Image: Hudson Valley Welcome Center Taste 10th
October 17, 2023
Woodbury, NY

State Agriculture Commissioner Celebrates Taste NY 10th Anniversary at Hudson Valley/Catskills Welcome Center

State Agriculture Commissioner Celebrates Taste NY 10th Anniversary at Hudson Valley/Catskills Welcome Center
Hudson Valley Welcome Center’s Sales of Local New York Products Total Over $300,000 Since its Opening
New York's Flagship Eat Local, Drink Local Program Has Delivered Over $100 Million in Economic Impact Over its 10 Years
Follow Along and Celebrate the 10 Year Anniversary with #TasteTurns10

New York State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball continued the State's 10-year anniversary celebration of Taste NY with an open house event at the Hudson Valley/Catskills Welcome Center, located in Woodbury Commons in Orange County. The event showcased New York's farmers, food and beverage producers, and the diverse and unique products grown and made in the State. Today’s event marked the seventh in a year-long series of events that are taking place across the state in recognition of the program’s 10-year milestone and also coincided with the Welcome Center’s five-year anniversary celebration at its location in Woodbury Commons. Since opening, the Welcome Center has seen approximately 250,000 visitors and brought in $311,863 in sales for New York producers.  The Taste NY team at the Welcome Center, which is un by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Sullivan County (CCE Sullivan) has also been instrumental in the launch of the program’s e-commerce marketplace, 

Commissioner Ball said, “Here in New York, we’re fortunate to be home to some of the best farmers and producers in the world. The Taste NY program is a true testament to the quality of New York food, beverages, and products. Thanks to the Hudson Valley/Catskills Welcome Center and CCE Sullivan staff, the program has had such a huge impact on our producers not only in the Hudson Valley, but also across the state through the launch of the program’s online store, I’m proud to celebrate that hard work as we continue our celebration of Taste NY’s 10th anniversary and congratulate the Hudson Valley/Catskills Welcome Center Taste NY staff on their own special 5th anniversary.”

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, the Saratoga Race Course, and the 2023 PGA Championship in Rochester. Most recently, Taste NY producers were highlighted at the 2023 Great New York State Fair, which draws more than one million visitors during its 13-day run. This year, the Fair featured expanded offerings at the Taste NY Pop-Up Market and Marketplace, which was also run by CCE Sullivan, as well as unveiling a special Tasting Yard, featuring seven local breweries, at the Fair’s Suburban Park. 

Today's celebration, which coincided with the Hudson Valley/Catskills Welcome Center’s five-year anniversary celebration at its location in Woodbury Commons, 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, specifically those who are local to the Mid-Hudson Region. Vendors sampling at the event included Luna Grown Jams, Merchant’s Daughter Ciderworks, Catskills Provisions, Tree Juice Maple Syrup, Fig and Fichi, and 2 Queens Coffee. Additionally, Welcome Center staff sampled a variety of craft beverages sold at the store, including products from Brotherhood Winery, Hudson Valley Brewery, Emporium Farm Brewery, Drowned Lands Brewery, Rough Cut Brewery, Industrial Arts Brewery, Crossroads Brewery, and Roscoe Brewery.

Assemblymember Christopher W. Eachus, 99th District, said, “The Hudson Valley region exists at the crossroads between the bright lights of NYC, and the beautiful landscapes of Upstate New York. Here in Orange and Rockland County we have a vibrant and quickly growing small businesses community, including our cider industry, our craft beverages, farm-to-table restaurants, and many others. These amenities are beloved by local residents and a great boon for tourism to the region. Year after year, Taste NY has delivered great economic gains for our wonderful, locally-made food and beverage products here in New York. I am proud of our continued partnership, and thank them for showcasing the wonders our region has to offer.”

Vanessa Petrossian, Director, Operations & Community Vitality, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Sullivan County, said, “This celebration serves as a testament to the timeless adage that 'time flies when you're having fun.' As we traversed the great state of New York in pursuit of the authentic stories behind the 'shop local, support small' movement, we had the privilege of encountering the finest in agriculture and small businesses. Cheers to five years at this location, and to ten extraordinary years of achievement, unwavering excitement, and innovation for the Taste NY program. We look forward to the successes we will undoubtedly accomplish together over the next decade.”

Victoria Giarratano, Assistant Director for Food Systems and Innovation, Cornell Cooperative Extension, said, "The Taste NY Welcome Center in the Hudson Valley, paired with the Shop Taste NY online platform, effectively broadens the market reach for small producers. This joint effort between Cornell Cooperative Extension and the Department of Agriculture and Markets amplifies the distribution and scalability of local businesses, thereby strengthening the economic impact of the Taste NY project."

Amanda Dana, Director Orange County Tourism and Film, said, “What an exciting time to be celebrating 10 years of Taste NY.  The State and region is booming with local food and beverage producers adding to the artisanal agricultural scene. The Hudson Valley and Catskill region would like to thank Commissioner Ball for his commitment and dedication to the Taste NY program and Cornell Cooperative Extension of Sullivan County for the excellent programming running our Hudson Valley /Catskill Taste NY Welcome Center.”

Dave Mistretta, General Manager, Simon Properties, Woodbury Common Premium Outlets, said, “Congratulations on the 10th anniversary of the Taste NY program, which has been a great success in supporting locally-grown New York products and agriculture. We are also celebrating the 5th anniversary of our collaboration with New York State and Cornell Cooperative Extension of Sullivan County as the host site of the Hudson Valley/Catskills Regional Welcome Center. The Welcome Center provides our shoppers with invaluable information about the exciting things to do and places to visit within the region, as well as the chance to purchase a selection of incredible Taste NY products during their visit. We look forward to deepening and enhancing our relationship in the future.”

Scott Ramsey, Executive Director, New York Cider Association, said, “New York Cider couldn't be happier to celebrate this milestone anniversary for Taste NY. New York is a leader in the number of cider producers and we're second in the country for apple growers which all goes to support the New York Cider industry's $1.7 billion impact to the state's economy. New York Cider's ongoing partnership with Taste NY over the years has been instrumental in bringing the rich history, culture, and viability of our industry to the public across the state and the world. We're looking forward to continued collaboration and success for Taste NY and all it does to showcase the very best of New York State's agricultural food and beverage landscape.”

Chris Wilson, Owner of LunaGrown Jam and Marmalade, said, "One of the more challenging aspects for small business manufacturers is brand recognition. Taste NY has provided an outlet for us to reach new customers, grow our business, and increase our customer base. Thus becoming a memorable part of communities throughout New York State."

About the Hudson Valley/Catskills Welcome Center

First opened in 2018, the Hudson Valley/Catskills Welcome Center promotes New York's world class food and beverage products at the Woodbury Common Premium Outlets in Central Valley, Orange County. Operated by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Sullivan County, the Welcome Center has supported over 165 local New York vendors in bringing over 1,200 products to market. Since opening its doors in 2018, the Hudson Valley/Catskills Welcome Center has had sales totaling over $300,000 and welcomed over 250,000 visitors. The Welcome Center has also brought over 1,200 unique products from 165 producers across the state. The store also features a 270-degree wraparound video screen that highlights local tourism attractions and destinations and a Walk of Fame highlighting influential historical figures from the region.

In April, 2020, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, CCE Sullivan expedited the launch of the highly-anticipated statewide e-commerce marketplace for the Taste NY program, Shop Taste NY played a pivotal role in driving economic growth across the state during the pandemic and beyond, showcasing the remarkable diversity of agricultural offerings and providing a way for consumers to support local producers from the convenience of their own homes. Since launching, the site has drawn over 277,000 visitors to the website, shipped over 2,000 orders to consumers across the country, and brought in nearly $180,000 in sales.

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 in Syracuse and the PGA Tournament in Rochester. 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.