The New York State Fair is back which means the Horticulture Building is filled with local farmers and vendors selling their products, talking about produce, and promoting small business. Volunteer at the New York Apple Association Tami Baken explains why buying local is important.
"There is a real desire for people today to understand their food and see where it comes from. Farm markets are places for people to experience their food firsthand."
One vendor who turned her small local enterprise into a successful statewide business is Rachel Pohl. She’s creator of Rachel’s Raquette Lake Elixir Bloody Mary Mix.
"I started out bottling it all myself. My family has a dinner boat on Raquette Lake, and I was bottling it myself in our commercial kitchen. But after a few years, I could no longer keep up so now I do have a cold packer who bottles it all for me."
Pohl says she’s now selling thousands of cases of her bloody mary mix every year. She sells her original or medium spice level mix to New York grocery stores, convenient stores, gift shops, and beer stores. But she saves her spicy version for only liquor stores. Pohl says if people didn’t buy local, she never would have been this successful.
"I think it's very important to support local producers of craft items like this. I'm a success story of that whole supporting local, growing from one person to more."
The Taste New York vendors will be in the Horticulture Building for the duration of the fair, which continues through September 4th.