A Bohemia bagel shop is going to Canada.
Through a new partnership between Amtrak and Albany’s Taste NY promotional campaign, travelers to destinations across the Empire State and as far north as Toronto and Montreal will enjoy a variety of foodstuffs and craft beverages made in New York – including crave-worthy carbohydrates from Long Island’s Always Bagels.
Also making the trip: KIND bars, produced by Manhattan’s KIND Snacks; Chobani yogurt, manufactured in New Berlin; Sweet Sam’s coffee cakes, fresh from the Bronx; Brooklyn Brewery’s Defender IPA; Brewery Ommegang’s Witte Wheat Ale, micro-brewed in Cooperstown; and craft beverages from Albany’s own Nine Pin Cider Works, self-billed as “New York’s first farm cidery.”
Taste NY products will be available in the café cars of Amtrak’s Maple Leaf, which runs from New York City to Toronto with a stop in Niagara Falls; the Adirondack, which connects NYC, Albany and Montreal; the Empire Service, which extends from the Big Apple to Niagara Falls, with stops in Albany, Syracuse, Rochester and Buffalo; and the Ethan Allen Express, which connects NYC and Rutland, Vt., via Albany.
It’s a potentially huge score for the participating producers: Not only does Amtrak estimate that roughly 1 million passengers travel those routes annually, but according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office, gross sales of Taste NY participants tripled between 2014 and 2015, and sales are expected to double again in 2016.
Noting that New York culinary companies “produce some of the best food and beverages anywhere,” Cuomo said the three-year-old Taste NY program was giving regional producers “more and more exposure across the state and around the globe.”
“This exciting new partnership means that the approximately 1 million people traveling on these Amtrak lines will be able to experience for themselves some of the best products New York has to offer,” the governor added.
Always Bagels, which according to its website launched in Port Jefferson in 1985, did not return several calls for comment. Company president Tony Pariti said in a statement that Always Bagels is “honored to be part of the Taste NY program.”
The Taste NY initiative has now established footholds in more than 50 locations statewide, including a Taste NY Bar at the Nikon at Jones Beach Theater and a Taste NY Café inside Jones Beach’s newly renovated West Bathhouse. About 1,100 New York-based companies are now taking part, according to the governor’s office.
While it will help Albany’s effort to grow the state economy, bringing Taste NY products aboard is also a good get for Amtrak, noted Tom Hall, the railroad’s vice president of customer service.
“This program will help improve the customer experience for our passengers by providing new and enhanced food choices while also highlighting some great New York-based businesses,” Hall said.