Next Phase of Taste NY Program Would Lock in Past Progress and Position State’s Agricultural Industry For Continued Growth
Online Purchasing Options and a Downstate Taste NY Office Among Steps Being Taken to Build on Program’s Success
Latest Taste NY Store Now Open in Grand Central Terminal
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today proposed a major expansion for the next phase of Taste NY, the State’s successful effort to promote New York’s agricultural economy. Under this proposal, which is largely set to begin in January 2015 and aims to triple the gross sales of participating vendors in the next year, the State will work to lock in the success of the Taste NY program thus far and renew its support of New York’s farmers and craft producers. The program’s proposed expansion includes new options for purchasing goods online and a “Taste NY Office at Brooklyn” dedicated to strengthening the connection between upstate producers and downstate consumers. This announcement coincides with the opening of the latest full-fledged Taste NY store, which is located at Grand Central Terminal in New York City.
“Agriculture is a cornerstone of New York’s economy – when our farmers and craft producers succeed, it translates to jobs and economic activity in communities across the State,” Governor Cuomo said. “We launched the Taste NY program to highlight the world-class products that our food and beverage producers have to offer, and in doing so have boosted the profiles and sales of a wide variety of small business owners. Now we’re going to take our support to the next level, and plant the seeds for continued growth for seasons to come.”
Under the next phase of the Taste NY program as proposed today by the Governor, a wide variety of actions will be taken to lock in the preliminary success of the State’s marketing and support of New York farmers and producers. More details on the expanded Taste NY program are listed below:
- The Taste NY website will undergo a reboot to enable online purchasing. Additionally, the I LOVE NY mobile website will expand to offer consumers opportunities to buy food and beverages produced in New York.
- Taste NY displays, stores and vending machines will be added to all SUNY and CUNY campuses.
- The State Thruway Authority will expand current Taste NY offerings at all 27 Thruway Travel Plazas and add new stores in the next two years.
- The State Department of Transportation will add new Taste NY retail stores in strategic locations designed to increase agritourism opportunities and increase retail exposure for local agricultural producers, with at least two new stores targeted for completion over a two year period.
- More Taste NY vending machines will further expand the offering of local foods and be strategically located across the state. Two will soon debut at Department of Transportation rest areas in Binghamton and Clifton Park, with more on the horizon in the coming months. Another machine will be added at the State Capitol and another in the Legislative Office Building in Albany around the same time. Plans are in place to expand these to other state office buildings across New York in the near future.
- Taste NY displays at in-state liquor stores – currently being piloted at six locations – will expand to every region of the state. The full statewide rollout of this expansion will coincide with the New York State Liquor Store Association’s 5th Annual Tradeshows in Albany and Rochester on October 14 and 16. Dozens of additional liquor stores will immediately receive Taste NY marketing materials at these events and be able to display them for the upcoming holiday season.
- A new mobile phone application soon to be released through I LOVE NY that will have designated Taste NY attractions from across the state
- The State Department of Agriculture and Markets will also work with Food Export USA and Empire State Development to assure for the inclusion of food and beverage products in the recently announced trade missions identified in the Governor’s Global NY Summit
- A new downstate wing of the Department of Agriculture and Markets, dubbed the Taste NY Office at Brooklyn, will promote agricultural economic development and strengthen the connection between upstate producers and downstate consumers.
Taste NY at Grand Central Terminal
In February 2014, the Governor announced the selection of One Woman Wines and Vineyards as the operator of the Taste NY site in Grand Central Terminal. The store, which offers products associated with roughly 50 different New York brands, is the first of its kind in a rail station in New York State. The store first opened its doors for a soft opening this past weekend.
Gabriella Purita, Business Manager of the Taste NY Store at Grand Central Station, said, “This store has been nearly one year in the making. We’ve been working hard to prepare for its opening and we couldn’t be more pleased that the store is now ready for business. Our desire is not only to expose people to products from all over New York, but to enable them to learn more about the state’s wealth of agricultural producers. We want this store to be an agritourism promotion and information center right in the heart of Grand Central Station.”
On any given day, more than 750,000 people travel through Grand Central and the area surrounding it, providing a huge opportunity for New York State producers to showcase their products. The Taste NY store occupies 460 square feet of space on the west side of the Terminal, adjacent to the Biltmore Room across from Track 37. The goal of the store is to expose visitors to producers in areas across the state.
Taste NY products at the store will be rotated on a seasonal basis and will include: candy, dairy products, spirits, wines, craft beers, sauces, maple syrups and snack foods. Sampling sessions will take place regularly at this new enterprise. In addition, agricultural producers will periodically visit the store to provide visitors with explanations of how their goods are produced, while also providing samples of Taste NY products.
State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, “The more people see and taste New York agricultural products, the more excited they get about them. Governor Cuomo’s Taste NY initiative is opening up new doors for agriculture across the state, and I have no doubt that this latest endeavor at Grand Central Terminal is going to be a huge success.”
MTA Chairman and CEO Thomas F. Prendergast said, “Grand Central Terminal is not just one of the world’s most active and beautiful transit hubs; it is also one of the busiest spots in New York City and a destination for commuters, tourists, shoppers and diners. We’re delighted to have the Taste NY store join our roster of Grand Central food and beverage purveyors, presenting just a small sample of the agricultural bounty of New York State. Since Governor Cuomo launched the Taste NY program, the MTA has been an aggressive partner in marketing the state’s products, introducing and promoting New York State beers, wines and spirits to Metro North customers at Grand Central’s beverage carts and stands at the train platforms. In the past year, we’ve sold nearly $600,000 of those products. We look forward to the Taste NY store bringing more New York State producers to the New York City market and attracting more customers who will get to know and value their products.”
Dean Norton, New York Farm Bureau President, said, “Taste NY is an important piece of the economic engine for our farms, and having it pull into Grand Central Station is an exciting venture. Just blocks from Broadway, our farms will take center stage, exposing thousands of more people every day to the quality food and beverages made in upstate and on Long Island. New York Farm Bureau appreciates the Governor’s ongoing marketing initiative in helping to grow our farm economy.”
The Taste NY Store at Grand Central Terminal is the latest store to open at a New York transportation hub. Existing stores include enterprises at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center; JFK, LaGuardia and MacArthur Airports; the Taste NY Market at Todd Hill, located on the Taconic State Parkway; Taste NY stores at the New Baltimore and Chittenango rest areas on the New York State Thruway; and the Taste NY Marketplace, open all 12 days at the Great New York State Fair. In 2014, total gross sales of NY products from Taste NY events and stores amounted to approximately $1.5 million.
For more information about Taste NY, please visit www.taste.ny.gov.