Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor | Richard A. Ball, Commissioner
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May 22, 2015

Syracuse’s Strong Hearts Café Will Open First Vegan/Vegetarian Stand at the Great New York State Fair

Strong Hearts Will Create Special State Fair-Only Milkshake

Syracuse’s Strong Hearts Café will join the great lineup of food vendors for the Great New York State Fair this year and will offer the first all-vegan/vegetarian menu in the Fair’s history, Acting Fair Director Troy Waffner announced today.

Strong Hearts Café was chosen from among four proposals following the Fair’s announcement that it was seeking a vendor committed to serving food that would appeal to vegans and vegetarians.  The restaurant’s stand will be located in the International Building.

“We are thrilled to have an operator of the quality and commitment of the Strong Hearts team as part of the family of vendors at the State Fair.  I know this will be a home run for Fairgoers, who come to the Fair to find great new foods to taste.  As for me, I’m trying to figure out which of their milkshakes I’m going to get first,” said Waffner.

In addition to serving 100% percent vegan fare for breakfast, lunch and dinner, Strong Hearts offers more than 40 milkshakes at its popular restaurant on East Genesee Street in Syracuse and its satellite location on the Syracuse University hill.   

In its proposal, Strong Hearts said it will create a new milkshake especially for the Fair.  The menu will also include smoothies, salads, sandwiches, wraps, side dishes, and some of its most popular milkshakes.

In keeping with State Fair tradition, Strong Hearts will also offer a deep-fried delicacy:  Vegan chicken wings.

“People are ready for these fun and healthy alternatives,” said Strong Hearts co-owner Joel Capolongo. “We know what people like and want, and we’re ready to prove it to the hundreds of thousands of visitors to the Great New York State Fair.  I know fairgoers are going to love this food.”

The effort to find a vegan/vegetarian food vendor is part of the Fair’s ongoing effort to diversify its food choices.  As openings occur in food vending spots, the Fair seeks new vendors with diverse menus.

Surveys of Fairgoers find year after year that the number one reason they come to the Fair is for the food.  There are approximately 200 food vendors at the Great New York State Fair.

The New York State Fair, operated by the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, runs from August 27 to September 7, 2015.  The Fair’s mission, reflected in its theme, “Summer’s Best in Show,” is to showcase the best of New York agriculture while providing top-quality entertainment. 

In addition to the annual New York State Fair, the Fairgrounds host dozens of agricultural events throughout the year, including some of the Northeast’s most prestigious horse and livestock shows.

The home of the Great New York State Fair is a 375-acre exhibit and entertainment complex that operates all year. A year-round schedule of events is available on the Fair’s website.  Find The Great New York State Fair on Facebook, follow @NYSFair on Twitter, and enjoy photos from the Fair at Also, New Yorkers are invited to send their ideas for the Great New York State Fair at

2015 Press Releases