Jimmy Kunz -
Renaissance has helped this specialty food business take off.
The Truffleist is a start-up food company created in 2013 by Jimmy Kunz to produce hand-crafted, small batch truffle products. Production is based out of a commercial kitchen in Long Island City, Queens. Items are sold retail and wholesale to restaurants and specialty shops, as well as at Whole Foods. A line of truffle oils and butter, plus a wildly popular cheesesteak sandwich, are available at holiday markets throughout New York City.
The business is one of the most popular attractions at Madison Square Eats alongside Madison Square Park and at Gansevoort Market in Chelsea. During the holidays, in November and December, the company enjoys its most profitable sales period of the entire year.
In 2016, Kunz approached Renaissance Economic Development Corp. (REDC) for a low-interest loan to finance The Truffleist’s expansion at the Union Square, Columbus Circle and Bryant Park markets. The loan helped Kunz purchase inventory and pay rent. The business has created 11 part-time and 2 full-time jobs. During the holidays, The Truffleist hires an additional 7 employees.