With Whole Foods deal, Brooklyn Flea continues foodie takeover

October 29, 2012 12:00PM

Smorgasburg, the Williamsburg-based artisanal food fair run by the Brooklyn Flea, is set to jump the river to Manhattan. Last week, Flea founders Jonathan Butler and Eric Demby struck a partnership deal with Whole Foods Market to bring one Smorgasburg food vendor per month to the market’s Bowery location, the New York Times reported. Beginning in February, the market will also sell packaged Smorgasburg items.

The aim is to have the Whole Foods partnership continue back in Brooklyn, where the retailer is at work on locations in Williamsburg and Gowanus.

The deal with Whole Foods is just one illustration of the Brooklyn Flea’s growing reach, fueled in part by the synergy between Brooklyn’s food culture and the city’s economic development.

Butler, who founded the Brooklyn real estate news site Brownstoner, is renovating a 150,000-square-foot Crown Heights commercial property. Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz issued an RFP for a food incubator here that he and the city EDC are funding to the tune of $1.5 million, Butler told The Real Deal (note: correction appended). 3rd Ward won the RFP. Goldman Sachs invested $25 million in the property.

The food incubator will occupy the ground floor, which will serve as a kitchen and education space for new food businesses. The second floor will house office space for the food businesses, and the top two floors will host design and tech tenants. Butler and Demby are also building a beer hall in an adjacent warehouse. [NYT]Zachary Kussin