With its reputation for sky-high rents, New York City is a tough place to set up shop. As mayoral candidate Jimmy McMillan famously put it: The rents are too damn high!
But New York entrepreneurs aren’t letting the city’s exorbitant rents get in the way of business success.
The pop-up phenomenon has swept across the Big Apple in recent years, with short-term leases and recycled shipping containers expanding the possibilities for business.
The Bowery Market is the newest kid on the pop-up block. The open-air food market opened last year in Noho, in the heart of downtown Manhattan.
The corner site had been all but abandoned since Downtown Auto & Tire shop closed in 2012.
But the new market has invited six up-and-coming restaurateurs to do business there, in temporary shipping container structures.
New York cafe Butcher’s Daughter has led the city’s pop-up shop revolution – so it’s no surprise to find their container outpost at the Bowery Market.
Contrary to its name, Butcher’s Daughter does not serve meat. The popular container kiosk is a vegetable slaughterhouse, serving healthy juices and vegetarian fare.
The website explains: “We treat fruits and vegetables as a butcher would meat: we chop, fillet and carve fresh produce into healthy vegetarian dishes and press them into pretty juices.”
Founder Heather Tierney outfits her eateries as pretty, feminine interpretations of an old-world, masculine butcher shop, combining industrial elements (shipping containers, steel hooks, heavy iron butcher rails) with softer, earthy materials, such as white tiles, leafy plants and beached raw wood.
As New York rents continue to climb, more compact pop-up stores like Butcher’s Daughter are likely to sprout up around the city.
Why grapple with the burden of brick and mortar overheads when you can pack your idea into a budget-friendly portable shipping container?