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Queens Pop-Up Market Features Award-Winning Delicacies

By Smriti Rao | May 10, 2012 10:58am
Katrina Schultz Richter is the founder of the Queens County pop-up market.
Katrina Schultz Richter is the founder of the Queens County pop-up market.
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Alexander Richter

SUNNYSIDE — Get your sweet — and savory — tooth ready.

A pop-up food market is coming to Sunnyside this weekend, just in time for Mother's Day, featuring a smorgasbord of artisanal foods and delectable offerings, including the winner of the "Best Dessert" award from this year's Queens Taste.

One of the stars of the Queens County Market, set to kick off Saturday at Sunnyside Community Services, will be the unique Colombian fruit creations from Tropisec at 32-55 83rd St., in East Elmhurst. Tropisec garnered top honors at Queens Taste on May 1, which highlights the best restaurants in the borough.

Among Tropisec's mouthwatering offerings are edible flowers and bouquets fashioned from dried mango, papaya and other goodies.

The Queens County pop-up food market comes to Sunnyside this weekend.
The Queens County pop-up food market comes to Sunnyside this weekend.
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Alexander Richter

In case shoppers aren't sweet on fruit, they can sample Black and Blanco's original take on an old-world Moroccan cookie, the Sandle, made from organic whole-grain rye and organic virgin coconut oil. They can also nosh on old-fashioned all-butter cakes from Veda's Cakes & Catering, in East Elmhurst.

This is only the second time the pop-up market has come to Sunnyside after its launch last month by organizer and aspiring restaurateur Katrina Schultz Richter, who was looking to open a Filipino café in Queens. 

"My friends suggested I take part in a pop-up food market first," said the 31-year old Rego Park resident.

Richter, who once planned events for Per Se, quit her full-time job as an organizer at Hot Bread Kitchen, a food incubator in Harlem. After some research, the Queens native decided to start her own pop-up food market in Sunnyside. 

"I was born in Queens, raised in Queens, so it had to be in Queens," she said. 

Last month 24 vendors took part in the pop-up market, and their enthusiastic response prompted Richter to try to bring in fresh culinary entrepreneurs from across the borough. 

It won't be all dessert at Richter's market, which runs from noon to 4 p.m. Guyanese-style chicken patties and home-style Ethiopian food are also in the cards.

For Harlem-based entrepreneur Hiyaw Gebreyohannes of A Taste of Ethiopia, the pop-up market is a great opportunity to introduce his cuisine — like spicy lentils and collard greens — to a discerning audience. "People in Queens really have an appetite for unique food," he said. 

Visitors can wash down the food with iced coffee from the popular Astoria restaurant Queens Comfortwhich is also bringing its homemade macaroni and cheese, biscuits and donuts to the table.

"It’s a great opportunity for us and for the community," said owner Donnie Delassio. "We’re a small outfit, so we get to check out our competition, too."

Other edible treats from around the world include sofritos and adobo marinade from Chulita's Famous and Spicy 'n Sweet's Calabrian sauces and pestos.

Richter hopes the continued success of the pop-up market will help make it a permanent one "that Queens can call its own."