Hotel gives Wall Street a farmers market

When you hear “Wall Street” a farmers market with fresh produce isn’t the first image to come to mind. But that’s what the Andaz Wall Street hotel brought to the heart of the Big Apple a year ago this month.

Andaz Wall Street’s Manager Toni Hinterstoisser said he felt Wall Street was missing something like what he had in his childhood in Germany.

“Essentially the idea came from me,” Hinterstoisser said. “I was born in Bavaria, so farms and markets were a big thing. I kind of grew up with this idea.”

Noting that the nearest Whole Foods was a long walk, Hinterstoisser worked with his food purchasing director in the spring of 2010, and in July of that year the first farmers market was held in the plaza adjacent to the hotel.

The farmers market’s return on investment for Andaz has been hard to quantify. No direct expenditures are involved.

“To be honest, it’s pretty hard to track because it’s hard to realize when someone comes to the restaurant because of the localizing effort,” Hinterstoisser said.

The farmers market is running until November every Wednesday and Saturday. In addition to having fresh produce for sale to the general public, Andaz has a rooftop garden that it is utilizing for ingredients in its restaurant, and locally roasted coffee and New York-vinted wine is served there as well. Tomatoes, pumpkins, squash and various herbs are being grown.

“We do something with dishes made mostly with the produce that we have up there,” Hinterstoisser said. “Essentially we need to bring something green to people in this area.”