A lot of companies claim their products have the Brooklyn mojo, but now consumers around the world will know which items really orginated from the borough.
Companies big and small that do business in Kings County can now show off their hometown pride with the "Brooklyn Made" designation. Carlo Scissura, the CEO of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, which created and maintains the campaign, said the certifications help distinguish the businesses from other organizations that have capitalized on the borough's popularity boom.
"You might want to use the word Brooklyn, but if you're not in Brooklyn, you're not Brooklyn born and made," he said at a news conference Tuesday with representatives from the 41 businesses that were certified.
An independent advisory committee reviewed 47 applications for the certification and awarded the moniker at three different levels: gold, silver, and bronze. The criteria for those levels includes the percentage of the raw materials that are bought in Brooklyn or New York State as a whole, how much of the manufacturing is done in the borough and how many of the employees are Brooklyn residents.
Some of the companies that were certified include Cool Tech Mechanical Corp., a Williamsburg company that produces food processing equipment; Cracked Candy, a Downtown Brooklyn business that makes sugar-free sweets; MakerBot Industries, a 3-D printing company based at Metrotech; and Prospect Lefferts Gardens furniture shop Reclaimed Home.
"The applicants came from everywhere in the borough ... and the industries were from everywhere too," Scissura said.
Michael Cacace, who manages Michael's of Brooklyn in Marine Park, which also sells its homemade sauce across the country, said he has seen a huge demand for Brooklyn-branded products when he goes to trade shows.
He said a lot of other companies that aren't Brooklyn based are at those shows with borough-branded products and applauded the chamber for attempting to show the world which entrepreneurs truly call Brooklyn home. "Everyone wants a piece of Brooklyn," he said. "This certification will let people know what is real Brooklyn."
Scissura encouraged more borough businesses to apply for "Brooklyn Made" certification on the Chamber of Commerce's website. He added businesses outside the borough that use the Brooklyn brand should move their operations into Kings County and take advantage of the program.
He also encouraged other boroughs to showcase their up-and-coming homegrown entrepreneurs. "Every place should be proud and be excited and own what they have," he said.