LAGRANGE – A Taste NY Market at the Todd Hill rest area on the Taconic State Parkway in the Town of LaGrange opened on Monday and Governor Andrew Cuomo stopped by for a first-hand look.
Cuomo was joined at the site in the middle of the Taconic Parkway by Dutchess County Executive Marcus Molinaro and State Senator Terry Gipson to accent Dutchess County’s two largest industries, tourism and agriculture.
The building had been sitting vacant for as long as any of them could remember. At one point many years ago, it was the site of a gas station.
The sight is in keeping with the ambiance of the parkway and President Theodore Roosevelt’s vision, Cuomo said.
“So we said let’s find a better use for the building. Let’s restore it to a use that is synonymous with the Taconic State Parkway and what this region is all about,” the governor said.
The restoration is part of an overall New York State promotional program called Taste NY. The new market is a way to tell the story of Hudson Valley agriculture to travelers on the parkway.
“There has been a total revitalization of this building that had been left derelict,” Molinaro said. “And through the state’s investment and the Taste NY effort to highlight the great agricultural resources of Dutchess County and the Hudson Valley this will be a great rest stop, a great pit stop, and a great business stop for commuters, residents, and visitors.”
There will be products from some 15 local farms, including fresh eggs, dairy products, meats, local fruits and vegetables, sauces and syrups. Drivers stopping in will also be able to get local ice cream, coffee or tea, as well as sandwiches and pastries.
“There’s five or six farms that have products in there that are just a few miles away, so it isn’t as if this is coming from a faraway place. We are talking about things that are grown very close to this facility that are being sold here in this store,” Gipson said.
Cornell Cooperative Extension Dutchess County will operate and manage the Taste NY Market at Todd Hill as a pilot for other potential locations across the state.
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.