State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball today encouraged holiday shoppers looking for that perfect last-minute gift to visit a Taste NY Market and buy local this holiday season in support of New York’s farmers. New York’s regional Welcome Centers’ Taste NY Markets and Taste NY stores around the State offer specialty gift items as well as pre-made and customized gift baskets for everyone on the holiday shopping list. Photos of various gift baskets can be seen here. Find a nearby store here.
Commissioner Ball said, “There’s no better gift to share with friends and family than a local product that was grown and produced by a New York farmer or handcrafted by a local food artisan. Our Taste NY Markets have put great care into creating beautiful gift baskets filled with food, beverages and other specialty products. I encourage everyone still looking for the perfect gift to support our farmers and the local agricultural economy by visiting a Taste NY Market and our Welcome Centers this holiday season.”
Gift sets and baskets feature a wide selection of local gourmet food items, locally produced craft beverages, New York made novelty items, and even bath and beauty products. They range in size and price and can be customized. Customers are encouraged to contact their local Taste NY location for specific offerings and details.
Taste NY Markets are also a great place to purchase a wide range of foods and beverages that can be used to create fresh, delicious holiday meals. From charcuterie meats and cheeses to wine and cider, many markets and stores sell grocery items. In addition, Taste NY gift stores and product displays can be found in travel and tourism hubs across the State, such as service areas along the NYS Thruway, airports, and train stations.
For a complete list of Taste NY locations, hours of operation and contact information, visit the Taste NY website.
There are 11 Welcome Centers located across New York State. They each include a Taste NY Market that showcases locally grown and sourced products from the region and from across the State. The Welcome Centers also provide residents and travelers the opportunity to connect with each region’s tourism attractions and destinations, and conduct critical services, such as Department of Motor Vehicle transactions.
Renee Day, Western NY Welcome Center Taste NY Store Manager, said, “Giving the gift of Taste NY is so easy this year. At the Western NY Welcome Center you can choose from a variety of pre-made theme baskets such as breakfast, spreads and beverages. If time allows you can create your own basket by browsing our Market and choosing the items you like the most. It takes less than 10 minutes to wrap and add a bow to the basket. And while you wait, enjoy a complimentary cup of hot coffee or tea and explore Western NY at our Welcome Center!”
Shaylyn Decker, Capital Region Welcome Center Taste NY Store Manager, said, “The Taste NY Store at the Capital Region Welcome Center is the perfect place to stop when heading north for the holidays. We have gifts for everyone is your life—warm alpaca gloves, fragrant and natural beauty supplies, beautiful handmade cutting boards, and artisanal food items from cheese to hot sauce. We’re so proud to showcase these amazing local products this holiday season. Don’t forget to grab a traditionally made candy cane or some other sweet treat!”
Thruway Authority Executive Director Matthew J. Driscoll said, “As gateways to the state’s unique regions, Welcome Centers are the perfect setting to purchase gifts for loved ones this holiday season while supporting local businesses at the same time. I encourage all travelers to visit one of these sites and shop specialized gifts for everyone on your lists, young and old.”
New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez said, “One region at a time, our Welcome Centers are introducing both New Yorkers and visitors to the many wonders of the Empire State, including its agricultural products, which are among the best in the world. As motorists journey across this great state, we are proud to offer them a taste of New York and encourage them to take advantage of this exciting new promotion this holiday season.”
Empire State Development Acting Commissioner and President & CEO-delegate Eric Gertler said, “Purchasing Taste NY items at our Welcome Centers and Taste NY stores this holiday season supports our farmers and craft food and beverage producers, while showcasing the flavorful products that are grown and made across the state.”
About Taste NY
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.