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Today we kick off a new series in which we explore the borough, asking makers and purveyors of good things to eat and drink a very simple question that’s been asked for generations – “What’s Good Today?”

Our first stop? Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain in Carroll Gardens, where we spoke with co-owner, designer, and ‘big sister’ of the whole operation, Gia Giasullo.

So Gia, what’s good today at Farmacy?

Our seasonal sodas are one of our signature things here. We make our own syrups throughout the year featuring whatever’s in season right now. And right now, at the end of summer, it’s all about the blueberry.

Gia Giasullo of Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain serves up a Black & Blue – a float featuring housemade blueberry soda made with fresh berries from the local Greenmarket and a scoop of black raspberry ice cream. Photo © Heather Phelps Lipton

The blueberry syrup is one of my favorites. I love blueberries. I love the taste of them, and I love the color of them. We get a whole bunch of blueberries from the Greenmarket each year, and we make a big batch of this beautiful purple syrup with them. We use it in sodas – we just mix the syrup with seltzer poured from the fountain. We use it in egg creams, floats, shakes…in pies, in muffins. Blueberries are everywhere at Farmacy at this time of year. It’s the best time of year for people who love purple. [laughter.]

Who wouldn’t love something purple and delicious?

I know! My little brother [and Farmacy co-owner] Peter and I grew up in the middle of nowhere in Maine. One thing we had all around us in late summer was wild blueberries. We were raised wandering around the land surrounding our house picking and eating wild blueberries. We always felt very blessed to be surrounded by blueberries. It seemed like all we’d eat in late summer was blueberries, blueberries, blueberries. So now we try to bring a little of that to our corner of Brooklyn.

So where are the blueberries from?

We got our blueberries this year from Phillips Farm in New Jersey. They’re at a lot of the local Greenmarkets. We got ten flats – a hundred and twenty pints – and made a whole big batch. We make it the way you’d make any kind of traditional simple syrup. Since we only use fresh ingredients we freeze it to preserve the flavor. We have a quart at a time on hand in the shop and when we need more, we pull another bottle from the freezer.

Just like anything seasonal, when it’s gone, it’s gone. Until next year. And that’s what we love about it!


Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain is located at 513 Henry Street, at the corner of Sackett, in Carroll Gardens.

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