THE BRONX — Win your Valentine's heart with some artisanal Bronx treats.
A group of Bronx cooks have teamed up to create boxes of foods from the borough as Valentine's Day gifts.
The presents are part of a new venture called Bronx Box and feature items like roasted chickpeas, dark chocolate nut granola and South Bronx blend coffee. They are meant to serve both as a way to celebrate Valentine's Day and to promote the amount of high quality foods from the borough.
"It’s very common when we go to meetings that buyers assume we make our products in Brooklyn," said Rebecca Scott, founder of the food company Sustainable Snacks and one of the cooks behind Bronx Box.
"So all of us feel very strongly about letting people know that we make these products in The Bronx, and we love The Bronx."
The chefs are putting together three different boxes for the holiday that range from $28 to $36, and they hope to have a website up by next week where people can purchase them.
The "Warm Your Heart" box will contain South Bronx Blend coffee from Uptown Roasters and cinnamon simple syrup from Poor Man's Kitchen, while the "Healthy Heart Box" will contain dark chocolate nut granola from Simple Eats with Chef T, vegan dark chocolate from Pulse Foods and cranberry and blueberry morsels from Sustainable Snacks.
The "Burn Baby Burn" box will contain Bronx Hot Sauce, spicy lemon zest roasted chickpeas from Pulse Foods and smoky maple pecans and spicy cherry morsels from Sustainable Snacks.
"It is nice to promote The Bronx that way, I think," said Tito Dudley, founder of Simple Eats with Chef T.
"To really bring that awareness to people, letting them know there are people in The Bronx doing great things, that are focusing on healthy food with local ingredients."
"I feel that because of where it’s located in The Bronx, it gets overshadowed a bit by the other boroughs," said George Carney, owner of Poor Man's Kitchen, "even though the products that are coming out of there are equal if not better than what’s coming out of the rest of the boroughs."
Scott previously tried out the Bronx Box idea around Christmas, when she helped curate "Naughty" and "Nice" boxes to sell at the Bronx Museum's Holiday Market that she said proved to be extremely popular, and she eventually hopes to turn the concept into a regular food subscription service.
"We sold out very quickly," she said. "Now we’re doing Valentine’s themed boxes, but the goal is then to have them available on a monthly basis."
She was excited about the chance to promote all of the artisanal foods coming out of the borough that people have been largely unaware of so far.
"It’s a really cool project," she said. "It feels particularly special."