Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor | Richard A. Ball, Commissioner
Jessica Ziehm

October 06, 2009

New York Apples to be Offered at 12 NYS Thruway Stores

HMS Host Operated Travel Plazas to Provide NY Apples to Thruway Travelers

New York State Agriculture Commissioner Patrick Hooker today announced that local New York State apples will be offered at the convenience stores located at 12 New York State Thruway plazas across the State. 

“New York is the second largest apple producing state in the nation and the New York State Thruway travels right through some of our major apple producing regions, such as the Hudson Valley,” Commissioner Hooker said.  “As Thruway travelers are driving past our apple orchards, it only makes sense to offer them a fresh and nutritious, locally grown apple at a rest stop.  We are pleased with the working relationship we have established with HMS Host and the continued commitment of the New York State Thruway Authority to support our local farmers.”

The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets successfully negotiated with HMS Host, the vendor for 12 of the New York State Thruway Authority’s 27 travel plazas, to replace apples produced out of the state with fresh, locally grown New York State apples.  HMS Host is now sourcing New York apples from Twin Orchards in New Hartford (Oneida County), George W. Saulpaugh & Son in Germantown (Columbia County) and Devoe’s Orchards in Halfmoon (Saratoga County).  They will offer McIntosh, Cortland, Gala, Ginger Gold and Macoun varieties as ready-to-eat single units and in half-bushel totes year-round.

HMS Host’s General Manager for New York Motorway Operations Richard Kinley said, “We are excited to be partnering with the Department of Agriculture and Markets and the New York State Thruway Authority in highlighting a great New York State product.  Throughout the year, travelers along the Thruway will be able to choose from a wide variety of fresh New York apples.  We are happy to support our local growers and proud of the products New York State has to offer.”

Jim Allen, President of the New York Apple Association, said, “Thruway travelers will now have the opportunity to snack on our delicious local apples on their journey.  We are grateful to Commissioner Hooker and HMS Host for coordinating a supply of fresh local fruit for Thruway travel plazas.  This will greatly help increase the profile of our apples with consumers and also provide motorists with a quality, healthy snack.”

Starting immediately, Thruway travelers will be able to buy New York apples in convenience stores at the following HMS Host operated travel plazas:  Ardsley, Sloatsburg, Plattekill, Ulster, New Baltimore, Pattersonville, Iroquois, Indian Castle, Oneida, Chittenango, Junius Ponds and Clifton Springs.

Executive Director of the New York State Thruway Authority Michael R. Fleischer said, “As a major transportation artery in New York State, the Thruway is an ideal avenue to offer locally grown produce to motorists.  The Authority commends the Department of Agriculture and Markets and HMS Host for its decision to sell New York State apples year-round in the select convenient stores along the Thruway.  This initiative is an excellent way to further support New York State farmers and promote local produce.”

This initiative builds on the Thruway Authority’s long established commitment to promoting locally grown products and area farms to the millions of motorists who travel the Thruway each year.  Currently, there are 12 travel plazas that showcase seasonal farmers’ markets that offer a variety of local produce.  More recently, the Thruway Authority partnered with the Department of Agriculture and Markets to promote New York farms by publishing informational booklets on nearly 200 agricultural businesses located along the Thruway.  The agri-tourism booklets are available at all 27 Thruway travel plazas, various locations along the Canal corridor and on the Thruway Authority’s website at

It is currently apple season in New York State, which is the second largest apple producing state in the nation.  Currently, there are 42,000 acres of apples grown in New York State.  Last year, New York State produced 1.25 billion pounds of apples, which were valued at $255 million.  Early estimates indicate an even larger crop this year.  For more information on New York apples, visit

PHOTOGRAPH:  Please contact Jessica Ziehm at if you want to receive a photograph from today’s event. 

2009 Press Releases