The scenic views from Smorgasburg in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
The scenic views from Smorgasburg in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

During our most recent collaboration with The New York Times, we focused on women business owners at the helm of food-oriented ventures. (See “Why We Care About Female Chefs.”)

The restaurant world some of them inhabit is anything but sweet, however. Women trying to work their way up have to overcome rampant sexism, staggering odds and male-driven, sometimes hostile environments before finding themselves in the top tiers. Many are unable to do so.

Women in the restaurant business aren’t treated much better outside of the kitchen, either. Male chefs capture much of the media spotlight (case in point: Time’s “The Gods of Food“) while accomplished and gifted women go unnoticed.

But while that portion of the food industry is largely unsupportive of female entrepreneurs, another part is significantly more welcoming: Open-air food markets. They are taking urban areas throughout the country by storm, and their egalitarian nature puts the emphasis on food quality — not gender.

Talking about food as it pertains to female entrepreneurship has always intrigued us. And — in the interest of full disclosure — talking about food in general at The Story Exchange is a common pastime.

So while the summer sun was still shining, we decided to get out of the office to learn more about women business owners who sell their food at open-air food markets. We headed to Smorgasburg in Brooklyn and the farmer’s market in Manhattan’s Union Square. In both places, we found camaraderie and community — a welcome relief.

Check out the full multimedia package here:

A Feast of Opportunities