Originally printed in the December 2019 issue of Produce Business.
Format: International Fancy Gourmet Market
When the current owners took over Manhattan’s original Amish Farmers Market in 1991, the store sourced produce from Amish farms in Pennsylvania. Although the name stuck, today Amish Market takes pride in supporting growers throughout Upstate New York, whilst stocking both national and international artisan foods.
“We try to support local Upstate New York [fruit and vegetable] farmers, mostly Hudson Valley farmers,” explains Sam Sevinc, managing director. “However, we do use the international produce market to bring all organic, authentic, tropical fruit and vegetables to our community and local businesses.”
Produce is displayed mostly in baskets and merchandised according to the season. “Now, it’s harvest time so we have a huge display of apples and pumpkins,” says Sevinc. “We run special offers for local fruit too. Upstate New York apples are $1.29 per pound right now, while regular apples are $2.99 per pound.”
In December, shoppers can expect a huge mix of local apple varieties, from Acey Mac right through to Snapdragon, alongside locally sourced broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, eggplant, leeks, pears, plums and winter squash.
Sevinc describes Amish Market as a “gourmet grocery market with European influence.” Indeed, the owners identify as “foodies with a passion for quality and authenticity,” and the main shareholders are Turkish, Dominican and Italian.
“Our grocery products are carefully selected to represent the quality and diversity of both national and international foods,” says Sevinc. “We seek out the small artisan producers who are passionate about what they do.”
Sevinc says this high standards approach to retailing is what keeps customers coming back. “The business is doing well,” he says. “Our biggest competitor is Whole Foods, but since we’re not a giant store, we can connect with our customers, and we know them personally. At the end of the day, we are a family-based, small business.”
Across both of its locations, Amish Market West and Amish Market East (240 E 45th St), customers can buy fresh produce, fresh juices, smoothies, tossed salads, hot and cold prepared healthy meals, sushi, meats, fish, dairy products, fresh pasta, fresh coffee beans and frozen food. There’s also a delicatessen, patisserie and gourmet specialty groceries, including organic, gluten-free and vegan products. Customers can buy gift baskets, plus Amish Market provides catering for residential and commercial events.
This diversity is crucial for the customer base, which includes young professionals looking for breakfast and lunch, local residents who prefer all-natural products and tourists.
“Since 1991, our community has changed a lot,” notes Sevinc. “New real estate has brought in residents who are more demanding in terms of our organic, non-GMO, vegan, gluten-free and niche products. Our local residents also need mostly grab-and-go items, because they don’t cook at home. Pre-pack items and single portions are our biggest-sellers.”
Originally, there were six Amish Markets, including four in New York City. Amish Market West remains the flagship and oldest store. Meanwhile, the group has opened two supermarkets in Long Island City, called Foodcellar & Co.
Amish Market (West)
731 9th Ave., New York, NY 10019
Tel: (212) 245-2360
Hours: Mon-Sun: 7:00 a.m.-10:30 p.m.