Crain’s Extra: The secret sauce for this Bronx BID is sauce license

The Secret Sauce For This Bronx BID Is Sauce License

Between Chinatown stretching north and SoHo stretching east, there’s not much left of Little Italy in Manhattan. If you want the best salumerias, pizzerias and ice cream parlors in town, head to Arthur Avenue in the Bronx.

How Italian is Little Italy in the Bronx? Let me tell you: they use tomato sauce to keep the streets clean.

Looks like a few years ago Summer Garden Food Manufacturing in Ohio introduced a new line of pasta sauces. Some savvy Arthur Avenue business leaders sniffed out the opportunity and in 2018 struck a deal to lend their neighborhood’s name in return for a share of the stock. The Little Italy in the Bronx line of red sauces has started appearing on supermarket shelves.

The Arthur Avenue Business Improvement District has earned $130,000 in revenue from sauce sales over the past two years, according to BID’s audited financial statements. The money is three-quarters of the cost of keeping neighborhood streets clean, a key job of BIDS, which are like chambers of commerce that also provide sanitation and safety services.

The city’s more than 70 BIDs normally fund themselves by appraising landlords, who pass the cost on to commercial tenants. But the tomato sauce deal allowed Arthur Avenue BID to maintain its services without asking hard-hit restaurants and other small businesses to dip deeper into their pockets.

Peter Madonia, whose family has owned an Arthur Avenue bakery since 1918 and is president of the Belmont District Management Association, said: “The sauce is as good as anything on the market, if not better.

We report, you decide.

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