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Funday: Trip Recovery

July 1, 2016

When we last saw the Profussor he was on an airplane headed back to Pittsburgh. Somehow I got my travel arrangements and my work schedule all botched up. I don’t know how it happened. At some point I must have thought that I would be flying back into New York rather than Pennsylvania.

Whatever the case, I arrived in the Keystone State late on Wednesday night, and had to be up in Saratoga Springs for the 2016 Chef’s Challenge at six o’clock on Thursday evening.

This meant getting only four hours of sleep on the farm before the seven hour drive, then stopping at home to shower, shave, and throw on a suit, only to drive another hour through rush hour traffic in order to make the event.

All said and done, it’s amazing that I got there as close as I did. I may have been a little bit frazzled, and might not have gotten my pop-up sign to the event. But there were Yelp logos visible at the check in table. And I got to mingle with some fascinating people, including congressman Paul Tonko. I even got to rib him a bit about Periscope. There were old friends to pal around with, and I met a few new ones too.

How I’m still upright is beyond me. So today, we’re going to fall back on another Sell Out Funday. So here is a selection of the press releases I’ve received for events this weekend and beyond.

Superior Merchandise Company Hosts a Roaster Takeover

On July 2nd, 2016, Superior Merchandise Company of Troy, NY will unveil its latest specialty coffee concept – the Roaster Takeover. Similar to beer tap takeovers, the Roaster Takeover touches on more bases, featuring batch brew, espresso, iced coffee, pourovers and retail packages of one hard-to-procure roaster for a limited time.

The first roaster up in this series is Drop Coffee from Stockholm, Sweden. Lead by roaster Joanna Alm, Drop has garnered many top awards for barista and roasting excellence. Featuring deceptively simple boxed retail packaging, their coffee is intimately sourced with Alm making repeat trips to origin to purchase coffee lots directly from farmers and co-ops. Drop Coffee’s attention to detail is evident in all aspects of their business and are considered leaders in the Scandinavian coffee roasting realm.

“The Roaster Takeover concept is an opportunity to serve a roaster’s entire coffee catalog to our guests. We are reserving these featured slots for some of our favorite international roasters and look forward to sharing some of the world’s most unique and sought after coffees,” states SMCo.’s Director of Coffee, Matthew Loiacono. “Our customers continue to ask for adventurous offerings and we continue to seek ways to satisfy the demand. What better roaster to kick this series off with than Drop, a brand we have admired for quite some time.”

Drop Coffee’s offerings will be served at Superior Merchandise Company at 147 4th Street in Troy, NY starting at 8am on July 2nd until the coffee runs out.

Drop Coffee’s website:
The Dieline’s packaging feature:
Kinfolk interview with Joanna Alm:
SMCo. website:

8th Annual Taste of Malta Announces Participating Restaurants
Proceeds to benefit the Ballston Spa Partnership for Innovation in Education Fund

MALTA, N.Y. (June 27, 2016) — The Malta Business & Professional Association continues to plan their 8th Annual Taste of Malta on Tuesday, Jul. 19, 2016, 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. at Hudson Valley Community College’s TEC-SMART, 345 Hermes Rd., Malta.

While the final restaurant list isn’t complete, attendees can expect to sample items from Campagna Restaurant, Jimmy’s Pizza & Pasta, Dock Brown’s Lakeside Tavern, Dunning Street Station, Lake Ridge, Panza’s Restaurant, Leah’s Cakery and many more! As in the past, there will once again be a cash bar offering wine, beer and soda to attendees.

Other activities at this year’s event include the very well-received Dinner For A Year Raffle which includes gift certificates from 12 local eateries being awarded to one lucky winner! Last year’s winner, Stephanie Landy, recently shared that they have been “having a blast with their gift cards from the 2015 Taste of Malta! They said. “It has been just amazing and we still have 2 more to go! We are looking forward to this year’s event!”

The ever popular Gift Basket raffle table will return with some great new raffle items as will local talent, Walt Adams, who will be Emceeing this year’s event.

Proceeds from the event support the Ballston Spa Partnership for Innovation in Education Fund. Through business and individual sponsorships and donations, entrance fees to the event, and funds raised from raffles held at the event, we have been able to give over $13,000 to the fund which supports several Ballston Spa Central School District’s most innovative initiatives, including the Clean Technologies & Sustainable Industries Early College in High School (Clean Tech ECHS) held at the HVCC’s TEC-SMART facility in Malta.

To join the event as a restaurant or to donate prizes for the raffles, contact Karen McGowan, Taste of Malta Chair, at or at Sponsorship opportunities are also available at a variety of levels. Email to learn more about sponsoring this tasty event.

For the most up-to-date event information visit HVCC’S TEC-SMART campus is located at 345 Hermes Road in Malta east off Exit 12 of the Adirondack Northway.

The Malta Business and Professional Association is the voice for business leaders in the Malta area. We promote and advance the commercial, industrial, civic climate and general interests of the business and professional enterprises in Malta. Our members include retailers, industrial, cultural, non-profit and service organizations.

Women Farmers, Horsepower, Soil Health, Organic Transition, Farm Open House and an Edible Forest Garden are Highlighted

Farmington, NY—In July, seven varied organic on-farm field days are being presented by the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York (NOFA-NY), hosted by farms in six New York State counties. These are invaluable opportunities for farmers to learn about new methods, see what farms are doing, and network with others around the state.

The event schedule is as follows:

· Wednesday, July 6, 6:30-8:30 pm. “Women in Agriculture: Lady Farmers of Long Island.” Amanda and Katie from Amber Waves Farm in Amagansett (Suffolk County) host this event in which they share how they founded a CSA, pioneered the Amagansett Wheat Project, and continue to provide outstanding education, bread shares, and a Food-to-Pantry project. Registration fees are $15/person or $25 for two or more people/farm. Sponsored by NOFA-NY through the NYFVI Beginning Farmer grant.

· Saturday, July 9, 1-4:00 pm. “Developing a Diversified Horse-Powered Farm.”
Participants will join Matt Volz from Greyrock Farm (Madison County) for a tour of his horse-powered farm that includes a raw milk dairy, and meat and vegetable production. Discussion features how to grow a farm with multiple complementary enterprises including how to handle the management, production and business challenges on a diversified farm. Registration fees are $15/person or $25 for two or more people/farm. Sponsored by NOFA-NY through the NYFVI Beginning Farmer grant.

· Thursday, July 14, 6-8:00 pm. “Long-Term High Tunnel Soil Health and Nutrient Management for Tomato Production.” Host Obercreek Farm (Dutchess County) shares their success in managing tomato production in a high tunnel by maintaining and improving soil health and fertility, controlling pests and disease, and ensuring profitable yield and excellent quality. Registration fees are $15/person or $25 for two or more people/farm. Sponsored by NOFA-NY through the NVFVI High Tunnel grant.

· Wednesday, July 20, 4-6:00 pm. “Moving into Wholesale Markets for Small and Mid-Sized Farms.” Mainstreet Farms (Cortland County) brings healthy, local food to the community, utilizing education and community partners to create a strong local food system. Cornell’s Crystal Stewart will demonstrate the fundamentals for crossing over into wholesale markets, from record keeping to timing crops.

· Wednesday, July 20, 4-7:00 pm. “Organic Transition—Certification and Growing Practices: It’s More than Input Substitution.” Fishkill Farms’ (Dutchess County) crops include tree fruit, berries, vegetables and eggs. Participants will join farmer Josh Morgenthau who will share the challenges in transitioning to organic, including changes in growing practices, creation of buffer zones, and management. Caitlyn Reilly of NOFA-NY Certified Organic LLC will discuss the nuts and bolts of organic certification and be available to answer any questions. Risk management and crop/whole farm insurance programs also will be discussed.

· Sunday, July 24, 1-4:00 pm. “Kingbird Open House.” This year, Kingbird Farm (Tioga County) celebrates 20 years of success. Michael, Karma and Rosemary Glos will share their story of how they organically manage pork, chicken, eggs, culinary herbs, and produce while utilizing horses for field work. The farm will be open for exploration, shopping, and enjoyment, with a guided farm tour at 2 pm. This event is free and open to the public, and is co-sponsored by NOFA-NY and Groundswell Center for Food and Farming.

· Saturday, July 30, 12:45-4:00 pm. “Creating an Edible Forest Garden.” Dani Baker, co-owner of Cross Island Farms (Jefferson County), has developed one acre of her certified organic farm as a multi-functional edible forest garden, incorporating numerous permaculture principles and practices. She will take participants for a walk-through and introduction to 300+ perennial cultivars of fruits, nuts, berries, and other edibles. Attendees will taste fruits, flowers, greens, and herbs in season, and go home with a potted plant to add to their own edible garden. Registration fees are $20/person or $30 for two or more attendees from the same farm/family. Private farm tours are available that morning; email or call 315-482-3663.

Pre-registration is available online at or by calling Jill at the NOFA-NY office, (585) 271-1979 x512. Complete events are online here:

Upstate New York Restaurateurs Garner National Recognition, Named Winners in Eater’s ‘Young Guns’ Competition
Heather LaVine and Vic Christopher of Clark House Hospitality recognized among nation’s top culinary talent

Troy, NY – Heather LaVine and Vic Christopher, co-owners of Clark House Hospitality, which owns and operates Peck’s Arcade, Lucas Confectionery, Twenty-Two 2nd Street Wine Co., and little pecks all-day café, have helped to transform the region’s culinary scene through their vision, innovation and passion. Now the pair has received national recognition, being named to the 2016 class of Eater “Young Guns,” a prestigious group of the most up-and-coming industry talent in the country.

This victory represents the latest in a string of accolades the couple has received since opening to critical acclaim in 2012. Recent honors include Peck’s Arcade being named to Opentable’s “Hottest 100 Restaurants”, Lucas Confectionery earning “Small Business of the Year” from Minor League Baseball and OnDeck, and Albany Business Review “40 Under 40” honors for LaVine, Christopher and their executive chef Nick Ruscitto.

LaVine and Christopher were chosen as Eater “Young Guns” from a diverse and qualified pool of more than 1,500 nominees. Their innovative and disruptive approach to the dining experience, a steadfast commitment to maintaining an ever-changing variety of options at their establishments, and their impeccable reputation for providing quality food, service and experience to the people of Troy are just a few of the qualifications that earned them this recognition from Eater.

“We are happy to accept this award and to help bring attention to the revitalization of small cities like Troy, New York,” said LaVine and Christopher. “All across America, people are discovering the opportunities that small cities offer – many of which are rebounding because of their vibrant culinary scenes. You no longer need to visit a big city to get a world-class meal. It’s exciting for us and our team to be able to contribute to the rebirth of Troy through food. We’re honored to be a part of such an important time for our city. We look forward to what’s to come – not just for Troy, but for other small communities across the country.”

Information about the other winners can be found here. A profile on LaVine and Christopher can be found here.

The 2016 class of Eater “Young Guns” was announced at Rose Café & Market in Venice, California on Monday, June 27, 2016.

Established by Heather LaVine and Vic Christopher in 2012, Clark House Hospitality is a collection of restaurant, retail, and private event spaces obsessed with creating quality experiences between people, food, and drink in Troy, NY. The Clark House is the historic building on Broadway in downtown Troy that is home to Peck’s Arcade and little peck’s all-day café. For more information, please visit

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