The Brooklyn-based cafe-and-market concept, Poppy’s, is opening a second outpost in Brooklyn Heights this fall, its owner Jamie Erickson says.
Poppy’s began as a catering service offered to the Cobble Hill and Carroll Gardens area, eventually opening its brick-and-mortar flagship with weekend hours on 234 Degraw Street in Cobble Hill in 2013. It’s named after her grandfather who used to work behind the counter at the East Village’s B&H Dairy. The pandemic brought about a series of non-stop pivots, which made Erickson focus more on her brand’s community-oriented cafe. Erickson says she plans to employ the same outlook while approaching the new larger outpost coming to 48 Henry Street in Brooklyn Heights, which was formerly occupied by the coveted cafe, Cranberry’s, for over 40 years and shut down about three years ago. Poppy’s expansion is thanks to an agreement Erickson reached with the now-defunct cafe’s owner Jim Montemarano to hand over his keys.
“It feels like big shoes [to fill] but it also feels totally right,” Erickson tells What Now New York. “It felt kismet. There was no looking elsewhere. There was such good karma in the space. We want to build on their legacy and be the new-age version of what they brought for so many years.”
The new outpost will hone in on its community-oriented cafe and dial back its large scale catering events. While currently working through construction and permitting, she is also tinkering with the new menu. She anticipates offering similar sandwiches, coffee, pastries, and specialty grocery items, but will also provide more prepared foods including rotisserie chicken. She also anticipates keeping later hours than her flagship because the location is primed for more foot traffic from commuters.
Erickson has a long history in the hospitality industry. She started working in high school as hostess at Tribeca’s Bubby’s, but she really fell head over heels while working in college at Denver’s The Kitchen American Bistro, considered one of the first farm-to-table restaurants, which works with local farmers to create a menu that changes daily.
“It was something that was pretty cutting edge at the time,” she says about The Kitchen’s farm-to-table concept.
She also toured the James Beard House with the team, where she learned about backend business matters. She has brought these lessons with her while pursuing her own ventures, supporting local farms to create a seasonal menu with fresh ingredients.
“That’s been a mission from day one,” she says.