HUDSON — Olana will be the first historic site in the state to have a Taste NY storefront.
Stakeholders and state officials cut the ribbon on a new store at the historic house that once belonged to Frederic Edwin Church, a major figure in the Hudson School of Landscape Art, showcasing small food producers across New York including several from the Columbia-Greene area.
“When you are driving in you know you are coming into a special place. There is just so much history here,” said state Agriculture and Markets Commissioner Richard Ball.
Ball said he produces 200 acres of vegetables at his farm, Schoharie Valley Farms.
“My son said to me, if we are not communicating with our customers, we are missing the point,” Ball said. “That is the spirit of Taste NY.”
Gov. Andrew Cuomo started Taste NY in 2013 and now sells products from more than 1,100 producers across the state at 60 separate locations.
“This is the key to economic development,” said Assemblywoman Didi Barrett, D-106. “Economic development is made by small businesses, the culture and history of the area, these are the economic drivers of this area.”
The store features 28 producers from all over New York, but mostly from the Hudson Valley region.
“There is such a large representation of the Hudson Valley here,” said Rachel Tice, store manager for the Olana Museum. “We have 28 producers and growing. I am building a foundation first, but I want to add more.”
Unlike Cuomo’s other pet project, the I Love NY campaign, Taste NY has shown progress with tripled sales in 2016, $13.1 million, from 2015 sales of $4.5 million.
Greenport Town Supervisor Edward Nabozny said he thinks the store at Olana is a golden opportunity.
“It’s a wonderful idea. Tourists are going to come here and buy products from the area. This is just another asset for businesses in the area,” Nabozny said. “It is great the local businesses have this opportunity to showcase their products.”
Seven New York businesses handed out samples of their products at the ribbon-cutting, including the Hudson Standard, from Hudson, which makes small batch cocktail bitters and syrups.
“We are trying to get to that next level in business where we are at whole foods type grocery stores,” said Hudson Standard owner Marianne Courville.
Courville said the business, which launched four years ago at the Basilica Hudson Farm and Flea Market event, represented Columbia County at the Fancy Foods Showdown in New York City in late June at the section for Taste NY.
Courville said Whole Foods has shown interest in carrying Hudson Standards’ products in its Hudson Valley regional locations.
“Taste NY has helped us out a lot as we have grown. Vinegar is getting a lot of attention now,” Courville said. “I am hoping to get our products in more Taste NY stores.”
Papa’s Best Batch, of Red Hook, was giving out samples of its Chipotle Smoked Pistachios and Roasted Garlic Almonds.
“We also serve lunch including sandwiches with smoked brisket, hummus and salmon,” said Jonathan Korzen of Papa’s Best Batch. “Taste NY is very smart and helpful. The last three months we have embraced and have been selling very well at the Taste NY stores. We are currently at the Todd Hill Road store on the Taconic State Parkway.”
Other businesses featured in the Taste NY store at the Olana House include Hawthorne Valley Farm Store of Ghent, Beth’s Farm Kitchen of Stuyvesant, Rockerbox Spice Co. of Hudson and Talbott & Arding of Hudson.