An Update on All Good Things

All Good Things upstairs restaurant area 81913After yesterday’s news that Dickson’s Farmstand Meats is leaving All Good Things, the market’s owner, Kyle Wittels, invited me over to talk about where it’s headed. “All Good Things will be taking over the entire market, other than flowers and cheese, at the moment,” he said. “Most of the changes will be as of October 1, although some will be of September 1.” He hastened to add that he “didn’t kick anyone out,” that business has been slower than vendors had hoped, and since each has to have at least one staffer on hand, the cost to run a stand is relatively high. Having the majority of the market run by All Good Things—which has always handled the seafood and produce, and will continue to do so—should help solve that problem.

Other changes:

••• As already reported, All Good Things will start serving its own coffee next month, which will come from Boston’s George Howell Coffee Company. Tea will also be available, as will morning pastries and breakfast sandwiches.

••• A case with a variety of prepared foods will take the place of the Blue Marble Ice Cream counter. Ryan Tate, the chef downstairs at Le Restaurant, will oversee the prepared food, too.

••• The Nunu Chocolates counter is being removed, to make way for more seating and more shelves of dry goods. While Wittels knows they can’t compete with the breadth of Whole Foods, he wants to be able to offer more staples, such as flour and sugar.

••• The seating in the back will be open to everyone, even if you’re just having a coffee.

••• All Good Things will have expanded hours (8 a.m. to 8 p.m., with coffee/pastries from 7 a.m.).

••• The initial idea had been for Le Restaurant and the market to source from the same providers, but that was economically unfeasible. Now that the operation is streamlining, that’s back on the table. “We’re becoming a chef-driven market,” said Wittels. “We’re going to try to do as good or better as the ingredients we’re using in the restaurant and prepared foods, and we’re going to have humanely raised meat, with more choices.” He added that he’s simply reacting to feedback: “We’re adapting to the needs of what neighbors wanted. People were asking for more than vendors could offer.”

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20 Comments

  1. This is so upsetting. I would come here all the time to buy meat and fish. And Blue Marble is gone as well? I live in TriBeCa east and this is the only place to get good quality groceries without schlepping to Whole Foods! Weak. Sauce.

  2. Seriously?? They did a mega-purge and couldn’t get rid of the crappy cheese people? Double weak sauce…

  3. Some good things?

  4. Maybe we can wait and see how it turns out?

  5. I commend what All Good Things is doing. We need more of this in NY. I think its just not known by locals yet…If this was at a busy intersection, it would be doing amazing business.

  6. AGT had a couple of problems beyond location. The space is tough. It’s too narrow to fit very many people in it and forget about strollers. And then it’s pretty annoying to have to pay separately for everything your purchase on top of waiting for it to be made at a very meticulous pace.

  7. I think Ellen and Josh are both right – location and the nature of space make AGT a challenging venture. Unfortunately, the thing that drew me there was the fact that they had some of my favorite vendors in the city, and now they’re gone. Blue Bottle, Orwasher’s, and Dickson’s are all established businesses that have distinguished themselves in their fields. It will be hard to replace them, and especially hard to replace them well enough to continue to draw people (or at least my wife and I) to that particular location. I wish them well, and I’ll certainly check them out as the transition happens, but I am definitely disappointed about it.

  8. AGT should do a weekly neighborhood delivery service to get people to try their goods (every week deliver 1 loaf of bread, 1 bouquet, 1 cheese, etc…), sort of like a CSA box. Members would support the store through membership and through returning to the store to re-purchase items that they like.

  9. Bouley Market (now a Citibank) was a chef-driven market concept and it was absolutely wonderful for that reason. I don’t know why it wasn’t economically viable, but I hope the circumstances in this case will allow AGT to do well.

  10. Yes, it is disappointing to lose Dickson’s and Blue Bottle. (Orwasher’s could not compare to Grand daisy for me.). Yet, so many people say they want more local, neighborhood-driven merchants in Tribeca like “the old days.” I’m with Erik – how about we give it an honest shot and then judge. It sounds like they are trying something that just might be interesting if they can pull it off.

  11. i commend anyone in the neighborhood (or city, for that matter) who makes an effort to start a local business to bring some authenticity and character to an increasingly homogenized community. as with any new venture there are hiccups and revisions that happen within the first year that can disappoint or delight it’s customers. i agree that there are some limitations AGT has, but i wouldn’t completely abandon them to throw my money at whole foods; simply use them for what needs of yours they meet.

  12. I hesitate to comment because I have found I am not a typical shopper, but here goes
    I found AGT frustrating because the produce selection was slim – I could not count on going there to get what i needed for a meal …..so had to go to WF or FE anyway….. so why bother with AGT? Also its pricey. not that Whole Foods isn’t pricey! Some of the stalls were worth a stop in just for them – ice cream for ex. but the bread was NOT as good as other local bakeries. FIsh was great and meat too . Loved the cheese but wish he sold american made too. Personally I don’t see a need for staples there, I use Fresh Direct for that and can go the Kodega in an emergency. But I do have a full pantry at home.

    Anyway I hope it succeeds — its nice to have in the neighborhood
    Specific suggestions:
    Front of store shoudl be opened up for people to linger, its a crush to get in sometimes
    Better produce – more selection
    In general, ask the chef to think in menus (home cook menus) so I can stop in for a nice piece of fish or meat AND get what I need for the rest of the meal
    AGT might want to stock spices.

  13. Oh, so NOW you’re going to be able to sit in the back and enjoy your morning coffee without the owner being an a-hole to you, rushing you out the door? Get lost.

    @Erik – I gave it a try as a customer for the past year. I loved getting my bread from Orwasher’s, a morning or afternoon coffee from Blue Bottle, an occasional steak from Dickson’s, ice cream, cheese, chocolate; all of it really. But anything that was run by AGT? If I want shitty hipster attitude, I’ll go across the East River.

    Back to Fresh Direct and Amish Market I guess…

  14. While I’d like to wait and see how things go I do not have high hopes given the experience I have had with the people who run this place. They are rude and not service oriented at all! I had the worst experience at the restaurant and while I have tries to embrace their offerings I simply can’t stand paying $10 for limp carrots and a brown cauliflower. Local doesn’t have to be expensive and sub par quality. I love blue bottle and dicksons so now there are 2 less reasons to go there- the only remaining one being cavianolas. The agt bread stand that replaced orwashers could not be less appealing so I’m not optimistic about what will happen when they take over the rest of the stands. We all want to support small and local businesses but its hard to do so when they’re so out of touch. I give them a year.

  15. I wish Kyle and his crew good luck.
    .
    i find them accommodating to a fault, including casual conversations about herbs and recipes and what could be better than making a phone call and having my oysters shucked or shrimp cleaned and steamed? 15 minutes later and everything is waiting for me.
    Fresh herbs and a welcoming smile go along way with my wife and me.
    Prepared foods will make putting a meal together much easier
    Maybe the cranks should schlepp down to WFM, get ok stuff, ok service and long lines.

    Hope they make it through the gestation period.

    Alan

  16. I’m most upset about Blue Marble leaving. Not sure what I’m going to do!

  17. I never even knew about this place. I often hop on the N train and buy specialty Italian groceries at Eataly — gotta love a grocery store where you can shop while drinking a glass of wine. It sounds like this place needs to provide a unique shopping experience. Other than Eataly, I’m probably 60% FreshDirect, 35% Whole Foods, and 5% Food Emporium.

  18. Sorry, I meant the R train. With the weekend closure until October 2014, I’ve been taking the 1 train to Eataly.

  19. Will definitely miss Dickinson’s (they also make great dog food – who knew?) and Blue Bottle. Will not buy another $18 mediocre cheese.

  20. Alan G, I 110% agree with you all this blah, blah, blah so screams of I am so jealous….. The bread since Orwashers and deserts are far superior now that the bakeries supplying the bread have changed as well as in house baking of bread and those so rich and delicious deserts. The chocolate tart with sea salt is worth the weight gain. Items are always changing no more boring donuts filled with too sweet jelly. The meats I understand will be just as good if not better so everyone dry your tears…. The vendors that left must not have been so good or otherwise you would all have spent more money and kept them in business. Paul maybe you don’t realize these vendors only rented space at their station they did not want to pay for you to sit in the back and clean up after you. If you treat people with respect that is what you will get back.