Locate Finger Lakes Business Journal

Geneva Primed to Become the Food and Beverage Hub of New York State

Part one of a multi-part series about the City of Geneva’s efforts to grow its food and beverage industry. Today, Locate Finger Lakes covers the City’s newly-created Food and Beverage Industry Consortium.

If there’s one person who understands the importance of timing, it’s a farmer. They know the right time to cultivate the land, plant the seeds, and harvest the crops.

It’s a fitting metaphor as the City of Geneva believes it’s time to stake its position as the premier food and beverage hub of the Finger Lakes and New York State.


City of Geneva’s Food and Beverage Industry Consortium Participating Organizations
  • Assured Edge Solutions
  • Billsboro Winery
  • Center of Excellence in Food and Agriculture
  • CenterState
  • City of Geneva
  • Cornell AgriTech
  • Cornell Agriculture and Food Technology Park
  • Empire State Development
  • Finger Lakes Community College
  • Finger Lakes Workforce Development
  • Geneva Business Improvement District
  • Geneva Industrial Development Agency
  • Geneva Local Development Corporation
  • Geneva Revolving Loan Fund
  • Greater Rochester Enterprise
  • Hobart and William Smith Colleges
  • Locate Finger Lakes
  • MRB Group
  • Ontario County Economic Development
  • Ontario County Workforce Development
  • Rochester Institute of Technology
  • Stonybrook Wholehearted Foods
  • Town of Geneva
  • Twisted Rail Brewing

For information on joining the consortium, contact City Manager Sage Gerling at
315-789-6104 or


Left to right: Sage Gerling, Geneva City Manager; Adam Blowers, Assistant Geneva City Manager

The City has established a consortium comprised of food and beverage producers, business, academia and government to drive further innovation and growth in the industry locally.

To facilitate this effort, the City has engaged CenterState Corporation for Economic Opportunity (CenterState CEO), an independent economic development strategy organization based in Syracuse.

“Collectively, we are creating a Food and Beverage Industry ecosystem focused on accelerating growth and prosperity in Geneva and supporting our academic institutions, private entities and public partners,” said Sage Gerling, Geneva City Manager. “We are grateful to CenterState CEO for facilitation of these efforts and the cooperation from many local, regional and state partners, and we look forward to growing our network of co-creators.”

Locate Finger Lakes is a member of the City’s consortium.

“After decades of hard work by the City of Geneva and its many partners, the City now seeks to showcase its unique and significant assets that position it as a preeminent center for food and technology,” said former New York State Senator Michael F. Nozzolio, Chairman of Locate Finger Lakes. “This is an effort whose time has come, and I applaud City Manager Sage Gerling for her leadership in pulling together this major team of key collaborators.”

Growing businesses and jobs

The food and beverage industry represents the entire commercial journey from farm to fork, including agriculture, production and processing, packaging and distribution, and retail sales.

The industry represents one of the largest employment sectors in Geneva.

Local employers include longstanding businesses like family-owned Red Jacket Orchards, which celebrated its 60th anniversary last year and startup companies like RealEats, which is expanding its Geneva facility.

The consortium convened by the City of Geneva has six focus areas:

  1. Improving Communication Among Partners
  2. Addressing Infrastructure Needs
  3. Enhancing Talent, Education and Workforce Development
  4. Strengthening Access to Capital
  5. Launching Additional Incubation and Acceleration Support
  6. Telling Our Story

“Group members come to the table with a variety of insights and ideas, but they can all agree on this: Geneva is strategic to the growth of the food and beverage industry in New York State,” said Adam Blowers, Geneva’s Assistant City Manager. “And there’s no better time than now to further cultivate our resources and plant the seeds for additional economic development and jobs.”

For more information on the City of Geneva’s food and beverage industry consortium, contact City Manager Sage Gerling at 315-789-6104 or

Stay tuned to Locate Finger Lakes Business Journal for more on this initiative in the months to come.

Up next: In part two of the series, Locate Finger Lakes will take a look at Geneva’s largest asset in growing food and beverage businesses: Cornell AgriTech, the applied research arm of Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Click here to read part two of this multi-part series.

Watch this new video (y en español) created by the Geneva Industrial Development Agency, the Geneva Local Development Corporation, and the City to encourage businesses to “Get It Started” in Geneva.

Krista Gleason is a contributor to the Locate Finger Lakes Business Journal. She is a freelance writer and owner of Gleason Writes in the beautiful Finger Lakes.

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