State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball today encouraged shoppers looking for that perfect last minute holiday gift item to support local growers and producers this year by visiting a Taste NY Market. New York’s regional Welcome Centers’ Taste NY Markets and other Taste NY stores located around the state offer a wide selection of local food and beverages, locally crafted specialty gift items and even customized gift baskets.
Commissioner Ball said, “There is no better way to celebrate the holiday season – a time for love, gratitude, and giving – than by supporting your local farmers. We have these hardworking men and women to thank for many of the simple luxuries we cherish each holiday season, whether it’s the beautiful Christmas tree you decorate each year, the cozy wool hats and mittens that keep us warm, or the delicious holiday meal we prepare for our loved ones. I encourage you to share the gift of agriculture this year by choosing your local farmers and entrepreneurs at a Taste NY Market.”
Taste NY gifts and products can be found in travel and tourism hubs across the State, such as service areas along the New York State Thruway, airports, and train stations. Each of New York’s 11 regional Welcome Centers’ Taste NY Markets across the state have their own unique offerings of specialty gift items as well as pre-made and customized gift baskets for everyone on the holiday shopping list. Check out what some of our Welcome Center employees have been putting together for shoppers here. Some of the featured baskets include:
Candy Lovers Bag:
- Nat’s Nuts: Cinnamon Whiskey Pecans
- Chocolate Pizza: Slice Peanut Butter Candy
- Chocolate Pizza: Peanut Butter Holiday Sparkler
- Chocolate Pizza: Peanut Butter Cookie x 3
- Chocolate Pizza: Christmas Cookie
- Arbor Hill: Concord Grape Gummi Bears
- Radiators Pasta from Sfoglini
- Tomato Roasted Garlic Pasta Sauce from Hudson Valley Harvest
- Korean Ginger Hot Sauce from Horseshoe Brand
- Truffle Sunflower Oil from The Truffleist
- Fig Balsamic Drizzle from Black Cat Café
- Apple Saffron Chutney from Beth's Farm Kitchen
- Rosemary Flake Salt from Syracuse Salts
Garlic Lover’s Bag:
- Hofmann: Hunter Sticks – Garlic
- In My Father’s Kitchen: Tate & See Pasta Sauce
- Syracuse Salt: Black Garlic Flake Salt
- BeeKind Syracuse: 100% Soy Candle - Snow
- Syracuse Soapworks: Olive Oil Unscented Bar Soap
- Syracuse Soapworks: Lemongrass Ginger Liquid Soap
Spa Day Gift Basket:
- Country Roads Soy Candle from Tess & James
- Roasted Chestnut Soap Bar from Rad Soap Co.
- Lavender Bath Fizz Bath Bomb from Lavenlair Farm
- Golden Clay Mask and Scrub from SallyeAnder
- Natural Beeswax and Lip Balm from Bee Hollow Farm & Apiary
- Bella’s Chocolate Peppermint Bark from Bella’s Home- Baked Goods
Photographs of these baskets can be found here. Baskets can also be customized to meet every one’s wish list and price point. Find a nearby Taste NY store here.
Shoppers can also support local farmers without leaving the comfort of their home by shopping online! ShopTasteNY.com, Taste NY’s online marketplace, offers holiday gift sets available for purchase in addition to their regular selection of products that highlight the quality and diversity of New York’s agricultural regions. Orders can be shipped anywhere in the U.S. and Canada.
Molly Vigrass, Taste NY Market Manager at the Western New York Welcome Center, said: “‘Tis the season to shop local! Inside the Taste NY Market at the WNY Welcome Center on Grand Island, NY our goal is to showcase unique agricultural items from local New York State producers and small businesses. If you’re looking for something different, something one-of-a-kind, something hand crafted and something that shows you put some thought into gift giving this year, we boast about 150 different vendors with products from about 10 ag-related categories, including dairy, craft beverage, maple, honey, produce, tea/coffee, and gift baskets. Our Taste NY gift baskets are filled with a variety of hand selected items from family farms and producers throughout the State that truly love making their products for folks. It’s the perfect, unique gift for any occasion throughout the year- and it supports local businesses! Let us create a basket tailored to your gift giving!”
Lachele Coninx-Wiley, Manager at Taste NY Todd Hill, said: "Purchasing gifts and stocking up for your entertaining needs by shopping Taste NY supports our small business and the vendors we support. This activity is one our customers do mindfully, knowing the ripple effect through the New York State economy. We are grateful to our vendors and customers alike for the capacity to make Taste NY Todd Hill market a memorable one."
Melissa Hoffmann, Assistant Market Coordinator at Taste NY Todd Hill, said: “For those looking for a special gift this holiday season, the variety of locally made and sourced products from a Taste NY store is sure to please anyone in your family. Your support not only helps keep New York food producers and farms in business, but it also brings a piece of the passion and pride our curated selection of vendors have for making quality products into your home.”
The Taste NY initiative has seen steady growth and recognition since it was created in 2013. The program, which is overseen by the Department of Agriculture and Markets, creates opportunities for local producers to showcase their goods at a variety of venues throughout the State and at large public events, such as the Great New York State Fair and the Barclays Tournament at Bethpage State Park. It has also helped the farms and companies participating in the program to reach more customers, increase online sales, and, in many cases, expand the processing capacity of their business. Taste NY’s food and beverage businesses also support the state’s farmers by using New York grown and produced ingredients in their products.