December 9, 2016
Albany, NY

State Agriculture Commissioner Encourages New Yorkers to Give the Gift of New York This Holiday Season with Taste NY Gift Baskets

State Agriculture Commissioner Encourages New Yorkers to Give the Gift of New York This Holiday Season with Taste NY Gift Baskets
Pre-Made and Customized Gift Baskets Available at Taste NY Stores
Select Stores Taking Holiday Orders by Phone for Pickup or Delivery
Taste NY Stores Offer Wide Selection of Food and Beverages for Holiday Meals

State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball today encouraged New Yorkers to think local this holiday season and give unique and quality gifts with Taste NY gift sets and baskets filled with the very best of New York made food, beverages and other products.  Six Taste NY stores around the State and one in Puerto Rico are offering pre-made and customized gifts available in stores. In addition, select stores are taking orders by phone for pickup or delivery.  Photos of various gift baskets can be seen here.

Commissioner Ball said, “During the busy holiday season, Taste NY makes it easy to find thoughtful, high-quality gifts that friends and family will love.  The State’s hard-working farmers and agribusinesses produce some of the finest products out there, and the holidays are a perfect time to share those items with the people you care about most.  I encourage New Yorkers to stop by a Taste NY store to shop for great gifts and support their local community.  I also thank the managers and operators of our Taste NY stores and markets, who work hard to spotlight all of our great businesses and put these wonderful selections together.”

Gift sets and baskets range in size and price.  They feature a wide selection of gourmet food items, locally produced wines and liquors, New York made novelty items and bath and beauty products.

The following Taste NY stores are offering holiday baskets:

Taste NY Market at the Long Island Welcome Center 
The new Taste NY Market inside the Long Island Welcome Center is offering pre-arranged gift baskets starting at $35.  They feature a wide selection of New York made products including local honey, sauces, snack items and more.  Customers also have the option to customize their own baskets and have them wrapped in the store for an additional fee.

In addition to gift baskets, the Taste NY market will soon offer locally grown orchids, succulents and poinsettias, which also make great gifts.  Customers can also shop for fresh produce and specialty items from local producers for their holiday meals, or enjoy made-to-order soups, salads, sandwiches and desserts made using fresh ingredients sourced from Long Island growers.   Customers can reach the Long Island Welcome Center at (631) 678-5227.  

Taste NY Store at Grand Central Terminal 
The Taste NY store at Grand Central Station (across from Track 37) is offering a large variety of gift baskets featuring locally produced wines, liquors and gourmet items.  Shoppers are encouraged to stop by in person and explore an amazing variety of locally made products, or email [email protected] to order customized baskets for pickup or delivery.  Baskets featuring only non-alcoholic products can be delivered throughout the country.  Delivery of baskets that include alcoholic beverages are limited to select states.  For inquiries, please call (212) 663-2212.

Taste NY Market at Todd Hill 
Holiday shopping is made easy at the Taste NY Market at Todd Hill.  Customers are encouraged to assemble custom gift sets from hundreds of high-quality New York products, or choose from dozens of pre-packaged gift sets, such as the Pasta Night gift box that includes three sauces, handmade pasta, a wooden spoon, apron and hot mitt.  The store also offers a wide selection of culinary inspired gifts, including locally made rolling pins, pepper grinders and cutting boards.   In addition, shoppers will find an array of skincare products and men's and women's wool socks milled from local, organic finnsheep fiber.  Custom gift sets can be wrapped on-site for a $3 charge.  Please call (845) 849-0247 for more information.

Empire State Plaza Visitors Center 
The Empire State Plaza Visitors Center gift shop is offering specialty gift baskets featuring New York State products, such as gourmet spreads and condiments, teas, coffees, snacks and maple products. The baskets range in price from $25 to $85 and can also be customized to fit a variety of styles and tastes.  The store also offers a wide selection of locally made candles, soaps, lotions and other bath and beauty products that are perfect for stocking stuffers or special gifts.  As an added convenience, shoppers can call ahead to the store at (518) 486-6858 or 473-0206 to have a basket made and ready for pickup. 

Taste NY Market at Lock E-13 Living History Rest Area 
The Taste NY Market at the Lock E-13 Living History Rest Area is a one-stop shop for unforgettable, one-of-a kind gifts.  With high-quality products from more than 70 local, regional and statewide vendors, it is easy to find something for everyone.  The store is offering pre-designed baskets and gift bags ranging in price from $10 to $40.  If customers prefer to add their own touch, they have the option of creating a custom basket all their own. While they shop, customers can enjoy scenic views of the Erie Canal and the locks, which make for a relaxing and unique shopping experience.  The Market can be reached at (518) 922-6367.

Taste NY Market at Broome Gateway Center 
Taste NY at the Broome Gateway Center is selling an assortment of gift baskets to fit any price or occasion.  They are offering spa-themed baskets using unique goat’s milk beauty and skincare products. A Breakfast in Bed-themed basket includes maple syrup and pancake mixes, artisan jams and fine teas. These carefully curated gift baskets are perfect for friends and family or clients and colleagues.  Shoppers can also build their own basket or can call ahead and have one customized for them.  Baskets can be picked up at the store or delivered.  Deliveries in the Binghamton area are free of charge; all others are shipped for an additional fee.  Customers can reach Taste NY at the Broome Gateway Center at (607) 775-0156.

Taste NY Market at Old San Juan 
Shoppers can also find New York gift sets at the Taste NY Market in San Juan, Puerto Rico.  They range in price from $27 to $79 and feature Hudson Valley Skin Care products, a variety of New York State wines, Brooklyn Brewery beer and an array of I Love NY souvenirs including T-shirts, notepads and baseball caps.  For the people on your gift list with a sweet tooth, certain gift sets include Roni-Sue’s Chocolates, Nelson Farms’ Apple Crisp Mix and New York maple syrup.  In addition, the store features Chobani yogurt.   

Taste NY stores, markets and other locations also offer a wide range of foods and beverages that can be used to create fresh, delicious holiday meals. For a complete list of Taste NY store locations, hours of operation and contact information, visit the Taste NY website,

Kaitlyn Sirna, manager of the Taste NY Store at the Broome Gateway Center, said, “This gives us an opportunity to expose more products to more people through gifts and giving this holiday season. Taste NY gift baskets help New York natives and travelers learn about the wonderful products we have to offer through Taste NY.  We are proud to showcase our state’s growing food and beverage industry and eager to share these products with our friends, families and customers.”

Lachele Coninx-Wiley, manager of the Taste NY Market at Todd Hill, said, “Choose thoughtful gifts by selecting specialty items sourced from New York state vendors at the Todd Hill Market.  This year, we've curated fine items including a growing selection of artisanal cheeses, jams and savory sauces, handcrafted culinary tools and ingredients for the bar, delightful skin care products, maple syrup, honey, tea, locally roasted coffee and so much more.”

Jennifer Saunders, CEO of Liberty ARC, which operates the Taste NY Store at Lock E-13, said,“The hectic holiday season is in full swing and with the hassle of travel coupled with trying to check everyone off your gift list, this can be a stressful time of year! That’s why you should stop at the Taste NY market on your trek westward and see all the possibilities we have put together for you. It’s truly a unique experience when you step into the market and find the numerous baskets, gift bags and other items that are made with pride from New York State vendors. We’re proud to offer top-quality products from local, regional and other producers from across the state. We’re here to assist you in finding the perfect gift while at the same time supporting our hard-working New York State farmers and producers. Happy Holidays and have a bountiful New Year!”

About Taste NY 
Taste NY is an initiative launched by Governor Cuomo in 2013 to promote New York’s food and beverage industries. It is overseen by the NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets and has created opportunities for local producers to showcase their goods at large public events, such as the Great New York State Fair and the Barclays Tournament at Bethpage State Park. The program has also opened stores at Thruway rest stops along the State’s highways and in transportation hubs, enabling travelers to buy New York State’s homegrown and homemade products. There are more than 1,100 local companies that have participated in these opportunities, further linking their products and the state’s growing food and beverage businesses to consumers from across the globe. 
Since its launch in 2013, the Taste NY initiative has seen steady growth and recognition. The program reported sales of $4.5 million in 2015 and more than doubled those figures to $10.5 million in 2016. Today, New York products sold under Taste NY branding are available in more than 60 locations throughout the State, as well as the New York State Office of Trade and Tourism in San Juan, Puerto Rico.