KNISHERY NYC brings your bubbe’s beloved knishes back to the streets—Jewish soul food at its best. We’ve recreated the once-ubiquitous food-cart item with organic, largely locally-sourced ingredients; modern culinary technique; and EXCELLENT (see below) flavor.
We have been making knishes for little over a year now and have really made a splash. Our product can now be found at Malt & Mold, which garnered a great review from Florence Fabricant of The New York Times (including a shout-out for our "excellent sweet and savory knishes"). Our special-order business continues to grow—from making knishes for the holidays (pumpkin & butternut squash for Thanksgiving, matzo-meal for Passover) to catering local events. In most cases, knishes were delivered to clients by bicycle—great for cutting costs and keeping our city clean and green.
However, running our business out of a modest kitchen on Manhattan’s Lower East Side has its drawbacks. Demand is growing faster than we can meet. The time has come to take a great leap forward—into a shared incubator kitchen, firstly. Next: To take the knishes to the streets!
And that’s where you come in. We are reaching out and asking for help with funding for the specialized equipment we will need to get rolling—portable gas-fired burners, hot boxes, and the transportation itself…by knishmobile, of course.
I currently have a slightly modified Surly Big Dummy cargo bicycle, which is capable of hauling 200 lbs of cargo. With your help, I will have racks, food-safe storage, and a trailer made to carry the food and gear needed to set up at food fair. Gasoline? Never. Electric? Pshaw. Solar, biofuel, wind? Fuggedaboudit. This bike is FUELED BY KNISHES!
Once we’re able to transport our goods we plan to participate in more food fairs (such as the Hester Street Fair, Smorgasburg, Brooklyn Flea, and the New Amsterdam Market) and supply other food establishments with our product. Moving into a licensed commercial kitchen will enable us to buy ingredients in bulk which will in turn lower our costs and allow us to use the resources for growing our business, surviving in the marketplace, and developing more great recipes for you to enjoy. Thank you for your continued support!
More About Knishery NYC
Knishes used to be the street food of NYC, before there were dirty-water dogs, chicken & rice carts, even pizza. Today, a slice joint can be found at any given intersection but the knish cart is a relic of the past—one that is ripe for reinterpretation.
KNISHERY NYC wants to bring the knish back to the streets—and its original homeland of the L.E.S. (via the original Eastern European immigrants of the 1800s)—along with creative new ingredients, a modern twist on traditional culinary techniques, a hip sensibility, and, of course, outstanding flavor.
We were to be at the Hester Street Fair on October 29, 2011, but the earliest, heaviest snowstorm in recorded history cancelled the event. After holding a free tasting (of more than 550 knishes) the next day at KNYC headquarters, the overwhelming feedback and love from our friends, neighbors, and knish devotees helped us carry on to where we are today.
So now we're doing it again: We'll be at the Hester Street Fair on Saturday, October 20th, 2012! Let's hope for knish-friendly weather...
Flavors we have made, experimented with, and some we are still refining:
Potato & Caramelized Onion
Potato & Pastrami
Spinach & Roasted Garlic
Broccoli & Cheddar
Potato & 3 Mushrooms
Kasha & Caramelized Onion
Kasha & Porcini Mushroom
Kasha & Chorizo (beef chorizo, my friend!)
Chicken & Artichoke
Gribenes & Millet
Curry Sweet Potato
Pumpkin & Butternut Squash
Breakfast (Steel Cut Oatmeal, Hashbrowns, Egg & Maple Syrup)
Vanilla BeanChocolate Hazelnut
Risks and challenges
The food business is not a get-rich-quick scheme, it is a lot of work for a very broad skill-set. From the executive way of thinking about business to the cooks way of using their hands to make the best possible taste and presentation, creating a food product from the ground up is inherently risky and challenging. That is why were taking it slow, one step at a time. The knish has been around for more than 100 years, and it'll still be there when we finally get a new and improved version into your hands!
This Kickstarter is tackling the first big hurdle -- production. We've been limited by the size of our home oven, and the tolerance of my knish-wife to living with a jammed-up kitchen and cleaning up because I'm too exhausted. By having the equipment necessary to make moving into a rental kitchen seamless, our capacity is greatly increased and the stress of keeping the "office" in the apartment goes away.
The results of this fund-raising effort will also help with the 2nd big hurdle -- distribution. We'll be able to acquire some specialized equipment, like hot trays, a hot box, portable burners and reusable signage that will allow us to sell at multiple food fairs every month.
Thirdly, this Kickstarter is also about publicity -- this is a big city with a lot of food going on all the time, and the fact that you've read this far down into the text means it has accomplished part of its goals, whether you've gone for one of the prizes or not! Thank you!
Unfortunately, they are currently "kosher-style", due to the lack of access to a kosher kitchen and the lack of capital to pay for a Mashgiach. My brother is a Mashgiach in the Capitol Region, I jokingly offered to bribe him in knishes for some under-the-table certification, but he would only accept kosher knishes. A knish-22!
Down the road, being fully kosher (as our knish forefathers were) is a goal, but for now, the only kosher thing I can offer is a t-shirt!
A KNISHERY NYC t-shirt plus 2 knishes from Malt & Mold, subject to availabity. Bonus points if you wear your shirt to Malt & Mold at time of pick-up. (T-shirt can be shipped, but knishes must be picked up in person.)
A KNISHERY NYC t-shirt plus a dozen knishes delivered to your home (NYC only, excluding Staten Island, because you guys are on an island without any bike-friendly bridges connecting you to the rest of us.)
A knish-making class—and tasting, of course—in your home, or at KNISHERY NYC HQ, for up to 8 people, with a lecture and slide show by Knish Guru and award-winning journalist Laura Silver. T-shirts for one and all! (NYC only. Includes Staten Island.)