NEW LEBANON RESURGENCE
PRESS RELEASE - Lebanon Valley Business Association and New Lebanon Town Board
March 5, 2010
The Town of New Lebanon is experiencing a resurgence. While in the process of working toward the development of a more viable economic future, the Town is re-connecting to its historic past---its Shaker Heritage. Recently, Congressman, Scott Murphy of New York’s 20th District visited the Shaker Museum & Library’s facility at Mt. Lebanon to present that organization with a Congressional Citation for Historic Preservation.
Currently, there are a number of initiatives underway sponsored by individual citizens, business owners, the Lebanon Valley Business Association, the Shaker Museum & Library and the Town itself. In addition to the ongoing planning and re-construction efforts of the Shaker Museum and Library which are related to its intent to move it’s operations to the New Lebanon site, other historic renovations like the Tilden Family Mansion and the Masonic Lodge have been completed, while Shaker-like architectural modifications for the Mid-town Mall are in progress. In addition to these pleasing visual contributions to the Town’s appearance and image, projects involving other elements of the Shaker Culture are also occurring; especially in the realm of food & agriculture.
On Friday, February, 26th an informal welcoming committee of twenty-two people interested in food, agriculture and economic development, (and who currently produce eggs, organic vegetables, maple syrup & beef locally) gathered at the Triple Nickel Café to welcome a new business, “The Shaker Mountain Canning Co.” to New Lebanon. The Founder and owner of the business, Ms. Kristen Greer, lives locally in Stephentown and said she chose New Lebanon because of its Shaker Heritage and the Shaker connection with wholesome, good quality food, as well as “old style” preparation and canning methods, which she intends to pursue in her business. Ms. Greer has chosen as her Operations Manager, Ms. Susan Cassidy a local business person who is certified, by the NY State Ag & Markets Department, in “Better Processing Techniqyes. Ms. Cassidy is also the owner of a local food business, “Shaker Mountain Barbeque” . In their canning operations, Mss. Greer and Cassidy intend to use a variety of food preservation methods and will experiment over time with new and different methods of artisanal food production.
Ms. Greer indicated that her venture will be “very market driven”. Her goal is “to supply products to a market hungry for local food, at a time (winter) when there are few other sources”. In addition to growing her own crops during growing season on a 15 acre parcel of land that she bought on Route 20 in New Lebanon, she will also be buying produce from local farmers and “creating a ready and new revenue stream for area farmers, that is independent of demand from existing farmstands, farmers markets and CSA’s ( Community Supported Agriculture Associations)”.
In the first year of operation the Company’s products will be practical and easy-to-use ingredients for home cooking. Basic staples like tomato puree will be a signature product. Other initial products will likely include frozen corn, frozen butternut squash puree and french fries. During months when they cannot process freshly harvested produce, they will make fruit pies with fruit preserved in the spring and summer.
The assembled group of welcomers enthusiastically expressed interest in Ms. Greer’s venture and offered some very practical insights regarding the challenges and opportunities of operating locally. All expressed offers of support and wished her much success.
Below is a picture of members of the Lebanon Valley Business Association and the New Lebanon Town Board welcoming Ms. Greer to the community.
Left to right are:
Vivian Steinberg & Linda Hursa (LVBA) Mss. Cassidy & Greer, KB Chittenden (Town Board).