Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Project Eats 2017 Meet the Vendor: Baonanas

The Jersey City Project's Project Eats 2017 is back on 6/24 and 6/25 with new vendors and returning favorites, all ready to serve up some delicious, indulgent eats. To help get you ready, I'm excited to be collaborating with The Jersey City Project to spotlight some of the vendors from this year's Project Eats, learning more about their business, their food, and what they love about Jersey City.

This week, we're focusing on some favorite Jersey City vendors. Check out Baonanas, a Jersey City born & bred company that started under unfortunate circumstances to end up setting its founders on a whole new path!
Photo courtesy of Baonanas FB

Tell me about #Baonanas- how did it get started?
Lloyd here! #Baonanas got it’s humble start in 2014. After our yellow car was involved in a minor hit and run, my girlfriend Trisha and I began selling our homemade banana pudding to afford the repairs. As college students, we dedicated our weekends to fulfilling orders and used the hashtag #baonanas to spread the word. Thanks to the love, support, and encouragement from friends and strangers alike, we fixed our car in a month and were encouraged to keep this thing going. Thus, #Baonanas Banana Pudding was formed. While juggling our classes, we developed an online store and began collaborating with local businesses to offer #Baonanas in various neighborhoods of the city we grew up in. In 2016, we acquired the #Baomobile, a peddle/push-cart designed and handcrafted in Italy, which you can find at farmers markets, weddings, and corporate events all around NJ/NYC. 

How do you come up with all the different flavors of your pudding? There are so many great options.
Trisha and I are huge foodies and we enjoy finding ways to #Baonana-fy any of our favorite foods and desserts. Some flavors like #FrenchToast or #StrawberryBaonanas, came to us pretty easily...we pondered what we loved in other forms of dessert and explored how to best bring out those flavors in a banana pudding. However, Trisha is the more creative one expanding the flavors and ingredients we use. With flavors like Mango, Lychee-Rose with strawberries, and Strawberry Baosil up her sleeve, she steps away from using bananas completely and has created a mousse-like, tiramisu-like dessert that’s really unique from what you usually find on Yelp.

You got your start in Jersey City, but have also vended all over at this point - Food & Wine, Smorgasburg, etc. What is unique about Jersey City? What keeps you inspired here?
Jersey City is the city that raised us, the city that gave #Baonanas its start, and the city that keeps #Baonanas going. Our mission is to offer every neighborhood in Jersey City something unique, and we want people to discover why this city is so beautiful. Trisha and I love how you can have Korean, Italian, Middle Eastern, and Dominican food on the same block, and the authenticity you can find in the food and the people we interact with. We want to continue being a part of this growing and thriving city, and think Jersey City is the next big thing on the East Coast.

You're a repeat vendor at Project: Eats. What are you looking forward to?
It’s safe to say our favorite part of being a part of Project: Eats is connecting with the locals on a more personal level. We love to joke and really learn about how people’s days are going, how they found out about us, or how they like their first bite of #Baonanas. We’ve been a bit limited lately with our participation at local events because of our current production space/situation, but we have exciting news for early 2018 that we can’t wait to share with people. 

What vendors are you looking forward to?
Ahh, there’s too many to name! It’s been a while since we’ve tasted the delicious musubis from Eemas Cuisine. 

What are your top #Baonanas picks?
I think the Lychee-Rose with layers of fresh strawberries and lychees is my current favorite. The layers of Nilla wafers and fresh fruit is refreshing to the palette, and its something that comes in season for a few months out of the year. However, if its your first time, youve got to go with the OG #Baonanas! The one that started it all, its a nice introduction into what we do best!

Thank you to #Baonanas and make sure to visit them both Saturday and Sunday at Project: EATS  so you can try all the delicious flavors of their fluffy pudding. 

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