Apples were in abundance at this week’s Valley Café inspired by the Victorian household knowledge of Mrs. Isabella Mary Beaton. The apple soup, apples and rice, and butter apples were not only delicious, but also fresh from the local area.
Hudson River Fruit Distributors grows its apples less than 10 miles from campus across the Hudson River in Milton, New York and also just east of Poughkeepsie in Pleasant Valley. They are a vertically integrated company, meaning they do everything–grow, package, sell, ship and store the apples in order to ensure their produce is the highest quality possible. The Valley Café only sources from the best.
The business was started in July of 1963 by Isadore “Izzy” Albinder who immigrated from Russia in the 1930s. When he arrived in New York City he bought a pushcart to sell apples in the neighborhoods around Brooklyn. After some time Izzy became frustrated by the low quality of apples, so he traveled north to the Hudson Valley and formed relations with the apple growers. Eventually, Izzy and his son Harold purchased land and a packing house that has since developed into Hudson River Fruit Distributors. Izzy’s grandson, Dan, and Dan’s daughter, Alisha, have since helped run the business which has expanded to over 400 acres of apple farms in New York and southern Vermont.
The hard work and crisp local taste of Hudson River Fruit Distributors were apparent in Tuesday’s Valley Café meal. My friend and I were chatting with one of the workers at the event on Tuesday about how delicious the dessert was and she was very proud about how fresh the apples were, having been peeled and chopped and baked in the kitchen rather than defrosted. It is farmers like Hudson River Fruit Distributors that allow The Valley Café to keep the passion for fresh, healthy ingredients alive. And we are proud to support the local community in return.
See everyone after spring break for more locally sourced lunches at The Valley Café!
(Photos courtesy of Hudson River Fruit Distributors and from the Valley Cafe Luncheon)