This weekend people had the chance to sample statewide food and spirits at the Taste New York Harvest Fest. YNN's Candace Hopkins tells us about the push to buy local.
SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- There was anything ranging from spicy dipping oil, to specialty cheeses, and beer and wine at the New York State Fairgrounds over the weekend. The Taste New York Harvest Fest was all about savoring samples and introducing people to new products made in our own backyards.
"We have so many, hundreds and hundreds of great products that if you knew about them, you'd probably start buying them. We go to the supermarket and we buy the things we're used to buying, but these are new products made by your friends and your neighbors," said New York State Fair Spokesperson Dave Bullard.
This is just one of the many events connected to Governor Andrew Cuomo's new Taste New York initiative. It was launched last year, as part of his $60 million tourism campaign.
Many people attended the event to snack on samples and socialize with friends.
"We like the mixture of the wine with the beer, and also some of the food, the cheeses, and the meats, and the people are great here, and we're from this area so it's nice to come back," said Lake George Resident David Mattes.
"For me, I want to buy several items to give out for Christmas gifts for people who live out of state, to sort of let them know what New York is all about, it's not just a state with side walks," said Nancy Kearney of Fayetteville.
Although the vendors had products available for purchase, many of them said it was less about the sales, and more about interacting with potential customers.
"You know we're not hermits, we like to get out and meet the people that support us, and interact with them also, I believe strongly in advertising and particular in sampling, if you have a great product you give away samples of it, it speaks for itself," said Cheeky Monkey Foods Owner Leah Race.
When customers embrace local companies, it's a win for the entire state's economy. Special Taste New York stores and kiosks have also been set up at Thruway stops and in airports.