KIRKWOOD, NY (WIVT/WBGH) – Today’s Food and Farm Showcase takes us to a highway rest stop that showcases New York agricultural products to New Yorkers and non-New Yorkers alike.

The Taste New York store inside the Southern Tier Welcome Center along Interstate 81 North in Kirkwood opened in 2015.

It’s operated by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Broome County and features a large variety of shelf stable products grown or processed in New York.

They include marinades, sauces, honey, maple syrup, chips, pre-made sandwiches and pastries.

There’s also some refrigerated items like cheeses and beverages as well as some personal hygiene products.

Food Systems Coordinator for CCE Amy Willis says it’s a popular stop for travelers headed north or returning north.

“As people are entering our state, they’re buying those products, taking them with them as gifts and then purchasing them again online. We have one vendor who’s already in 37 other states.”

Due to federal interstate rules, all of the purchases are done through self-serve kiosks.

It’s one of 2 Taste New York stores that CCE of Broome County operates.

The other is on the organization’s main campus on Upper Front Street and features more perishable and hyper local products.

But Willis says the Welcome Center is worth the stop for Broome residents returning from a trip south of the border.

“It’s a beautiful space, there’s a lot to see. The location is gorgeous. It’s just a really neat stop even for a Broome County resident. Every time I come up here, I find something where I say, ‘Oh my gosh, how cool is that?'”

The dining area at the Welcome Center even has a carousel design.

The Taste New York store on Interstate 81 is now operating with its summer hours, 8 to 7, seven days a week.