Locavores Overrun Pfizer


Small Natural Artisanal Food Businesses Find Home Former Pharmaceutical Building

Though Brooklyn is in no short supply of creative business ideas, real estate can be hard to come by, stifling entrepreneurs from growing.

Brooklyn Soda Works, makers of all natural carbonated juices with exotic flavors like Raspberry & Green Peppercorn found themselves caught in that exact situation. “We had been sharing kitchen spaces for the first year and a half and it was clear that we needed our own large production space because our business was growing," says Caroline Mak, co-founder and one of the company’s flavor-creators.

It is a Catch 22: businesses grow so more space is needed, but more expensive and often times out of budget for a small business just getting off the ground.. To remedy the perfect storm of little space/ high cost, small businesses are shacking up with other like-minded start-ups.


One such venture can be found in South Williamsburg in the large industrial building on Flushing Ave that had belonged to Pfizer Inc since 1946. The large sterile laboratories used to manufacture Zoloft and Viagra were built according to regulated FDA standards, making it a perfect manufacturing and storing facility for the local food makers who have since come to inhabit the workspace.

Step through the door of the old factory and collaborative and creative energy is everywhere. “It’s a great dynamic to be a part of, says Kimberly Bianchot of Steve’s Ice Cream which specializes in flavors like Brooklyn Blackout and Southern Banana Pudding. ”We’re all always feeding off each other” (no pun intended). Detroit based picklers McClure’s Pickles use the space for research and development, perfecting their great grandmother’s pickle recipe. A quick stroll and a high five away are friends chocolatiers Madécasse.