Thursday, August 14, 2014

Meet the Vendor: Busy Bee Organics

Welcome to Meet the Vendor, a new series on Jersey City Eats that will profile different vendors from all the Farmers' Markets around Jersey City. We have a wonderful and constantly growing market scene in Jersey City with unique, dedicated vendors and I encourage everyone to take advantage.

We're starting off with Michelle Berckes of Busy Bee Organics who can be found at Grove Street every Thursday with delicious and nutritious options. Thanks for participating, Michelle!

(all photos provided by Michelle Berckes)

Tell us about yourself:
Hi, I am Michelle Berckes, Nutritionist and Certified Natural Food Chef and Owner of Busy Bee Organics, LLC.

I am a Jersey City resident, preparing health-supportive cuisine for the JC community. I have been visiting JC for many years as my sister and brother-in-law, Meika and Warren (owners of Another Man’s Treasure) have been here over 10 years. Always feeling a strong connection to JC, I decided to move here this past September and I was surprised that although there are a lot of fantastic eateries here, there is a lack of delicious, healthy food spots. That's when I decided to take action. I started Busy Bee Organics in May 2014 to provide quick, healthy food that tastes great and makes you feel great. Healthy food has a stigma attached - often comparing the word healthy to “bland or cardboard-like.” At Busy Bee, we’re doing it a little differently. You will NOT find fat-free, artificially sweetened foods at my stand. Here you will find foods made with real, whole foods, local organic crops, high-integrity ingredients, and with a focus on low sugar/ high protein. Nothing we make is chemically processed and we try to be very allergy friendly (95% of what we make is gluten and dairy free and we write down the allergens on our labels).

You can come by our booth on Thursdays and easily find nutrient dense and flavorful entrees such as our Coconut Thai Curry, baked goods like our signature “Buffins,” unique salads, soups, nut milks, and complete nutrition breakfast spreads in addition to our unprocessed raw honey and much more!

What other markets do you participate in around Jersey City? Any outside of Jersey City?
So far we are happy at the Grove Street Market. This is my first season doing the markets and I love it! We are looking into a few others but for now we can be found at Grove Street on Thursdays 4-8pm.

What are your top-sellers?
Our tops sellers are our breakfast spreads. Designed for those who are always running out the door, our spreads are blends of nuts and fruits and seeds (no sugar added) They are designed as a “complete, balanced nutritional spread” to be enjoyed on toast, muffins, a piece of fruit or right off your spoon. The nuts provide healthy fats and protein, the fruit provides energy, flavor, and vitamins, and the seeds (hemp, chia, or flax) provide heart health, added protein, and aid in digestion. A no-brainer for anyone looking for a healthy snack option! We have several different flavors that we bring every week: Cheeky Cashew Cherry Chia, Peanut Butter Hemp-Honey PowerUp, Almond-Apricot Cinna-Flax, Peanut Butter Cacao, and more!

Do you have any personal favorites amongst your products?
I am obsessed with our homemade nut milks. We make a Hazelnut-Coconut Milk for example and I love it in my coffee or just to drink on its own. It is made with all raw ingredients and the creaminess and flavor profile is outrageous! It is a big seller as well and definitely one of my absolute favorites!

What are some of your other favorite stalls at the Jersey City markets?
Poplar Wood Farm does gorgeous organic veggies and flowers!
Peace.Love.Pops makes awesomely fresh unprocessed popsicles. Perfect for the hot weather!
Taproot Organics makes amazing organic body products (love their bug spray and deodorant and lotion)!
Blue Moon makes awesome guacamole. They do it right. Trust me. Yum.

Any other information you think customers would want to know?
We take preorders and email signups to guarantee food for our customers. Email for more info.

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