Speaker Carl Heastie continued his annual statewide tour today, joining Assemblymember Donna Lupardo at the State University of New York (SUNY) Broome Community College Food Sciences & Brew Lab and the Commercial Kitchen at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Broome County (CCE). The Speaker also announced that $750,000 in funding will be headed to the commercial kitchen to support local agriculture and culinary businesses in the Broome County area.
“I’m honored Assemblymember Lupardo invited me to see all the exciting things happening in the world of food science and cuisine here in Broome County,” said Speaker Heastie. “The Commercial Kitchen at CCE is giving our local chefs, farmers and caterers the space they need to operate a local business, while SUNY Broome’s Food Sciences program is training our students in the skills they need to be successful in this workforce. The Assembly Majority remains committed to supporting this industry in any way we can.”
“I want to thank Speaker Heastie for taking the time today to tour our Food Sciences facilities at SUNY Broome and the incredible commercial kitchen space at CCE,” said Assemblymember Lupardo. “We are very focused on building careers in the food sciences, culinary arts and hospitality industry. At the same time, the campus at CCE is supporting our farmers and food entrepreneurs alike with their amazing facilities.”
Speaker Heastie and Assemblymember Lupardo began their visit with a tour of SUNY Broome’s Food Sciences & Brew Lab with SUNY Broome President Tony Hawkins. Students in the Food Science program use the lab to help prepare for career paths as food science technicians in various industrial food manufacturing settings that include brewing, distilling and the dairy food sector. After completing SUNY Broome’s two-year program, many students transfer to four-year institutions to pursue further education in fields such as Food Science, Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Agriculture Engineering and more.
Speaker Heastie and Assemblymember Lupardo then visited the Broome County Regional Farmers Market and the Commercial Kitchen at CCE located within the market. The CCE Broome Commercial Kitchen is a shared-used kitchen where farmers, at-home producers, chefs and caterers can rent the kitchen to create products, scale up production, prepare for events and more with support from staff members. By renting the space, members are provided a direct link to agribusiness resources from CCE of Broome County, Cornell University and Cornell Food Venture Center, while also enjoying direct marketing access to TasteNY stores and the Broome County Regional Farmers Market.
The $750,000 annouced today will be used to help expand the kitchen space and support the construction of a new walk-in cooler and dry storage. This funding is in addition to the $750,000 already provided by the Assembly Majority to support the construction of the Agricultural Development Center and TasteNY Store.
“I’d like to thank Speaker Heastie and Assemblywoman Lupardo for visiting CCE today; their ongoing support for our work is deeply appreciated. This kitchen expansion holds profound importance as it will serve as a catalyst for transformative growth within our community. By enlarging our shared-use kitchen, we are nurturing an environment where local entrepreneurship flourishes, community bonds strengthen, and the initiatives of Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises (MWBEs) gain vital momentum,” said Beth Roberts, executive director, CCE of Broome County.