New York State Encourages Shoppers to Visit Local Welcome Centers for Unique Holiday Gifts This Season

Pre-Made and Customized Gift Baskets Available at Welcome Centers and Taste NY Stores, Make Great Last-Minute Gifts for Everyone on the Shopping List

Stores Offer Wide Selection of Food and Beverages for Holiday Meals

Welcome Centers Provide Opportunity for New Yorkers to Also Learn More about Tourism in the Region and Conduct DMV Transactions

State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball today encouraged New Yorkers to think local this holiday season and give unique and quality gifts with Taste NY gifts and baskets filled with the very best of New York made food, beverages and other products.  New York’s regional Welcome Centers and Taste NY stores around the State offer specialty gift items as well as pre-made and customized gift baskets for everyone on the holiday shopping list.  Photos of various gift baskets can be seen here.  Find a nearby store here.

Commissioner Ball said, “With all 11 regional Welcome Centers open and numerous additional Taste NY stores located across the State, it’s now easier than ever to find thoughtful, high-quality gifts that friends and family will love.  The State’s hard-working farmers and agribusinesses produce some of the finest products out there, and the holidays are a perfect time to share those items with the people you care about most. Thanks to our managers and operators of these Taste NY stores and markets, there is something available for everyone. I encourage New Yorkers to stop by a Taste NY store to shop for great gifts and support their local economy.”

New York Produced Farm Fresh Gift Basket

Gift sets and baskets range in size and price.  They feature a wide selection of local gourmet food items, locally produced craft beverages, New York made novelty items and bath and beauty products, among others.  Several Taste NY stores are taking orders for gifts through their Facebook pages or over the phone. Shoppers are encouraged to inquire at their local store for order options.

Taste NY stores, markets and other locations also offer a wide range of foods and beverages that can be used to create fresh, delicious holiday meals. For a complete list of Taste NY store locations, hours of operation and contact information, visit the Taste NY website.

There are now 11 Welcome Centers strategically located across New York State. They each include a Taste NY store or market that showcases locally grown and sourced products from across the state.  The Welcome Centers also provide residents and travelers the opportunity to conduct critical services, such as Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) transactions, and to connect with each region’s tourism attractions and destinations.

Pure Honey New York State Product

DMV self-serve kiosks are available at the Mohawk Valley, Central New York, and Long Island Welcome Centers. Customers can conduct a dozen motor vehicle transactions on the kiosks, such as renewing a vehicle registration, ordering a driver license abstract, or changing their address on their driver license. In addition, customers can renew their snowmobile or boat registrations, or request a duplicate driver license, permit or non-driver ID. These easy-to-use kiosks are also available in all state-run DMV offices, allowing many customers to skip the line and get on their way faster.

Thruway Authority Executive Director Matthew J. Driscoll said, “The extensive selection of products from New York available at Welcome Centers across the state make perfect gifts for everyone on your list. By purchasing local products, you also support the dozens of agribusinesses, artisans and small community businesses that call New York home.”

New York State Produced

DMV Executive Deputy Commissioner Terri Egan added, “This is a busy season for all of us, and we understand that no one wants to take an extra trip to the DMV. Our self-serve kiosks make it quick and easy to conduct a wide variety of motor vehicle transactions without having to go to an office. They are just one way the DMV has expanded its customer service options to better meet the needs of New Yorkers. Now, with kiosks in the Central New York, Mohawk Valley and Long Island Welcome Centers, visitors can cross two things off their ‘to do’ lists—shop for great, local gifts, and take care of their business with the DMV.”

What is “Taste NY”?
The Taste NY initiative has seen steady growth and recognition since it was created in 2013. The program, which is overseen by the Department of Agriculture and Markets, has created opportunities for local producers to showcase their goods at a variety of venues throughout the State and at large public events, such as the Great New York State Fair and the Barclays Tournament at Bethpage State Park. It has also helped the farms and companies participating in the program to reach more customers, increase online sales, and, in many cases, expand the processing capacity of their business. Taste NY’s food and beverage businesses also support the State’s farmers by using New York grown and produced ingredients in their products.

New York products sold under Taste NY branding are available in more than 70 locations throughout the State.

For more information about Taste NY, please visit Connect with Taste NY through FacebookTwitterInstagram and Pinterest.