Celebrating Female Founders & Producers at Fulton Stall Market
To mark Women’s History Month, we’re turning the spotlight on 10 female founders, farmers and producers who offer their wares in partnership with Fulton Stall Market here in the Seaport District.
The labor these women put into their family businesses and small-batch productions brings fresh and delicious flavors to our plates and tables. Now, we pull the curtain back and meet the makers behind the market stalls.
Fulton Stall Market partners with an estimated 50 female farmers and producers, each with an inspiring story of their own. Click through the full list of participating businesses at Fulton Stall Market’s website—and don’t forget to drop into the Fulton Stall Market indoor market on Front Street to purchase and sample some of the freshest local produce and prepared foods available in the city, or sign up for their CSA Farm Share program.
Founder, Basbaas Sauces
Hawa Hassan’s business grew out of the bittersweet feeling of homesickness. Hassan’s mother had sent her to the US as a young girl, to escape the civil war in Somalia. After years of living apart, the family was reunited and Hassan was inspired by the joy she found in cooking for her mother. Back in New York, she began packaging the staples she had cooked with her family—and soon Basbaas, the only authentic, packaged Somali line of hot sauces and chutneys, were on the shelves of the city’s gourmet markets, including at Fulton Stall Market. “The sauces are a family heirloom,” says Hassan. “They’re in homage to my culture. I think food is what brings people together.”
Executive Director, Earth Matter Farm
Earth Matter Farm on Governor’s Island seeks to reduce organic waste and promote the benefits of composting. The organization was conceived in 2009, with DeDominicis as one of its three founding members. New Yorkers can get involved in Earth Matter’s mission through Fulton Stall Market’s CSA program—kitchen scraps from members and the market’s take-out kitchen are collected weekly for composting. That compost is then used to grow crops including lavender on Governors Island—which you can find in Fulton Stall Market’s ice-cream, baked goods and gift items.
Farmer, Rogowski Farm
Like many farmers before her, Cheryl Rogowski is a second-generation farmer. In 2004, she earned a more distinctive honor, becoming the first American farmer to be awarded a MacArthur Genius Award, in recognition of her contemporary solutions to the challenges facing family farms across the nation. Rogowski Farm grows over 250 varieties of produce in Orange Country, New York, some of which you’ll find at Fulton Stall Market, along with prepared foods under Rogowski’s Black Dirt Gourmet label.
Co-Founder, Bennett’s Deli & Sandwich Co.
Forget the sandwiches for a second. Bennett’s Deli & Sandwich Co., based in The Bronx, produces small-batch gourmet granola and spice blends, sold at outlets including Fulton Stall Market. The business was founded by former restaurateur Bennett Breen and not-for-profit professional Kalisma Alayon—who originally thought of opening a deli, but then began creating things they loved to eat to offer to friends. Granola and spices were their first products. New York pride runs through everything the pair do: Bennett’s granola is used in parfait at city restaurants, and one of their main ingredients is New York maple syrup. “New York City was made by immigrants,” says Alayon. “This is the city we love, the city we know, and the city that welcomed us. It’s because of New York that Bennett’s Deli & Sandwich Co. exists.”
Owner & Operator, Breezy Hill Orchard
Breezy Hill Orchard has long supplied Fulton Stall Market and its CSA with local apples, cider, eggs and other produce, and has hosted a popular hot cider stand over the holidays. The farm’s owner Elizabeth Ryan studied cider making in Somerset and Hereford in England. She has a degree in Pomology (the science of growing fruit) from Cornell, was a Smithsonian Fellow, and has advocated for support of small-scale hard cider production in New York state. In the Spring of 2020, Ryan and Breezy Hill partnered with Fulton Stall Market to supply fresh apples and eggs to low-income Seniors in the Two Bridges neighborhood, under a NYC Council Discretionary Grant Award.
Principal Consultant, Fat Apple Farm
Fat Apple Farm’s meat products are a favorite at Fulton Stall Market. The sustainable livestock farm in the Hudson Valley treats animals with dignity and lovingly maintains its land, which it hopes to open up for farm dinners in 2021. Nichole Martini handles the farm’s sales, marketing, HR and other administration, while the farming team helmed by Nichole’s husband John Agostinho includes female farmer Annalee Holmdahl. In addition to buying Fat Apple’s bacon, chicken, sausage, beef, lamb, and chicken and duck eggs at Fulton Stall Market, New Yorkers can experience the Fat Apple flavor at Malibu Farm, where their maple sausage has had a starring role in the restaurant’s Big Apple Biscuits & Gravy brunch dish.
Christine (Mama) Lam & Cassandra Lam
Founders, Mama Lam’s
This mother-and-daughter team hand-cook small batches of Malaysian-style curry pastes and hot sauces in Long Island City, Queens. After emigrating to NYC from a town outside of Kuala Lumpur, Mama Lam realized that she had to learn how to make her own curry paste to spice up her hawker stall favorite from back home, curry noodle soup. For years, her recipes remained in the family—until her daughters Cassandra and Carissa suggested that they introduce Americans to the distinct flavors of Mama’s curry paste. The brand launched in 2016 with one product, a medium curry paste, and the line now includes eight varieties, including hot oil and vegan options.
Owner, Ardith Mae Farmstead Goat Cheese
A love for farmers’ markets and time spent working in NYC restaurant eventually led Shereen Alinaghian to an internship on a Vermont goat farm. Before long, she’d purchased her own herd of goats and built a farm and cheese-making facility in Pennsylvania. Now operating out of the Hudson Valley, Alinaghian’s herd of 60 “goofy and rambunctious” goats provide milk for her variety of handcrafted cheeses that include a fresh Chèvre, feta, and a number of soft-ripened cheeses. The line-up of delicious, hormone-free handcrafted cheeses are available for purchase at Fulton Stall Market, as well as upstate, online and at other NYC Greenmarkets.
Angela Mualem Fout
Founder, Sohha Savory
Sohha Savory, based in Liberty, New York, is steeped in a commitment to healthy eating. Founder Angela Mualem Fout grew up in Lebanon, where she learned a cooking-from-scratch philosophy from her mother. Today, Sohha handcrafts vegan, gluten-free Baba Ghanouj from a centuries-old family recipe from real ingredients—grilled eggplant, fresh lemons and garlic from the US, sea salt, a pinch of sugar, and the same Tahini Angela’s mother used at home. Sohha Savory also makes an authentic Lebanese Za’atar Sumac and Everything Bagel oil.
Founder & CEO, Jessie’s Nutty Cups
Jessie’s Nutty Cups began in a way that makes entrepreneurship sound accessible to anyone who has ever made a dish for a work or neighborhood event. In Jessica Taige’s case, it was peanut butter cups that she made for a roommate’s farewell party. That first batch was from a random recipe, but Taige thought she could improve upon it, and soon friends started telling her she should sell her irresistible treats. Jessica launched her business in 2014 and now sells her creamy peanut butter cups made with Belgian chocolate and peanuts roasted in NYC to retailers across the country, including, of course, Fulton Stall Market.