“The Vendys are the Oscars of food for the real New York.” - Mario Batali
BEST JUICE UPTOWN
Hector Palaguachi has worked as a vendor for 6 years in Washington Heights. Originally from Ecuador, he has an interest in language and speaks a little Arabic, French, Chinese, and Korean. Hector decided to be a vendor because he wanted to be his own boss, and support his four children. The juice he will be serving is called "Morir soñando" or "to die dreaming." Hector’s secret recipe for the traditional Dominican drink, whose name is based on a song which goes "if I have to die, I'd like to die dreaming", includes orange juice, milk, cane sugar, and a little secret touch.
Catalina came to NYC from Oaxaca, Mexico 16 years ago, and has spent the past year working as a tamale and drink vendor in Washington Heights, outside the 191st Street Train Station.. She enjoys cooking, which she learned from her mom back in Oaxaca, and vends to support her 5 children. Her specialty beverages are Champurrado (a chocolate-based warm and thick Mexican drink, prepared with masa de maíz) and arroz con leche (a warm milky rice drink, typically had for breakfast).
COCO & CO
The super cute tiki bike & coconut cart company CoCo & Co was started by two friends from across the globe who met in New York City. Luke McKenna, a journalist from Melbourne, Australia, and Yair Tygiel, an entrepreneur from Northern California were inspired to team up to start CoCo & Co after the success of their individual coconut carts. Luke had operated one in Toronto, and Yair had been operating one in Brooklyn. The duo’s combined operation includes an online storefront for their original spiced coconut oil and tiki carts operating around the city, such as at Vendy Plaza!, and catering private events. Coco & Co will be bringing their unique coconut meat and coconut oil smoothies to the Vendys.
Megan Bailey started as a drink vendor initially as Smorgasburg food stand Frittering Away. One weekend Bailey began to serve a strawberry basil lemonade alongside the food and knew she was doing something right when she sold out in five minutes. In 2012, Megan Bailey branched out to her own business, renamed Renegade Lemonade, and began to focus solely on beverages. Renegade Lemonade serves inventive flavors of lemonade such as peach mint, and watermelon jalapeno. Renegade Lemonade also recently collaborated with 2014 Best Dessert winner Ice & Vice to serve ice cream floats at events such as Gay Pride and Bryant Park Movie nights.
Tea and Milk got off the ground at the LIC Flea in the summer of 2013, started by a trio of long time friends who wanted to create the perfect bubble tea. The trio tasted many other bubble teas and with making a different concept in mind, started using a unique on the spot brewing technique to make their perfect bubble tea. The ingredients are all natural and does not contain any powdered teas or concentrate. Tea and Milk eventually expanded into a variety of teas and serve over fifteen different tea beverages (including Roasted Oolong, Hibiscus Flower Peach, and Taro Milk Tea).. Through a wide support of fans and customers, the widely celebrated fixture of outdoor markets has recently expanded to a brick and mortar outpost in Astoria in 2015 and can still be found at markets across the city.