Friends, we have a problem. According to the United Nations, the world’s soil has become so degraded and stripped by conventional agriculture that only 60 harvests remain. Not only is food quantity at risk, but so is quality. And a Kashi Institute study found that over the past 20 years, nutrient-levels in fresh produce have taken a dangerous nosedive. Average calcium levels dropped 27% and vitamin C levels dropped by 30% due to toxic practices in conventional agriculture.

Local Roots NYC is on a mission to change all that.

Established in 2011, Local Roots NYC is an independent, minority woman-owned business and grassroots movement building a community-driven, regenerative food system in New York City. With a dream team of food enthusiasts, home cooks, community advocates, and agriculture experts, we’re connecting our fellow neighbors with local family farmers, bringing the joy and nutrition of peak-flavor food to more and more neighborhoods, and empowering our local community to create a healthier, more just, sustainable and delicious future — for all of us.

It all began when former AmeriCorps food justice maven, farmers market worker and soon-to-be Local Roots founder, Wen-Jay Ying, was backstage with The Flaming Lips. The lead singer of the band shared one piece of advice with her: to put all her focus on her local community. Luckily for us, that’s exactly what she did.

Since the first market pickup in 2011, Local Roots has been a community-oriented business that combines grassroots energy, on-the-ground experience, an obsession with soil health and regenerative food systems to build the local food utopia we envision for fellow New Yorkers and family farmers.

Today, you’ll find our female-led team running around to distribute over 60,000 pounds of sustainable produce a year — connecting 1,500+ New York households with freshly harvested and nutrient-dense food sourced from over 15 family farms and more than 20 small-batch purveyors. Our small team is dedicated to nourishing New Yorkers the best way we know how — with thoughtfully grown ingredients so damn flavorful that it gets you excited to support the local economy while being part of a transparent and equitable food system.

All our produce, meat and dairy is grown and raised within a 5-hour drive of New York City. We’ve built long-term relationships with family farmers and purveyors who care for their land and surrounding ecosystems with regenerative practices like crop rotation, natural pest management and water conservation. They give their animals room to roost and pastures to roam, without hormones or antibiotics. They’re our food family and partners in the regenerative food revolution.

In 2021, we opened the Local Roots NYC Market & Cafe — a cozy and beautifully designed gathering place for locals to meet, eat and explore sustainable living, together. Located in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, the Market curates just-picked produce from our local farmers and purveyors as well as prepared food and ingredients, alongside sustainable beauty and home goods. The Cafe sources its ingredients from our family of farmers and serves dishes inspired by Wen Jay’s favorite childhood comfort food dishes. The Market & Cafe hosts a range of in-person and virtual community events, inspiring workshops and fun hangouts. So whether you’re in the mood to roll up your sleeves and get cooking at home, to pop in and grab a healthy, delicious bite to-go, or to have a seat and be taken care of, our neighborhood home is here for you. Come see, smell and taste for yourself!

With our Harvest Club and Market & Cafe, Local Roots NYC makes it easier to get a taste of local food and make it part of your regular routine.

Meet Wen-Jay

Food lover. Farm fan. Sustainability expert. Our fearless founder is all about creating a real life utopia by building meaningful relationships rooted in food. Combining first generation hustle with female intuition, Wen-Jay Ying leads Local Roots and our regenerative agriculture revolution.





Wen-Jay Ying

Founder & CEO

Demian Nunez

Ops Team Lead

Camryn Hellwarth

Director of Programming & Community Engagement

Hannah Mitchell

Café General Manager

Lindsay Dobbs

Market Leader

Become a Harvest Club Pick Up Location

Are you a NY based cafe, bar, or neighborhood business? Become a Harvest Club pick up location and have community members come to your establishment each week to pick up their Local Roots harvest.