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Traditional style open-air markets still have a place

After visiting the gentrified Williamsburg area, the tour continued to the southwest of Brooklyn to one of the few remaining open-air markets in New York City – Three Guys From Brooklyn. Established in 1975, the store never closes and despite the wintry conditions, the array of fruits and vegetables displayed brought a burst of color into the grey day. Here the owners have kept their traditional method of selling high-volume, low-cost fruits and vegetables to serve the local community, from which many nations are represented.

“This is a very diverse neighborhood and our customers prefer the traditional feel and experience of purchasing fruits and vegetables,” explained Philip Penta of Three Guys. “Although the cut and prepared market is a growth point, we also focus on growing our wholesale business with local restaurants and hotels. When modernizing, we are careful what we add to make sure we retain the character of the market while also keeping up with modern trends like loyalty cards and home deliveries.”

Running this type of market comes with its challenges, but Penta said it is working well for them. “It’s very difficult to remain open 24/7 every single day of the year. However, we need to have staff overnight to accept deliveries so we might as well stay open. 25 percent of our business occurs between 10pm and 6am which is remarkable to think about.”

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