Airports aren’t the first place you think of when you want to buy farm-fresh dishes made with locally grown ingredients. But that’s exactly what travelers will find when a pop-up farmstand sets up shop inside of New York’s JFK Airport for a few days at the end of October.
JetBlue is set to host a farmers market at Terminal 5 from Oct. 29 to 31 in partnership with GrowNYC, which operates the city’s 52 greenmarkets. Tall stalks of corn and piled apple crates will flank a series of stands selling items made from ingredients grown in New York State, organizers said. There will even be composting demonstrations, pumpkin decorating and music.
“We’re taking a chance,” said Sophia Mendelsohn, head of sustainability at JetBlue Airways, which has previously worked with GrowNYC to introduce recycling and composting practices to food and drink vendors at the terminal.
“It’s not like you say airport and think farmers market, but it’s actually the perfect environment to share how farms are important — connecting the retail experience to where everything comes from and what happens afterward,” she said.
While the final list of participating farms and available food products was not yet available, Mendelsohn told ABC News that the items will appeal to both passengers boarding a flight and travelers who have just arrived and want to pick up something healthy to eat at home or bring as a gift.
Locally grown foods “are passion points for New Yorkers,” echoed Ariana Pernice, manager of regional marketing in the New York region for JetBlue Airways. “That’s something we’d like to share with visitors coming in and also to give back to those who live here.”
While the JFK farmstand is considered a test model, the airline has not ruled out repeating the event or replicating it in other cities should it prove successful. On the West Coast at SFO, Napa Farms Market is a 5,000-square-foot, brick-and-mortar cafe and marketplace inside Terminal 2. The market was modeled after the city’s famous Ferry Building and offers an array of local brands, including Equator Coffee, Tyler Florence’s Rotisserie, Kara’s Cupcakes and Acme Bakery.