Connecting the Bushwick Community With Local Makers and Bakers

Not content to simply sell greens and be done with it, RiseBoro Farmers Markets kicked off their 2018 market season last month with a colorful plant sale and a slate of free arts programming and artisan delights that will liven up Bushwick streets through mid-December.

RiseBoro’s markets are also unique in that they focus on lesser-known local vendors, giving emerging artisans and farmers an opportunity to thrive.

Why do they go the extra mile?

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Photo by Niki Davis-Fainbloom for Bushwick Daily.

“Being able to highlight interesting and exciting things happening in Bushwick is a big reason why we’re here,” says Ali Toxtli, Farmers Market Manager. The larger mission of the RiseBoro Markets is to provide a platform for Bushwick’s rich cultures and burgeoning local vendors—all while meeting the local demand for nutritious food, fitness and preventative care.

In that spirit, we’re pleased to bring Bushwick Daily readers a special introduction to two of this season’s hand-picked vendors: one brand new, and one longstanding.

Taino Body / Andy Marte

Andy Marte. Photo by Niki Davis-Fainbloom for Bushwick Daily.

What’s on sale:
Andy’s handmade line of body care products uses raw ingredients sourced from Africa, the Caribbean and Europe. The Taino people are native to the Caribbean and once comprised the majority of the region’s inhabitants.

Ali says:
“Andy is a RiseBoro employee, and so much more! When we were doing our vendor search, he came to us with these great products he’s been working on. He’s a long-time Bushwick resident and has a lot of energy around his cultural heritage.”

Andy says:
“I’m from the DR [Dominican Republic] and grew up in Bushwick. It was primarily Puerto Rican then, and there was always a little tension between the two groups. I wanted to do something that could be a unifying agent between them.

“Deeper than that, I am a Hispanic person of mixed race, so I wanted something that could unify that aspect as well.

“There’s also a connection to growing up in Bushwick: I left to go to college and came back, so I feel like a bridge between those who grew up here and newer residents.

“I’ve been into body scrubs and body butters since college, so this product has personal, political, and philosophical meaning to me. It’s a way to unify people—and make a little side money.”

Taino Body products. Photo by Niki Davis-Fainbloom for Bushwick Daily.

Goals this year:
Taino Body will donate 50 percent of sales of its Borinken Blue bath bombs and $1 from each bag of Julian Coffee (used in some Taino Body products) towards Hurricane Maria relief efforts, via Ayuda Legal Hurricane Maria. “Our underlying mission is to unite—whether that’s different parts of the world, or different cultural groups, or new and old residents of Bushwick,” says Andy.

Why you should buy—and stop to say hi:
As an eco-friendly business, Taino Body gives customers 25 to 50 cents off their products when they return their glass jars for future use.

“Instead of buying from a large corporation, when you buy locally, you keep money in the community,” says Andy. “That helps us grow ourselves. These Farmers Markets are a venue for that to happen.”

Taino Body will be at every Saturday market this year. Check out their website for their full line of products—and if you want custom orders for an event, Taino Body makes great party favors!


The Doe Fund / Derrick Bouknight

Derrick, left, with a Doe Fund colleague. Photo by Niki Davis-Fainbloom for Bushwick Daily.

What’s on sale:
A rotating selection of positively delicious baked goods, made by Doe Fund program participants: formerly homeless or incarcerated men who are learning new life skills. Derrick is the Doe Fund’s Food Service Coordinator, Customer Service Class Instructor, and Farmers Market Manager.

Ali says:
“The Doe Fund is one of longest-standing members of our Farmers Markets, and a true community organization. They work with underserved men to create long-term opportunities for them to turn their lives around.”

Derrick says:
“I like the community there at Maria Hernandez. We get a nice welcome. They show us a lot of love, and we show it back. I always look forward to that; it’s a nice vibe.

“I love the camaraderie. It’s helped me grow and open up as a person and build my confidence. It’s a beautiful thing. It’s good for the guys I bring with me, as well: our trainees. We’re teaching them how to bake, how to cook, and they’re getting the opportunity to interact with customers. I let them know: ‘You guys can achieve anything if you’re willing to work hard for it.’ I bring them out and give them firsthand experience, and they love it.”

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Baked goods at The Doe Fund booth. Photo by Niki Davis-Fainbloom for Bushwick Daily.

Goals this year:
Happily, 2018 will not be the year of the low carb. “We just created some new rye breads with sautéed onions and caraway,” says Derrick. “We also have a flatbread with rosemary—and habanero to give it a little kick. Some of our best sellers are the carrot and zucchini bread, and spinach quiche.

“Our number one goal is to continue to grow and produce and bring different items to the market that we know the people will like. We put a lot of work into this, and that’s why I like it. I put all the work in, and then I get these great reactions from people. That’s what it’s all about.”

Why you should buy—and stop to say hi:
“I am the perfect example of what this organization can do for your life,” Derrick says. “Four years ago, I couldn’t cook a biscuit; I never had a baking experience in my life. Now I really love it. I ran the streets for years, doing foolish things. But that’s over now. I no longer have a job, I have a career. And I get to pay it forward with the trainees that I work with. If I can turn it around, they can turn it around, too.

“Bushwick has been very good to us. I want anyone here who’s struggling and would like to get themselves together to know that The Doe Fund is the best place to come to for that. They offer so many ways to set your life in motion.”

Support The Doe Fund’s good culinary works—and get yourself a tasty treat—at RiseBoro’s Saturday markets in Maria Hernandez Park.


If you’re a local food vendor, crafter, arts programmer, or anyone else interested in working with the RiseBoro Farmers Markets, reach out to Ali Toxtli at [email protected].

Find the RiseBoro Farmers Markets in the neighborhood this year:

RB Bushwick Farmers Market
Saturday 9am – 3pm
May 19th to December 15th
Maria Hernandez Park

RB Rheingold Archway Market
Sunday 10am – 4pm
May 20th to December 16th
533 Bushwick Ave between Noll and Arion

Socioeconomic inclusion is a key mission of the markets, so cash, credit, SNAP, and WIC are all accepted. Use your SNAP benefits and get 40% additional value through the NYC Health Bucks program.

For more information about RiseBoro Farmers Markets, email [email protected], or call (718) 416-4561.

For more information about RiseBoro’s work in Bushwick, see their website.

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