Brooklyn Week: Businesses Cash In Using Brooklyn Name
The word Brooklyn evokes all kinds of images and many businesses are now banking on the appeal of those images as they promote Brooklyn as a brand. NY1's Jeanine Ramirez filed the following report.
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The Brooklyn Bridge is iconic. The Brooklyn Dodgers are legendary. The Brooklyn Nets are building a franchise.
The Brooklyn name is taking off in all kinds of directions, from food to retail. And it adorns signs for those coming into the city's most populous borough and for those thinking about leaving.
"I recognize that Brooklyn was a brand," said Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz. "Brooklyn has a mystique already in the world and the country. Everyone knows Brooklyn. Period."
Back in 1996, beer began brewing in the borough for the first time in 20 years. The company's name? Brooklyn Brewery. The product is now distributed in 25 states and 20 countries. It's so successful, it's now expanding its Williamsburg facility. With the expansion, the brewery is expected to double production by the year 2013.
Beer, wine and liquor companies are popping up, made locally and boasting Brooklyn. Then there are the food products. Brooklyn Pretzel just opened in Bay Ridge, evoking nostalgia.
"We wanted to go with the Brooklyn Dodgers' color and logo to honor my mother and father," said Kathleen Casey, the owner of Brooklyn Pretzel. "They were both Brooklyn fans, lifelong Brooklyn residents."
Brooklyn Cupcake in Williamsburg opened last year, with flavors capturing the borough's different cultures.
"Because we are Brooklyn through and through, through our soul and we're very proud of Brooklyn," said Gina Madera, a co-owner of Brooklyn Cupcake.
Then there's the Smorgasburg at Brooklyn Flea, a market of about 100 food vendors with artisanal specialties.
"Mario Batali went there," said Eric Demby, a co-founder of Brooklyn Flea. "And Francis Ford Coppola went there. Big, famous people go there because they heard about some special thing."
Brooklyn Flea is now tapped to provide food and beverage service at Central Park Summer Stage. Brooklyn Industries merchandise also sells in Manhattan.
The Brooklyn appeal is attracting tourists to the borough.
"Brooklyn becoming chic and hip has been advantageous to my business, absolutely," said Monique Greenwood, the owner of Akwaaba Mansion. "Folks who stayed in Manhattan request to stay in Brooklyn."
Hopefully, what stays is the borough's marketability because its recognition is already established.