One of the city’s great names in catering is making a move uptown to the rapidly changing Mott Haven area.
Great Performances, a caterer that specializes in serving cultural institutions, is planning a move this summer from its current headquarters in lower Manhattan to a spacious new 41,000 square foot space on the first and third floors of The Bruckner Building at 2417 Third Avenue.
Great Performances found a space that nearly doubles its existing footprint. The company prepares and ships its finished gourmet products to exclusive clients at cultural institutions including Jazz at Lincoln Center, Asia Society, Apollo Theater, Plaza Hotel, New York Wine and Food Festival and Wave Hill.
In fact it was the Bronx horticultural gem on the west side of the Bronx that was the first exclusive partner that Great Performances signed, back in 1992, said a spokeswoman, who added the company was founded in 1980 by its current CEO Liz Neumark.
The company is the food provider to many borough institutions including Montefiore Medical, Bronx Lebanon Hospital, Wildlife Conservation Society (the Bronx Zoo’s operator), Fieldston School and Riverdale Country Day School, a company spokeswoman stated.
Neumark said, in a statement, that she loves the entrepreneurial spirit in the Mott Haven community, and that the building, a former factory, recalls the early manufacturing roots of the city.
“Exploring the nooks and crannies of the streets, meeting my future neighbors and finding new places to grab a bite to eat, contribute to my enormous sense of anticipation,” said Neumark. “This will be a nurturing home where we can contribute to the neighborhood while benefitting from a great workforce and collaboration with other businesses.”
The company has 147 employees who call our borough home, and plans to expand its work force with an additional 55 hirings. It will reach out to local employment preparing non-profit organizations to fill some of the positions, it stated.
Additionally, the company also provides educational programming through The Sylvia Center, a non-profit that teaches families about the importance of nutrition and encourages healthy eating, especially for youth.
The center and its community kitchen will also move to the borough in July or August along with Great Performances, said the spokeswoman.
The space they will be leasing in the newly renovated Bruckner Building is centrally located near several major highways, affording the company an opportunity to service a larger clientele base.
“The location is terrific from a distribution standpoint,” said the company spokeswoman “For us, with clients throughout the tri-state area, it is actually much better that where we are now in terms of getting to our clients and getting back.”
The new kitchen space is much larger than what is currently available, and it will occupy the entire first floor, said the spokeswoman.
“The kitchen staff in particular are in Nirvana,” the spokeswoman said.
The aesthetics of the building, which has been extensively renovated, itself was a selling point to Great Performance’s management.
“One of the appeals of this building is its classic old style. They don’t build like this anymore,” said the spokeswoman.
To learn more about the Sylvia Center, visit www.sylvi