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New program serving up tasty treats at Brooklyn Navy Yard

  Cooking with Corey’s Brandi Covington at the Brooklyn Navy Yard’s new Local Bites kiosk inside Building 77.

Cooking with Corey’s Brandi Covington at the Brooklyn Navy Yard’s new Local Bites kiosk inside Building 77.

This food is cooked with love!

Visitors to the Brooklyn Navy Yard can grab tasty treats at its new food service kiosk, Local Bites — a business-development program partnering with the New York City Housing Authority.

Residents at public-housing complexes across the five boroughs who have graduated from the city’s Food Business Pathways, an entrepreneurial education program, kicked off running their own concession counters on the ground floor of the Fort Greene yard’s Building 77.

Operating a kiosk right in the heart of the Brooklyn Navy Yard’s food manufacturing hub is a dream come true that will help boost business, according to one local entrepreneurial chef, who owns a boutique dessert catering company in Kings County.

“It feels like such an accomplishment to have an opportunity to be the first business at Local Bites,” said Luquana McGriff of A Cake Baked in Brooklyn. “I grew up in Brooklyn, watching the Brooklyn Navy Yard from afar, and I am thrilled to have my first retail location be so close to my home, to my kitchen, to my community.”


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  Hundreds of public housing residents are becoming food entrepreneurs thanks to Food Business Pathways, a free 10-week program that offers food-loving New York City Housing Authority residents customized business training and resources.

Hundreds of public housing residents are becoming food entrepreneurs thanks to Food Business Pathways, a free 10-week program that offers food-loving New York City Housing Authority residents customized business training and resources.

Joann Poe had been a field technician for Verizon for nearly 20 years when she saw the flyer. Hanging in the lobby of her apartment building, a public housing unit in the Bronx, N.Y., it announced a free training program to help residents launch their own food businesses.

  "People used to ask me to make cakes for them, but I never thought of it as a career," says Joann Poe, owner of “Best Dressed Cupcakes”.

"People used to ask me to make cakes for them, but I never thought of it as a career," says Joann Poe, owner of “Best Dressed Cupcakes”.

"It must be a hoax," she thought. She walked by without writing down the number.

But Poe couldn't stop thinking about it. Her friends had long encouraged her to open a bakery. They loved her sweet potato pies and her magical layer cakes, frosted and decorated to the nines, like something from an episode of Netflix's Sugar Rush.


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Start Small Think Big's Local Bites Food Kiosk Featured on NY1

Watch as our entrepreneur talks about the opportunity to showcase her business in our Local Bites food kiosk in the Brooklyn Navy Yard, thanks to a collaboration between NYCHA REES, JPMorgan Chase, Brooklyn Navy Yard, Fund for Public Housing, and Start Small Think Big.


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Start Small Think Big’s Food Kiosk at Brooklyn Navy Yard featured on WNBC


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Local Bites: Brooklyn Navy Yard Provides Food Retail Space To NYCHA Entrepreneurs

The Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation announced on Monday the launch of Local Bites, a food service kiosk at Building 77which will provide temporary space for graduates of the Food Business Pathways program (FBP), an entrepreneurial program that supports NYCHA residents who want to start food-oriented businesses.

  Brandi Covington, owner of Cooking with Corey.

Brandi Covington, owner of Cooking with Corey.


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Brooklyn Navy Yard kiosk supporting local businesses

  Luquana McGriff of A Cake Baked in Brooklyn is one of several rotating food entrepreneurs at the Food Business Pathways' Local Bites kiosk.

Luquana McGriff of A Cake Baked in Brooklyn is one of several rotating food entrepreneurs at the Food Business Pathways' Local Bites kiosk.

Being in the Navy Yard "is a once in a lifetime opportunity," A Cake Baked in Brooklyn founder Luquana McGriff said. In the first week alone she landed catering contracts.

"To hear everyone's feedback on my product has been great… and even some of the requests they've had," she added. People have asked for McGriff's cake jars to be made in their favorite colors.

The Local Bites kiosk is supported by Start Small Think Big, a nonprofit that provides free legal, financial and marketing assistance to under-resourced entrepreneurs, according to Market Access Program Director Mabell Fernandez.


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Our Food Kiosk at Brooklyn Navy Yard!

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The New York City Housing Authority and the Brooklyn Navy Yard are working together to make the dreams of getting into the food business come true for NYCHA residents.


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Doing what's best is motto of socially conscious companies

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Start Small Think Big is a socially conscious company that helps lower-income people start businesses. The non-profit formed after the U.S. economy collapsed in 2008.

Start Small Think Big operates out California and Harlem and is focused, in part, on the five boroughs. 98 percent of the small businesses they help get off the ground are owned by women and minorities.

30-percent are recent immigrants.


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The Citi Foundation announced today that Start Small Think Big was selected as one of 40 nonprofit organizations as recipients of the 2018 Community Progress Makers Fund. The $20 million grant initiative supports visionary nonprofit organizations to help them roll out new approaches to long-standing urban economic challenges in six U.S. cities. Each Community Progress Maker will receive $500,000 in core operating support and access to technical assistance and a learning community.


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start small think big featured in new york magazine

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Start Small Think Big founder and New York state native Jennifer DaSilva dreamed up a way to improve things on the homefront, ironically, during a 2008 stint abroad in Cambodia. “This was during the financial crisis, and as the economy back home imploded, I started thinking about microfinance as a way of helping people in the U.S. build small businesses,” she says. She realized that most organizations tackle small-business development with funding top-of-mind. That’s not the only guidance that she noticed entrepreneurs needed — they needed legal, marketing, and financial management, too. So in 2010, DaSilva founded Start Small Think Big. “The mission is to help lower-income people start businesses by giving them the support they need to grow in a safe and responsible way,” she says. “We level the playing field.”