communities / New York City

It's A New York Thing

Initiative Overview

It's A New York Thing

In New York, the only thing more iconic than the city itself are its people. With our own headquarters based in NYC for decades, we have a long history of being a part of its diverse and passionate community. In Summer 2021, we launched a campaign to give 9 talented locals $10,000 each to support their own unapologetic embodiment of the city’s true character. We also invited New Yorkers to nominate 6 of their fellow locals to get their own shot at $10K in support of their passion, for a total of $150,000 going to people who help make the city what it is.

These prizes were part of a larger campaign to feature locals across billboards and digital placements, along with custom product packaging just for our customers and consumers in NYC. Recognizable landmarks such as the Brooklyn Bridge, Central Park, and even the classic NYC hot dog vendor get a shout-out in an initiative that can only be done in the greatest city in the world.

NYC Initiative Overview
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There's no other place, or people, like it

Community Impact

Unapologetically NYC

Spanning all five Boroughs and representing musicians, artists, entrepreneurs and more, we selected nine New Yorkers to feature and reward with a $10,000 grant. From subway performers to bodega owners, these are the real people who bring unapologetic joy to New York City.

  • BLU DeTiger
  • Hass Kwame
  • Tariq Zaid
  • Saw Lady
  • Andrew Ousley
  • Ahmed Alwan
  • Pixie Aventura
  • Shealyn Brand
  • Caitlin Doyle

Meet the Faces of NYC

  • Ahmed Alwan
    Ahmed Alwan

    A young bodega owner in the Bronx who rose to TikTok fame through the unique, playful way he engages with his customers.

  • Pixie Aventura
    Pixie Aventura

    A Manhattan drag queen, actor, host and singer bringing high energy performances across the city while championing LatinX representation.

  • Shealyn Brand
    Shealyn Brand

    A Brooklynite who turned her love of pizza into a business, spreading some much needed positivity (and pepperonis!) across her city.

  • BLU Detiger
    BLU Detiger

    An up-and-coming recording artist and bassist born and bred in NYC with a passionate following in the TikTok community.

  • Caitin Doyle
    Caitin Doyle

    An actress and creative in Queens who started in the Instagram account @UrbanHaiku as an ode to her beloved New York City.

  • Andrew Ousley
    Andrew Ousley

    A Brooklyn musician and founder of Death of Classical, a group that plays classical music in crypts, cemeteries and other unusual locations.

  • Natalia “Saw Lady” Paruz
    Natalia “Saw Lady” Paruz

    A subway performer from Queens who uses the tool of destruction to create eerily enchanting music.

  • Kwame ‘Hass’ Thimbiano
    Kwame ‘Hass’ Thimbiano

    A hospitality worker and artist behind Danyaki designs, a custom apron brand for professional chefs based in the Bronx.

  • Tariq Zaid
    Tariq Zaid

    A Staten Island-based entrepreneur who opened local clothing shop Richmond Hood Co., and Vodega, a vegan bodega.

  • Dominique Nieves
    Dominique Nieves

    A Nuyorican writer-director, she created the Read LatinX Writers Initiative, pairing emerging Latin writers with WGA writers and network executives.

  • Greg Banks
    Greg Banks

    A musician transplant from New Orleans, Greg started Concert on the Block during quarantine and performed free concerts for his neighbors.

  • Jennifer Poe
    Jennifer Poe

    Born and raised in NYC, she serves as a Grand Central Food Program volunteer with The Coalition for the Homeless.

  • Qiana Martin
    Qiana Martin

    A renowed TEDx speaker, Qiana uses her love of soccer to inspire, educate and entertain New Yorkers and teach STEM to elementary students.

  • Rebecca Magazine
    Rebecca Magazine

    With experience as a dancer, aerialist and performer, she has worked with respected companies such as ABCirque and The Ring Cycle.

  • Sarah Yuster
    Sarah Yuster

    A painter know for her urban landscapes and insight portraits, her artwork is displayed in institutions and buildings throughout the city.


“This campaign is about continuing to show our pride and support for New York City, our home for decades, and celebrating the people whose diversity, unique energy and unapologetic enjoyment for their passions make it one of the best places in the world.”

— Umi Patel, former CMO, PepsiCo North Division

Umi Patel
New York City Partners


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