Syracuse (WSYR-TV) – The State has come up with a way to make sure more people get a taste of New York.
The New Baltimore Service Area along I-87 – just south of Albany – will be the first to feature Taste New York products year-round.
One of the products featured at Taste New York will come right from Central New York – Joe’s Jerky.
Joe Robinson has been cutting meat for much of his life – and as a hobby he made jerky at home.
It became so popular among his friends and family that word got out to others.
About two years ago, he and his daughter decided to go into business and Joe’s Jerky quickly outgrew its first facility in Sherrill and moved just down the road.
The family business has always had to balance satisfying their customer base, while keeping an eye on expanding.
"Do we grow before we have the base or do we build it up first, but then we get customers and we can't service them,” said owner and president Jodie Patla.
Right now, the move to the Thruway’s Taste New York display is moving things up a notch.
"It’s just one more avenue for people to see us that might not have seen us in our usual setting,” Patla said.
The I-87 Plaza is a great start, but as the State expands the Taste New York program - like they say they will very soon - Joe's Jerky would like to get into several Thruway Travel Plazas, perfect because a majority of meat products like jerky, are sold at convenience stores.
"So when somebody is at the Thruway stop and sees our brand and might see it in a store, they might recognize it more so then if they had never seen it before,” Patla said.
Any they’re just as happy to push other New York products at their own store in Sherrill, which is its own Taste New York display.
Joe’s Jerky is sold at Nice N’ Easy, Byrne Dairy, and Sav-On convenience stores.
The State says additional locations will soon open at other Thruway service areas featuring Taste New York products in Western and Central New York.