Governor Cuomo announced Taste NY is partnering with Minor League Baseball for the first-time to expand the promotion of locally made, New York agricultural products. The Tri-City ValleyCats, the Capital Region's premier professional baseball team, will open their 2015 season with a "From their Field to Ours" promotion featuring expanded New York food and beverage options for fans from in-state vendors as well as Taste NY branding throughout the stadium. This begins a new partnership to expand Taste NY local offerings at minor league ballparks across the state.
"New York has some of the best food and beverage products around, and by expanding the Taste NY initiative to Minor League Baseball, we're encouraging more people to taste what our farmers and producers have to offer," Governor Cuomo said. "This expansion is another example of how we are helping local producers find new customers for their products, and I encourage New Yorkers to try what they've been missing at a game this summer."
Starting opening day, the ValleyCats will continue to provide New York products throughout Joseph L. Bruno stadium, and through the partnership with Taste NY will expand those options even further.
Fans will be treated to the same great staples at "The Joe" such as the finest craft beverages from Brown's Brewing Company (Troy) and Nine Pin Cider (Albany), and ballgame staples like hamburgers from Trowbridge Angus (Ghent), hot dogs from Helmbold's, and Lupo's Spiedies (Binghamton). Soft and hard ice cream from Garelick Farms is also served on the ValleyCats concourse.
New for 2015, Mastroianni Brothers (Schenectady) will provide all of the rolls, and Ryan's Farmers market will provide product from numerous farms across New York State, including Yonder, Engles, Pigliovento, Wertman, Brizell, Shaul, and Montor.
"The ValleyCats have a strong tradition of developing partnerships with local vendors to showcase their products and enhance the fan experience," said ValleyCats General Manager Matt Callahan. "It is important to us to work with our neighbors whenever possible and we are thrilled to expand these efforts through this initiative with Taste NY."
The Taste NY partnership with the Tri-City ValleyCats also includes a new Taste NY branded food kiosk on the first base concourse, which will serve corned beef & pastrami, fresh fruit, apple nachos, salads and wraps, fruit & yogurt parfaits using Chobani yogurt (Norwich) and Gatherer's Granola (Schenectady), Nine Pin Cider and Heron Hill Wines (Finger Lakes), all using New York State products and ingredients. In addition to the new kiosk, Taste NY signage will bring attention to all New York products being served throughout the entire stadium, including newly added New York beverages served in the suites and a Taste NY section in the Cat's Cupboard retail store.
Richard Ball, Commissioner of the Department of Agriculture & Markets, said, "We have set out to grow the Taste NY program to continue to help our hard working farmers reach new customers and grow this state's economy. The ValleyCats see over 161 thousand fans come through the gates every summer and now they'll have the opportunity to enjoy New York foods and beverages - from Helmbold's hot dogs and Mastroianni rolls to Saratoga water and Nine Pin Cider - while they take in a great game of baseball."
This season, the ValleyCats are also hosting "Down on the Farm Night" on July 17, which will include a pre-game picnic fully sourced from New York products. The New York Farm Bureau will also be involved in the night, as they have been a close partner of the ValleyCats for a number of years. In addition, on Saturday, July 25 the ValleyCats and Brown's Brewing Company will host the 6th Annual Capital Region Craft Brewers Festival, which showcases some of the finest craft breweries around New York State.
Kelly Brown, Owner of Brown's Brewing Co., said, "For seven years and counting we've enjoyed a fantastic partnership with 'The Joe' and are proud to have our craft beer served at the stadium. It's only fitting that our local baseball stadium will feature a great selection of New York State products as part of the Taste NY initiative. Brown's Brewing holds one of the first Farm Brewery Licenses issued by the State, promoting the resurgence of local barley and hops used to make beer. We wholeheartedly support our local baseball team, our fellow New York producers, and Taste NY!"
Bill Busacker, President of Mastroianni Bros, Inc. said, "Mastroianni Bros is proud to partner with Taste NY and the Tri-City ValleyCats in 2015. The ValleyCats provide the best entertainment value to families in the Capital District. We share their vision of local, value and family."
Nine Pin Ciderworks Manager Sonya del Peral said, "Taste NY's expansion into New York minor league baseball represents a key opportunity for New York craft beverage producers. As a committed sponsor of the Tri- City Valley Cats, Nine Pin Cideworks wholeheartedly supports Taste NY's debut at "The Joe".
Seasonal attendance at the Joseph L. Bruno Stadium is 161,171. Taste NY sponsors and participates in a number of statewide, national and international events that highlight and market New York foods and beverages. Governor Cuomo has set a goal of tripling the gross sales of participating Taste NY vendors and expanding the State's efforts to promote New York's agricultural producers.
Governor Cuomo launched Taste NY in 2013 to promote New York's food and beverage industries. It is overseen by the Department of Agriculture and Markets and has created opportunities for local producers to showcase their goods at large public events such as the New York Wine & Food Festival, Summer Fancy Food Show and the Great New York State Fair. The program has also opened stores at Thruway rest stops and New York City airports, enabling travelers to buy New York State's homegrown and homemade products. Approximately 1,100 local companies have participated in these opportunities, further linking their products and the state's growing food and beverage market to consumers from across the globe.
For more information on the program, please visit: www.taste.ny.gov.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.