Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the opening of the Taste NY Market at the Todd Hill rest area on the Taconic State Parkway, in the Town of LaGrange, Dutchess County.
The State Department of Agriculture and Markets, the Department of Transportation and the Office of General Services partnered with Cornell Cooperative Extension Dutchess County to create the unique Taste NY experience on the Parkway with a wide variety of regional and New York State foods, beverages and agricultural products represented by at least 15 different agricultural producers at any given time. The Governor attended a ribbon cutting today for the market's official opening.
"The Taconic State Parkway is a well-traveled road by many New Yorkers and visitors, and now drivers will have an opportunity to stop by the Taste NY store and experience homegrown, Empire State produce," Governor Cuomo said. "Our Taste NY program is opening up new markets for farmers, beverage producers, and other merchants across the State and this store at the Todd Hill rest area will continue these efforts. I look forward to stopping by the Taste NY market on my travels up and down the Taconic and encourage all motorists to pay a visit and support our State's agriculture industry."
The construction project to make the Taste NY Market a reality at Todd Hill was the result of a interagency effort between NYSDOT and OGS. The interior of the building was completely renovated by OGS and NYSDOT, including the upgrade of heating/cooling and electrical services, new LED lighting and permeable pavement, while also displays highlighting the agricultural heritage of the region through photos and an informational kiosk.
In addition, NYSDOT is currently working to more than double the number of spaces at the park and ride lot adjacent to the Taste NY Market at Todd Hill. When the project is complete in September, the new lot will have 66 spaces, compared to the 28 spaces in the former lot. It will also include electric charging stations.
Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro said, "The Taste NY Market at Todd Hill will increase tourism in Dutchess County and spur economic activity within the region. I thank Governor Cuomo for his efforts in increasing agritourism in the Hudson Valley and throughout New York State through the Taste NY initiative."
State Senator Terry Gipson said, "The Hudson Valley region is home to a thriving agricultural economy and the Taste NY Market at Todd Hill will help farmers within the region find a great home for the goods they produce. Taste NY is helping our farm community find new customers and Governor Cuomo's announcement on the Market at Todd Hill is just the latest example of these efforts in the Hudson Valley region."
Cornell Cooperative Extension (CCE) Dutchess County will operate and manage the Taste NY Market at Todd Hill as a pilot for other potential locations across the state. The State Department of Agriculture and Markets will provide oversight to CCE on the operation and work with them on promotion of the facility. At the complex, CCE will provide consumers with information on the benefits of healthy food choices and provide training to local farmers in agricultural marketing practices as well as certification (where applicable) for farmers interested in providing products to the market.
Among the Taste NY products being offered at the Taste NY Market at Todd Hill will be fresh eggs, dairy products, meats, local fruits and vegetables, sauces and syrups. Travelers will also be able to get local ice cream, coffee or tea, as well as sandwiches and pastries.
State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, "As Governor Cuomo's Taste NY program continues to grow, it is creating more marketplaces for our state's superb agricultural producers. The Taste NY Market at Todd Hill will be a unique experience for travelers on the Taconic State Parkway, and I believe it will offer a great opportunity to help our hard working farmers sell their first class products. This store is a true team effort and I'd like to thank everyone involved in making this happen."
"With Governor Cuomo's leadership, the New York State Department of Transportation is rejuvenating the long-closed Todd Hill rest area, building a Taste NY store to showcase products made in the Empire State and, ultimately, an expanded Park and Ride lot for area commuters," State Transportation Commissioner Joan McDonald said. "We are proud to be partnering with the Governor's Taste NY program, helping to promote the state by exposing travelers to the high-quality products made here."
"Governor Cuomo's Taste NY campaign is doing an amazing job of promoting New York's food and beverage industry," said OGS Commissioner RoAnn M. Destito. "So I am very proud of the work OGS did assisting with the design and renovation of this new market for our partners at the Department of Agriculture and Markets and Department of Transportation."