Boerum’s Business: Gumbo

31 10 2009


493 Atlantic Ave.

(718) 855-7808

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On the north side of Atlantic Ave in Boerum Hill, mothers, nannies and a daddy or two are jostling with each other to get their strollers into the door of Gumbo. They have arrived to participate in “Music for Aardvarks,” a sing-along that celebrates children growing up in an urban environment. “Sometimes I think the parents enjoy it more than the children do,” laughs Karen Zebulon, the stores owner. Gumbo offers many weekly classes for both children and adults including guitar, knitting, and Spanish lessons, which Zebulon says has become very popular. Click here for a full list of classes.


Rebecca Sokoll doing "Music for Aardvarks"

On top of the classes, Gumbo sells hundreds of products for both kids and adults. “We try to offer parents things they can’t find at a department store,” says Zebulon. “So we have lots of handcrafted, unique products.” She actually hand makes some of the items herself, such asĀ  knitted or sewn baby’s hats and pants. Gumbo has recently partnered with Stevie’s Artisans, a collective of fine artists who produce handcrafts and wearable art.


These earrings were designed by Naemeh Shirazi and are made from recycled milk cartons.


This watch is made in South America by Ecowrists using bamboo, nuts, and leather. It retails for $99


Gumbo appeals to the fashion sense of chic Brooklyn moms with products like this navy floral pattern dress, made by Ivette Urbaez, a Dominican-American artist.

Finally, everyone loves Bella, Zebulon’s 9-year-old long-haired dachshund. Friendly and welcoming to everyone, Bella has allowed several kids to get over their fear of dogs, says Zebulon.


Gumbo is 0pen 11-7, 11-6 on Sunday and special opening times for classes. Check out the gallery to see more products and a tour of the store by the owner below. How do people like the classes and products at Gumbo?