Columbia Dining Partners with Columbia-Harlem Small Business Development Center to Host Harlem Buyer Fair

January 16, 2019
Vendor Chef El-Amin serves samples to participants at the Harlem Buyer Fair in John Jay Dining Hall

In partnership with the Columbia-Harlem Small Business Development Center, Columbia Dining hosted the Harlem Buyer Fair on January 15 in John Jay Dining Hall. This annual event helps connect local food, body care and gift vendors with interested buyers from Whole Foods, FreshDirect, Columbia Dining and other corporations nationwide. Vendors offered samples of their products and informational materials to attendees and received valuable feedback directly from potential consumers.

Some of the highlights included healthier soul food from Chef El-Amin, banana pudding cupcakes from Blondie’s Divine Desserts, body butters from Hamlin Apothecary, bath salts and candles from Soak, homemade kraut from The Little Hot Dog Wagon, and pie crust cookies from Janie’s, which Columbia Dining plans to add to its retail line-up in the coming weeks.

Participating vendors completed the Harlem Local Vendors Program, a business accelerator program designed to provide a platform for local Harlem vendors seeking professional guidance regarding best practices and guidelines for vendor suppliers. To date, the HLVP program has assisted with securing supplier partnerships for 20+ Harlem based vendors with retail and institutional partners including Whole Foods Market, Macy’s, and Columbia University Dining.