product comes to us via England. It’s creator Fergus Chamberlain invented the product because he craved Mexican chilli products but could not find anything that he liked. He searched for the perfect and found Pasilla Oaxaca Chilli, one that has been cultivated in Mexico for years. Fergus flavors all of his products with this unmistakable smokey flavor that has depths of sweetness, nuttiness and garlic flavors. We carry his Smoked Chilli Paste ($9.99) perfect for sauces, marinades and stews, Gran Luchito Honey ($7.95) made with the chillies, perfect for glazed ham or bbq marinades and a Smoked Chilli Mayo ($7.95) made from free range eggs, that is great for sandwiches or deviled eggs. We also sell Gran Luchito products online.
This is based on my monthly column in the WestView News, a paper that serves as the voice of the West Village. In this piece I review the new restaurant Toro (85 10th Avenue, www.toro-nyc.com) that just opened and is a few steps away from our store in Chelsea Market.
The new restaurant season is upon us and as a keen enthusiast, it is most exciting to read about all the new places opening or about to open. Traditionally, if you are going to open a restaurant, September and October are the best times so that the kinks can be worked out. Accordingly, when December comes round, everything is working and in high season, you can make some money and help pay for the extensive cost of opening a place in Manhattan or the West Village. Whether New York Magazine Grub Street, The New York Times Food Section, Time Out Previews, there is lots of publicity about all the new happening which start the frenzy, necessary to be successful in the city. A restaurant that has gotten a bit of this and was one of the earlier ones to open is Toro on West 15th Street and the West Side Highway. I dined there on the very first day it was open, this past Saturday.
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Farmers markets offer the freshest local goods to their community each week. You get to meet the farmers, fisherman, growers, producers and bakers who all share a passion for what they do. It is a place to discover new products and get inspiration for creating a fest of your own.
We at CMB are lucky enough to have a large number of famous farmers’ markets just a few minutes from our back door. Union Square Market, Brooklyn Smorgasburgh, Jackson Height Green Market are markets that we like to visit to be inspired and search for new products. Some of our most popular items in the store and in our gift baskets have been discovered at Farmers Markets.
Markets of New York featuring NYC farmer market finds including Roxbury Mountain Maple’s Peanut Brittle
Markets of New York ($45) is a combinations of products we have found in our local farmer’s markets. It includes Martin’s Pretzels, Ruoni-Sue Beer & Pretzels and Roxbury Mountain Maple’s Peanut Brittle. [click to continue…]