One Year of Salt City Market — Is Syracuse Food Scene Diverse? One Year of Salt City Market--Does Syracuse Know its Culinary Chops?

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News)– When Adam Sudmann partnered with the Allyn Family Foundation to open Salt City Market, he identified a problem he wanted to solve. He saw that there was cuisine for Syracuse residents to try from all around the world… but they had no idea where to find it.

“We have these cultures… they’re sort of infamously siloed, right?” Sudmann said. “You stay in your corner, I stay in my corner… it’s not a very interesting way to live.” 


The project took Sudmann nearly ten years to envision and execute, and it’s now been just over exactly one year since the grand opening in early 2021. Planning the market during the pandemic presented myriad challenges. But Sudmann believed in what he was doing.

“This is a thrilling concept,” he said. “It is a trendy concept.” 

The market is now celebrating its one-year anniversary, and first-time restaurant owners have brought food from all corners of the world to their respective corners of the food hall. 


Latoya Ricks, owner of Jamaican fusion restaurant Erma’s Island, left her career as a nurse to pursue her dream of opening her own business. She has been astonished by the support from the local community. 


“That’s an amazing thing, as a first-time business owner,” she said. “That you’re supported, that you’re loved, that people are coming to you.”

She’s not the only one pleased with the response to her cuisine. 

“I think it’s okay to say that she’s just killing it, I mean… people love her food,” Sudmann said. “The response to her has been overwhelming.” 

Duyen Nguyen, owner of the popular Cake Bar café, comes from a family of Vietnamese bakers. She worked in cafes in Syracuse from the moment she migrated with her family in 2012 right up until she was accepted as part of the vendor program at Salt City Market. She makes a variety of cakes people are generally familiar with in Syracuse, but incorporating flavors from Vietnam and other parts of Asia. 

“She’s a geek about it,” Sudmann said. The pictures she sent us of her portfolio of what she was creating in terms of cakes, cupcakes… were just awesome, I’m so in awe of her.”


Nguyen has been extremely pleased with the support she’s received from Sudmann and the admin team, but also her fellow restauranteurs.

“Whenever I have some problem I just run over there,” she said, mimicking running over to talk to a colleague. “That is the good thing about this building because everyone is a new restaurant owner.” 


What’s clear is for all the vendors, the market is a special opportunity—but also a special community.

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