Governor Kathy Hochul today kicked off the State's 10-year anniversary celebrations for Taste NY, New York's official 'eat local, drink local' program, at a special open house at the Finger Lakes Welcome Center in Geneva. The event showcased the diversity and uniqueness of New York State's farmers and food and beverage producers, as well as regional tourism destinations. Today's celebration marked the first in a series of events that are planned across the state in recognition of the 2023 10-year milestone and the program's success, which has brought over $100 million in economic impact to New York State producers.
"Over the last decade, Taste NY has become a recognizable brand known for quality, creativity, and passion," Governor Hochul said. "Taste NY is a cornerstone of our mission to promote New York's farmers and producers, showcasing the best food, beverage, and gift products from businesses in every corner of our great state. I'm proud to announce the year-long celebration of Taste NY's tenth anniversary today and look forward to continuing to support our agri-businesses and the breadth of our local New York products."
Taste NY has grown significantly since its launch and 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 major sports venues, such as 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 PGA Tour, the 2023 FISU World University Games, and the Saratoga Race Course.
Today's kick-off celebration event at the Finger Lakes 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 Smokin' Tails Distillery, Red Jacket Orchards, Muranda Cheese, 4J's NVR Specialty Sauces, 3 Brothers Wineries, Fulkerson Winery, Arbor Hill Grapery & Winery, Syrup a'La Rue, Brewery Ardennes, Geneva Reads, Karma Sauce, the Gourmet Butter Shop, Mama's Got You Catering, Green Heart of the Finger Lakes®, and New York Kitchen. Additionally, the Welcome Center offered 10 percent off all purchases, $0.99 ice cream, and the chance to win a special giveaway basket in celebration of the 10-year milestone.
First opened in 2018, the Taste NY Market at the Finger Lakes Welcome Center works closely with area craft beverage, agriculture, and culinary vendors to promote food and beverage producers from the Finger Lakes area and from across the state. Since its opening, the Welcome Center has brought in over 1,900 New York products into the Market from over 280 vendors. In 2022, the Welcome Center's sales totaled close to $430,000, a 1.7 percent growth over the previous year, and over 235,600 visitors stopped by to experience the best of New York State.
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 and the New York State Department of Transportation. 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 will be honoring the statewide #TasteTurns10 celebration by offering free statewide shipping all year and highlighting each region's products with special markdowns during the month of their 10th anniversary event. The next event will take place in the Southern Tier in March and information about additional events will be posted on Taste.NY.gov when it becomes available.
About the Taste NY Market at the Finger Lakes Welcome Center
The Taste NY Market at the Finger Lake Welcome Center offers hot and cold lunch options all made from fresh ingredients and products grown and produced by local farmers. The Market also offers New York State-made wine, beer, and cider, grab-and-go snacks, and gifts. Additionally, the Welcome Center highlight's the region's tourism industry, with multiple interactive I Love New York kiosks positioned throughout, allowing visitors to test their knowledge of the region or design a trip itinerary.
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.
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