At Local Roots, we believe in the power of community. That we can connect fellow New Yorkers and sustainable family farmers. That if we work together, we can heal our broken food system and create a healthier, more delicious, just and sustainable future for all of us. That together, we're unstoppable.
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.
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.
We live in a messy, complicated and sometimes scary world. But at our core, we are optimists. We know we gotta see it to achieve it. So we choose to focus our energy on what’s possible. By leaning into our curiosity, passion and vision, we’re creating healthier ways of growing, eating and living together in harmony.
We’re constantly sharing our knowledge and actively pushing what’s next in sustainable agriculture — from attending conferences on soil science to collaborating with experts in regenerative agriculture, ecology and soil science, animal behavior, culinary arts, community organizing and sustainable business. Together, we’re innovating the way forward.
It’s not always easy, but we hold ourselves to higher standards. From regenerative agriculture and animal welfare to our minimal packaging and carbon footprint. From keeping our word to family farmers to keeping it real with our customers. From the highest quality, taste-tested, peak-flavor food to the most delicious recipes.
Local Roots is all about bringing people together to co-create the community we want to live in. Together, we’re enriching our local economies, creating resilient local food systems, translating food science and sustainability for everyday New Yorkers, and creating a culture that values our connection to the land and each other.
Founder & CEO
Director of Programming & Community Engagement
Director of Programming & Community Engagement
Camryn grew up eating the harvests of her hometown's CSA and has been obsessed with food systems ever since. In an effort to bring produce to the people, she's worked with organizations like Teens for Food Justice, Blue Hill Restaurant, Greyston Bakery, Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont, and Sprouts Cooking Club. Camryn's spirit vegetable is spaghetti squash.
Café General Manager
Café General Manager
My love and obsession for local food came from my roots in the farmland of Lancaster, PA. We lived around an abundance of fresh, local produce, and I loved learning to cook and serve it up in the kitchen with my mom. Since then I went on to study public health & nutrition and have grown a passion for working in kitchens and helping increase access to healthy food in underserved communities. What initially drew me to Local Roots was their commitment to the community and making change in the food system. Since becoming a market leader I’ve learned about more varieties of produce, how to be a creative cook, and the value of the hard work and love the farmers and purveyors put into their food. I’m so grateful to now be working with Local Roots as their Market & Cafe GM. My spirit veggie is the watermelon radish!
Lindsay loves working for Local Roots because they value the environmental and systemic benefits of buying local as well as the unbeatable flavor of our mushrooms and produce! Aside from bagging your shares, Lindsay leads a band called Starla Online where they play keyboard, trombone, and sing. Their spirit fruit is a lemon because of its complimentary tanginess and radiant color.
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