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Specialty Store of the Day: A Mayonnaise Shop Grows in Brooklyn

Specialty Store of the Day: A Mayonnaise Shop Grows in Brooklyn
Courtesy: Empire Mayonnaise

Brooklyn gets a lot of slack for its proclivity to do things that make it very easy to mock. Take, for example, the newly-opened mayonnaise store. When Sam Mason announced that he was planning to open a mayonnaise specialty shop way back in September, the backlash was, well, harsh.

The Atlantic Wire handily chronicled the outrage, which ranged from declarations that Brooklyn had descended into "self-parody" to one commenter asking whether the borough had "jumped the shark." As the Village Voice's Rebecca Marx wrote:

So it's come to this, Brooklyn. You've turned into that friend whose behavior we just can't make excuses for any longer, and that saddens us. There are so very many things we'd like to say to you, but we don't even know where to begin. So instead we'll just sit here, eating the last of that jar of your paprika-smoked heirloom pickles and wondering when it was, exactly, that you decided you'd be better off as a headline in The Onion.

But now that Empire Mayonnaise is open for business, the reaction has been a mix of delight and bafflement. Brooklyn Ink chronicled the opening. They report:

Some were curious, others a little baffled; one resident even thought it was a joke—a store selling only mayonnaise, artisanal flavored mayonnaise? Though the concept was a little more plausible in a foodie haven like Brooklyn, it still seemed quirky even for the borough.

But Empire Mayonnaise is more than a trendy idea. The small store, located at 564 Vanderbilt Ave. in Prospect Heights, opened its doors Sunday. By late afternoon around 100 people had stepped inside, sampled the store’s flavored mayonnaise and liked what they tasted.

The store's owners have been selling the mayo for years at the Brooklyn Flea Market. The most popular flavors (which run $6 to $8 for four ounces) include Black Garlic, Vadouvan (French Curry Masala) and Lime Pickle.

 

Amanda Erickson is a senior associate editor at The Atlantic Cities. All posts »

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