The HVADC Cultivator

HVADC Partner Spotlight: Taste NY

The harvest period of October was the ideal month to launch the first ever simultaneous Taste NY Farm and Food Expos held at Anthony’s Pier 9 in New Windsor and the Desmond Hotel in Albany. Both events were promoted and organized through New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets. The New Windsor event was led by Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) of Orange County in collaboration with HVADC, Orange County Chamber of Commerce, Ulster County Regional Chamber of Commerce, CCE-Ulster County, and Hudson Valley Economic Development Corporation. The Albany expo was also supported by CCE Albany, Capital Region Chamber, and Adirondack Regional Chamber of Commerce.

 

The expos were designed to showcase regional farmers, value-added New York-food and beverage producers, brewers, cider and wine makers, distillers, maple producers and more, and connect them with buyers. Visitors were treated to samples of new and exciting high-quality products from Ulster, Orange, Sullivan, Westchester, Putnam, Rockland and Dutchess counties at the Hudson Valley event, and from Warren, Washington, Saratoga, Schenectady, Albany, Greene, Columbia, Rensselaer and Schoharie counties at the Capital Region expo . Participants in the current and past HVADC Farm and Food Funding Accelerator program (FFFA) were among the exhibitors at both events.  Attendees included food industry leaders, chefs and media.

The New Windsor event featured 99 farm and food enterprise vendors, with over a hundred visitors.  A panel of agriculture and food-related specialists were on hand, and several informative workshops were offered, including “Kosher/Halal Product Certification” and “What does it take to be a Taste NY Vendor?”. HVADC’s Deputy Director Mary Ann Johnson hosted workshops on accessing finance with HVADC board member Ann Finnegan of Kinderhook Bank and Ray Salaberrios, Vice President of Economic Development with Empire State Development. 

 

“There were more than a few producers that said they made connections that will likely lead to purchasing relationships and/or people purchased product that day… 85% of the vendors said connections they made at the event were somewhat, very or extremely likely to lead to additional sales,” said Maire Ullrich, Agriculture Program Leader for CCE-Orange.

 

“Networking with other local businesses is always fun, and often leads to exciting collaborations,” said Dahlia Graham, Co-Founder/CEO Fruition Chocolate Works in Olive, who exhibited. 

Karianna Haasch, owner of Kingston-based Local Artisan Bakery and who is participating in the current HVADC FFFA program, tabled at the event and took Johnson’s funding workshop. “It was eye opening to understand all of the different funding methods available,” she said. “Also it gave me a better understanding of how grants work.”  Haasch was most grateful for the networking into a larger group of people, “I would consider the Taste NY event a success I offered samples of three of my baked goods at the event - Herb & Sea Salt Pretzel, Pumpkin Spice Scone, and Maple Sugar Cookies - and received a lot of positive feedback from people who tasted them. While I haven't received any orders directly from the event, I found it an excellent way to network with other food businesses and make an impression on a large group of people within my industry. The seminars offered were also very helpful. I would definitely do the event again.”

Other HVADC FFFA past or current class members that participated in the expos included Argyle Cheese Factory LLC, Battenkill Valley Farms, J.S.K Cattle Company, Lavenlair Farm and Miracle Springs Farm.

 

“I saw vendors connecting with each other, with wholesale buyers as well as with retail customers,” said Jennifer Bock, Program Associate for HVADC after attending the Capital Region event. “I think it was a very valuable experience for both new and seasoned vendors to be able to network and exchange experiences as well as potentially obtain new suppliers and distributors within their region. That’s always worthwhile for small business owners.”

For more information about the Taste NY, please visit https://taste.ny.gov

To learn more about the HVADC FFFA program, visit https://www.hvadc.org/farm-food-funding-accelerator

Logo source: Taste NY

Photo source: HVADC

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