Aside from the numerous franchise grocery stores and fast-food restaurants, Kensington is home to some of the city’s most interesting food storefronts.
Vivero Saba Halal Live Poultry
In the middle of an urban jungle, the pungent smell of a farm overwhelms the block of West Lehigh Avenue and Mutter Street. But it’s not a farm that stands on the block, it’s a live poultry storefront. Opened two years ago, Vivero sells a variety of fresh meat from chickens and turkeys to cows and goats. Following halal practices, the animals are slaughtered by a Muslim in a way that causes the animal’s death without cutting the spinal cord.
Kensington Community Food Co-op
Located on West Lehigh Avenue and Coral Street as what was formerly O’Reilly’s Pub, a new member-based grocery store is soon going to take its place. The Kensington Community Food Co-op will feature healthy, quality food along with a 500-square foot garden space and a cafe that will sell beer, making it the state’s first co-op to sell beer at an on-site cafe.
Bringing together art and food, owner M.L. Simone first envisioned the cafe as a coffee house with an artistic aspect offering art classes. But since the Kensington community was not as knowledgeable about art as Simone said she originally thought, Hinge Cafe has since turned into a comforting space with an eclectic atmosphere that preserves artistic integrity.
“Food is an art form,” Simone said. “We also maintain artistic integrity because most things here are hand-made. All of the paintings on the wall are from local artists.”
Not just a City Supported Agriculture (CSA) program, Greensgrow Farms is a pioneer in the reuse of urban brownfields which buy from local producers and businesses within 150 miles of Philadelphia. Nathan Hasler-Brooks, Greensgrow’s sole farmer, said the CSA provides food for 900 families around the city.
Little Baby’s Ice Cream
Balsamic Banana, Chipotle Chocolate, Pizza and Black Pepper Butter Pecan are only a few of the unique flavors offered at Little Baby’s Ice Cream located on Frankford Avenue in East Kensington. Little Baby’s prides itself in offering hand-made ice cream for everyone, including non-dairy and vegan customers.
“I can tell they’re trying to push the envelope here,” said Andrew Lengel, a first-time customer. “It’s refreshing.”
Text and images by Anna Ryan and Shauna Bannan