I love finding excellent hand-crafted products, especially when I can look the maker in the eye as I hand over my money, but there is a crazy flood of people crowding the market and the really good stuff is starting to get diluted by a bunch of wannabes. I think we're all aware of the growing community of small-batch producers in Brooklyn and beyond. When perhaps last week there was only one chutney stand at the farmer's market or food bazaar, next week there will probably be three.
In his article "Don’t Mock the Artisanal-Pickle Makers," Adam Davidson at The NYT Magazine considers the widening tide of people eschewing traditional jobs in favor of entrepreneurial ventures. For Mr. Davidson, however, the migration is not just a clue to our growing taste for specialty X, but an indication of our future economy.
It’s tempting to look at craft businesses as simply a rejection of modern industrial capitalism. But the craft approach is actually something new — a happy refinement of the excesses of our industrial era plus a return to the vision laid out by capitalism’s godfather, Adam Smith.
And the public is generally reacting in kind:
Huge numbers of middle-class people are now able to make a living specializing in something they enjoy, including creating niche products for other middle-class people who have enough money to indulge in buying things like high-end beef jerky.
It's an interesting take on the craft movement, especially as it appears to only be gaining in momentum.
Have you ever thought about starting your own specialty business?
Chris Regan and Ashley Mayne produce a wide array of delicious greens for the Hudson Valley.
With his new book, Forrest Pritchard tells the stories of 18 farms from all across America.
Forrest Pritchard and Smith Meadows are prime examples of sustainable family farming.
Jonathan Waxman shares his food philosophy with Slow Films.
A group of star chefs play with fire for a good cause.