Taste Capital Region
May 25, 2023
Albany, NY

State Agriculture Commissioner Celebrates Taste NY 10th Anniversary at Capital Region Welcome Center

State Agriculture Commissioner Celebrates Taste NY 10th Anniversary at Capital Region Welcome Center
Capital Region Welcome Center’s Sales of Local New York Products Have Totaled Over $732,000 Since its Opening
New York's Flagship Eat Local, Drink Local Program Has Delivered Over $100 Million in Economic Impact Over its 10 Years

New York State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball today continued the State's 10-year anniversary celebration of Taste NY, New York's official 'eat local, drink local' program, with an open house event at the Capital Region Welcome Center in New Baltimore. The event showcased New York's farmers and food and beverage producers and the diverse and unique products grown and made in the State. Today's celebration marked the fourth in a series of events that are planned across the state in recognition of the 2023 10-year milestone and the Taste NY program's success over the last decade, including $732,000 in sales at the Capital Region Welcome Center since its opening in 2018.  The Welcome Center has brought in products from over 190 vendors across the state.

Commissioner Ball said, “Over the last decade, our Taste NY program has been a tremendous resource to our local farmers and producers, helping to expand their businesses and introduce them to new customers. We owe a lot of this success to our Regional Welcome Centers, which showcase the best local products from every corner of the state. We thank the team at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Columbia County for their hard work and look forward to another 10 years of celebrating local producers.”

Taste NY has grown significantly since its launch, bringing over $100 million in economic impact to New York State producers over 10 years of the program. New York State products can now be found at nearly 70 locations across New York State, including the 11 regional Welcome Centers, airports, State parks, the Javits Center, and more. Over the last decade Taste NY has also partnered with sports venues, such as the MVP Arena and the Blue Cross Arena, and formed partnerships with high profile event organizers to bring Taste NY products to major sporting events such as the 2023 FISU World University Games, and the Saratoga Race Course. Most recently, Taste NY producers were highlighted at the 2023 PGA Championship in Rochester. The world renowned sports event featured a Taste NY Tasting Bar, showcasing a rotating array of food and beverages from more than 100 New York State wineries, craft breweries, cideries, meaderies, distilleries and food producers.

Today's celebration at the Capital Region Welcome Center brought together regional agricultural, tourism, and supporting partners to introduce visitors to the New York farmers and producers whose products are available at the Welcome Center. Vendors sampling at the event included Liberty Farms, Love Apple Farm, Jourdin’s Maple Syrup, See & Be Kitchen, and Vasilow’s Confectionary. Additionally, the Welcome Center offered 10% off online orders and free shipping on online orders over $50. Plus, every order will receive a 20% off and free shipping code via email good for use on the next order. Combo being offered in-store that day is order any Love Apple breakfast sandwich or panini plus a small coffee or tea for $10.00.

Thruway Authority Interim Executive Director Frank G. Hoare said, “When travelers on the Thruway see the Taste NY market at our service areas and welcome centers, they know they are going to find a variety of unique food and drink products representing the best New York has to offer. Travelers from around the world have been introduced to New York State products through the Taste NY program over the past ten years, and local communities can be proud to have their regional businesses represented statewide. We celebrate Taste NY’s tenth anniversary and look forward to our continued partnership in this successful program.”

Victoria Giarratano, Assistant Director for Food Systems and Innovation, Cornell Cooperative Extension, said, “Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) is proud to partner with the Department of Agriculture and Markets as part of the Taste NY project. The ability to help farmers, vendors, and small businesses, expand fresh and shelf stable products across New York State and beyond, is part of the CCE work in Food Systems, which greatly impacts NYS economic vitality.”

Mark Cheffo, Owner of Liberty Farms, said “Our relationship with Taste NY has been wonderful. It has given us the opportunity to expand our customer base, and showcase our products in their locations. Taste NY has also helped us improve our packaging and labeling, obtain approval for new products and has overall increased the Liberty Farms’ profile in our home region and across the Hudson Valley. Happy 10th anniversary!”     

About the Capital Region Welcome Center

First opened in 2018, the Taste NY Market at the Capital Region Welcome Center is operated through a partnership with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Columbia and Green Counties. The Welcome Center works closely with area agriculture and culinary vendors to promote food and beverage producers from the Capital Region and from across New York, offering one-on-one consulting with vendors to help them expand their business and product offerings.

The Capital Region Welcome Center features a historic Dutch-style building facade, honoring the region’s deep roots with the Netherlands and promoting the local tourism industry, rich history, food and beverages. Just outside the building is a music-themed children's playground, a nod to the region's multitude of theaters and performing arts centers.

The Taste NY Market at the Welcome Center showcases a broad selection of fresh-made breakfast and lunch items, including soups, salads, sandwiches, and desserts, as well as grab-and-go snacks and specialty local gift items for sale. It also features interactive I LOVE NY kiosks to showcase local attractions and tourism destinations in the region, and a video wall.

A series of events is planned across the state to celebrate Taste NY's 10th anniversary this year, including at Welcome Centers run by the Department's partners at the New York State Thruway Authority, the New York State Department of Transportation, and Empire State Development. The milestone will also be marked through a special web page highlighting milestone events in the 10 years of the program, social media campaigns, and more. Additionally, ShopTasteNY.com is honoring the statewide #TasteTurns10 celebration with 10% off online orders and free shipping on online orders over $50. Plus, every order will receive a 20% off and free shipping code via email good for use on the next order. The next event will take place in the Southern Tier on June 21. Information about additional events will be posted on Taste.NY.gov when it becomes available.

About Taste NY

Taste NY highlights the quality, diversity, and economic impact of food and beverages grown, produced, or processed in New York State. Taste NY aims to create new opportunities for producers through events, retail locations, and partnerships, such as at The Great New York State Fair and the Barclays Tournament at Bethpage State Park. Over the last 10 years, Taste NY has supported nearly 2,000 food and beverage producers participating in the program through retail outlets, events, and sponsorships. In 2022, 311 new producers were onboarded to the program through New York's Welcome Centers. Taste NY's food and beverage businesses also support the state's farmers by using New York grown and produced ingredients in their products.