October 4, 2023

With an open house event at the Capital Region Welcome Center in New Baltimore, New York State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball today resumed the State’s 10-year anniversary celebration of Taste NY, New York’s official “eat local, drink local” program. The occasion highlighted the different and distinctive goods produced and cultivated in the State of New York, as well as its farmers and food and beverage manufacturers. In honor of the Taste NY program’s success over the past ten years, including the $732,000 in sales at the Capital Region Welcome Center since its debut in 2018, today’s celebration was the fourth in a series of activities scheduled around the state. More than 190 vendors from all throughout the state have contributed goods to the Welcome Center.

Commissioner Ball said,

“Over the last ten years, our Taste NY program has been a fantastic resource for our regional farmers and producers, assisting in the growth of their companies and introducing them to new clients. Our Regional Welcome Centers, which feature the top regional goods from every part of the state, are largely responsible for this achievement. We appreciate the efforts of the Columbia County Cornell Cooperative Extension team and look forward to another 10 years of recognizing regional farmers.

Since its inception, Taste NY has expanded dramatically, generating approximately $100 million in economic effect for New York State producers over the course of the program’s ten-year lifespan. Nearly 70 venues in New York State now carry New York State goods, including the Javits Center, airports, state parks, the state’s 11 welcome centers, and more. To bring Taste NY products to major sporting events like the 2023 FISU World University Games and the Saratoga Race Course, Taste NY has also partnered with sports venues like the MVP Arena and the Blue Cross Arena and formed partnerships with well-known event organizers. Most recently, Rochester’s 2023 PGA Championship featured Taste NY producers prominently. A changing selection of food and drinks from more than 100 wineries, craft brewers, cideries, meaderies, distilleries, and food producers in New York State were on display at the famed sporting event’s Taste NY Tasting Bar.

At the Capital Region Welcome Center’s celebration today, local agricultural, tourist, and auxiliary organizations came together to introduce guests to the New York farmers and producers whose goods are sold there. Liberty Farms, Love Apple Farm, Jourdin’s Maple Syrup, See & Be Kitchen, and Vasilow’s Confectionary were among the vendors who provided samples during the event. The Welcome Center also provided free delivery on orders over $50 and 10% off online purchases. Additionally, each order will receive a 20% off and free delivery voucher through email that may be applied to the following purchase. For $10.00, customers may have any Love Apple breakfast panini or sandwich along with a small coffee or tea.

Thruway Authority Interim Executive Director Frank G. Hoare said, 

When Thruway users see the Taste NY market at our service stops and welcome centers, they are aware that they will discover a range of distinctive food and drink goods that best reflect New York. Over the past 10 years, the Taste NY program has introduced New York State products to tourists from all over the world, and local towns may be happy that their area companies are represented statewide. We are happy to mark Taste NY’s tenth anniversary and are forward to continue working together on this fruitful initiative.

Victoria Giarratano, Assistant Director for Food Systems and Innovation, Cornell Cooperative Extension, said,

As a part of the Taste NY initiative, Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) is pleased to collaborate with the Department of Agriculture and Markets. The CCE’s work in food systems, which has a significant influence on the economic viability of New York State, includes the capacity to assist farmers, vendors, and small companies in expanding fresh and shelf-stable products across the state and beyond.

Mark Cheffo, Owner of Liberty Farms, said 

“We have a great relationship with Taste NY. Our consumer base has grown as a result, and we now have the chance to market our goods there. Additionally, Taste NY assisted us in obtaining clearance for new products, enhancing our packaging and labeling, and raising awareness of Liberty Farms throughout the Hudson Valley and in our hometown. Happy 10th anniversary!”

About the Capital Region Welcome Center

The Taste NY Market at the Capital Region Welcome Center was established in 2018 and is run as a joint venture between Cornell Cooperative Extension of Columbia and Green Counties. In order to promote food and beverage producers from the Capital Region and around New York, the Welcome Center works closely with local agricultural and culinary vendors. The Welcome Center also offers one-on-one advising with vendors to assist them grow their businesses and their product offerings.

The Capital Region Welcome Center showcases a historic facade in the Dutch architectural style to celebrate the area’s close ties to the Netherlands and to promote the local tourist sector, rich history, and cuisine. A playground for kids with a musical theme is located just outside the building as an homage to the area’s numerous theaters and performing arts venues.

In addition to offering a large variety of freshly prepared breakfast and lunch dishes, including as soups, salads, sandwiches, and desserts, the Taste NY Market inside the Welcome Center also sells distinctive local gifts and grab-and-go snacks. A video wall and interactive I LOVE NY kiosks that highlight regional tourist sites are also included.

The New York State Department of Transportation, Empire State Development, and the New York State Thruway Authority are working with the Department to host a number of activities at Welcome Centers around the state to commemorate Taste NY’s tenth anniversary this year. Additionally, a dedicated website page chronicling significant occasions in the program’s ten years will be created, along with social media campaigns and other initiatives. ShopTasteNY.com is also offering 10% off online orders and free delivery on online purchases over $50 as a way of supporting the statewide #TasteTurns10 celebration. Additionally, each order will receive a 20% off and free delivery voucher through email that may be applied to the following purchase. The following occasion will occur on June 21 in the Southern Tier. When it becomes available, information on new events will be posted on Taste.NY.gov.

About Taste NY

Taste NY showcases the superiority, variety, and economic value of food and drink made in New York State through farming, processing, or manufacturing. Through collaborations, events, and retail venues including The Great New York State Fair and the Barclays Tournament at Bethpage State Park, Taste NY seeks to provide new options for producers. Through retail locations, events, and sponsorships, Taste NY has helped approximately 2,000 food and beverage manufacturers that are a member of the program over the past ten years. 311 additional producers joined the program in 2022 thanks to additional York’s Welcome Centers. The food and beverage companies affiliated with Taste NY help the state’s farmers by using locally grown and produced ingredients into their goods.

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