Food Lovers: How Joseph Shuldiner and Kevin West Helped Transform Grand Central Market


The duo behind many of the new vendors who have put Grand Central Market on the national map share the steps it took to make it all happen:

Step 1: Mind the Antiques
“The market’s owner, Adele Yel-lin, was incredibly serious about maintaining the history and the high-low mix,” says West. “That made us really excited.”

Step 2: Tour, Tour, Tour
“We took everyone through,” says Shuldiner. “We had a script down: ‘Here’s the history; here’s what’s happening now. Do you want in?’ ”

Step 3: Pick and Choose
“We made a spreadsheet with 50 questions called the Vend-O-Matic,” says Shuldiner. “We’d run potential vendors through it to see if they fit in.”

(Oh, and open the best coffee, Thai, ’cue, and more in the whole dang city)

Step 4: Say We Told You So
“Some of the early skeptics called back when they saw what was happening,” says Shuldiner. “Like Micah Wexler of Wexler’s Deli.”

Step 5: Keep Evolving
“We’re still looking for produce and bread options,” says Shuldiner. “From there,” says West, “it’s about bringing in as many diverse options as possible.”

Joseph Shuldiner and Kevin West are two of 25 L.A. “Food Lovers” featured in our November, 2014 Food Lovers Guide on newsstands now