The unsavory news proved hard to swallow for scores of Brooklyn food vendors.
A two-year-old company providing space for 179 culinary businesses in a massive Bedford-Stuyvestant building went belly up this past weekend, suddenly shutting its doors as the vendors scrambled to save their inventory — and their income.
Donna Davis, owner of Veggie Grub, was among the entrepreneurs hard at work this past Saturday when Pilotworks closed its operation without warning around 5 p.m. The sounds of chefs creating catered meals were drowned out by security guards hired to empty the vast space that once housed the drug company Pfizer.
“People were cooking, food was in the ovens, food was on the grill,” recounted Davis. “People were only allowed to grab whatever they had already packed and they were escorted out.”
Sebastian Jaramillo, co-founder of Mi Casa Food, was making a delivery run when his phone rang. A panicked kitchen employee delivered word of Pilotworks’ closure, effective immediately.
“They had two minutes to leave the space or else the police would be called,” said Jaramillo. “The gas lines were being cut off. They had to leave because they were going to deadbolt the doors … People still had food on the stoves. People still had food that needed to go out that day for delivery.”