How to Generate Biz via Overnight Packages


Download Debbie's course, “Creating Farm, Winery & Craft Beverage Trail Overnight Packages” here.

From the creation of the first private chef service in her hometown of Cleveland, Ohio to owning and operating a bed and breakfast for the last 13 years, Debbie Meritsky has cultivated a working knowledge of the local food movement and continues to promote her small family farms to locals and tourists alike. Through her experience, Debbie has developed extensive knowledge in the creation of travel packages, which allowed her to further utilize her relationships within the agritourism community. Debbie's business location in the Finger Lakes affords her an extensive selection of agricultural and craft beverage products and experiences to offer guests.

In her training course, learn how to add customers, revenue and value to your agritourism business through packaging. You will get first-hand knowledge of how and why to create exciting agritourism packages as Debbie walks you through all of the steps. Using real-life examples, you will learn what to do and benefit from many helpful hints along the way. Best of all, you can create your packages with little, or no upfront cost, and quickly experience the direct benefit to your business.

"There are three main goals in agirtourism packaging," Debbie explains. "1) To provide a one-stop shop approach that offers the customer an exceptional experience while they explore the best agritourism products or services in your area or region; 2) to create a new revenue stream for your business as well as the participating businesses in the package; and 3) to build a new customer base." 

Download Debbie's course, “Creating Farm, Winery & Craft Beverage Trail Overnight Packages” here.

Jennifer's Tips for Getting Your Business "Group Ready"


Download Jennifer's course, "Rallying Your Resources for Group, Corporate & Motorcoach Businesshere.

Jennifer Ackerson, President of ALON Marketing Group, is a 25+ year veteran of the travel industry with direct experience working in all tourism business categories. Jennifer has an excellent understanding of group visitation and the tourism dynamic. This expertise results in a high level of successful strategic tourism business development for both tourism suppliers and destinations in the domestic and international group markets. 

In her training course, learn how to become "group ready"! Working with groups is different than working with walk-in visitors. There are techniques and how-to’s that can make your business run seamlessly when working with groups. Even better, there are opportunities to garner repeat business and increase your revenue by diversifying your audience of customers. In Jennifer's workshop, absorb invaluable insights about effectively harnessing the group market. Although this workshop focuses on NY State examples, these concepts can easily apply to any area with agritourism offerings.

"I always like to solidify the impact of tourism in the beginning of our presentation because the numbers make the case for you to get excited about putting your action plan into place," Jennifer explains. "In 2017, New York State welcomed a record-high 243.8 million visitors. This marks an 18% increase in statewide visitation since 2011."

Download Jennifer's course, "Rallying Your Resources for Group, Corporate & Motorcoach Businesshere.

Adding On-Site Workshops with Cheryl


Download Cheryl's course, "Offering On-Site Classes & Public Workshops on a Farmhere.

Cheryl Rogowski began farming in 1983 when the Onion Harvest Festival was reestablished and she was crowned Princess. In 1984, she received 5,000 acres from her family and started growing broom corn, sunflowers, zinnias, chili peppers and ground cherries. Starting in 1998, she grew a community-supported agriculture program from 12 to 156 members, and since then has sold at farmers' markets in the New York City and Hudson Valley Regions. Cheryl participates in El Puente ("The Bridge") CSA for low-income people and English lessons for migrant workers. In addition to mentoring Future Farmers of America students, she helps with "Just Food", and "The Tastemakers" annual food festivals. In 2004, she received the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship Award "Genius Grant." Since then, she's focused on building her "Black Dirt" catering business and running on-farm classes and workshops for the public on Rogowski Farm.

In her training course, learn how to take your passion and turn it into a side stream of revenue on site. Whether you like to cook, bake or make herb gardens in quirky containers, Cheryl will teach you how she monetized her passion to offer on-site classes at her working farm and thereby increased visits and more clients for her catering business.

"I cannot emphasize enough how much we enjoy putting on these workshops," Cheryl says. "We meet so many great people and it's such a wonderful opportunity to share your knowledge, share who you are, share what your operation is all about, and to really and truly be a central integral part of the community around you. When folks talk about the farm in this area, they're talking about us and our operation, and that's a pretty special place to be." 

Download Cheryl's course, "Offering On-Site Classes & Public Workshops on a Farmhere.

Hostess with the Mostess: Elizabeth Talks Farm-to-Table & Cider Dinners


Download Elizabeth's course, "Hosting Farm-to-Table & Cider Dinners" here

Elizabeth Ryan is a renowned fruit grower and cider maker. Elizabeth bought Breezy Hill Orchard in Dutchess County in 1984 and has since expanded to operate two more orchards. What started out as a roadside fruit stand selling fresh apples has evolved into the area’s most unique purveyor of local foods grown using sustainable farming practices. Stone Ridge Orchard is a 114-acre ecologically managed orchard in the Hudson Valley, which produces Hudson Valley Farmhouse Cider. They have just planted a dedicated hard cider orchard with a number of traditional cider apples. Elizabeth has a degree in Pomology from Cornell University and she has also studied cider-making in Somerset and Hereford in England. She is one of the founding GrowNYC Greenmarket farmers, received the Cornucopia award from Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, and was a Smithsonian Fellow.

In her training course, learn how to diversify your income in an industry that may have uncertainty from year to year. As a farmer, cider maker, etc., get creative to supplement when faced with less than stellar crop years or economic downturns. Elizabeth with share her tips for offering tours, festivals and pop-up events as well as best practices for on site hospitality and logistics.

"Staffing will make or break an event," she explains. Learn the other key components of a successful farm-to-table event in this 27 minute training.

Download Elizabeth's course, "Hosting Farm-to-Table & Cider Dinners" here

Linda's Expert Tips for Craft Bev Event & Trail Marketing

Download Linda's course, "Craft Beverage Event & Trail Marketing", HERE

Linda Pierro, the creative fuse at the center of Flint Media Inc., is an award-winning design and marketing professional who transformed her love for the Hudson Valley into a dynamic and ground-breaking career in the region. Among her many clients, she has worked with Hudson Valley Tourism and the Shawangunk Wine Trail. Linda’s passion for wine and the Hudson Valley led to the creation of Hudson Valley Wine Magazine and The Ultimate Hudson Valley Cider + Apple Spirits Guide, which she co-founded in 2008 and 2016, respectively. Under her leadership as managing editor and content developer, the publications have been recognized with the Hermes Creative Award, an American Graphic Design Award, and a Book Industries Guild award. In addition, Linda is a co-founder of the Hudson Valley Cabernet Franc Coalition.

In her training course, Craft Beverage Event & Trail Marketing, learn how to build a strong platform, create a brand that resonates, attract exhibitors and sponsors, and other critical tips for making your event or trail stand out to your desired audience. “Marketing is all about putting the right product in the right place at the right time for the right price,” says Linda. She will set you up with the tools you need to truly make an impact.

Take a look at some of Linda’s work, past and present, that showcases her expertise when it comes to marketing these events and trails. From establishing interactive digital content to working within a realistic budget to creating brand swag and encouraging brand loyalty, tune into her course to learn more!



Download Linda's course, "Craft Beverage Event & Trail Marketing", HERE

Instagram 101: Amelia Breaks it Down!

Download Amelia's course, "Social Media for Food, Farm & Beverages", HERE.

For the past three years, Amelia Tarpey has worked with GrowNYC, first as a Market Manager overseeing Greenmarkets in Manhattan and Brooklyn and now as the Publicity Manager at the Union Square Greenmarket. Creating community around food and helping people understand where it comes from, who grows it, and how it's grown has been central to her career and her focus throughout her time with GrowNYC.

In her training course, Social Media for Food, Farm & BeveragesAmelia will open your eyes to the nuances of Instagram from a brand development perspective. You will walk away with real examples of what social media success looks like and steps your business can take to follow the path to success.  Amelia will open your eyes to all that your social media presence can be. She explains..

"In our industry, followers are often looking to social media to know and trust you, especially in farm businesses. Use this platform to show them who you are; it's not always explicitly about sales. Expand your idea of a product. Your product is not only the spirits you sell or the food you're growing, it's who you are."

Learn about differentiating between platforms, setting up your profile, developing a brand voice, content creation, growing and engaging your audience and so much more. 

Get a taste of Amelia's Insta savvy on the Union Square Greenmarket Instagram page (@unsqgreenmarket). With eye-catching photos, endless content, and almost 75,000 followers, you're bound to be inspired to kick up your own profile a notch. 

Download Amelia's course, "Social Media for Food, Farm & Beverages", HERE

Sneak Peek: Creating Farm, Winery & Craft Beverage Overnight Packages


Debbie Meritsky, professional chef and business owner for 35 years, possesses extensive knowledge about how to add customers, revenue and value to your agritourism business through packaging. Owning and operating the Black Sheep Inn & Spa in the Finger Lakes for 13 years, in her workshop, she will share first-hand knowledge of how and why to create exciting agritourism packages. Best of all, you can create your packages with little or no upfront cost, and quickly experience the direct benefit to your business.

Download Debbie's workshop and the entire conference package here!

Official EscapeMaker Virtual Agritourism Conference Press Release

May 6, 2019


Fourteen women industry experts join forces to create an evergreen educational resource for innkeepers, farmers, winemakers, craft beverage producers and ag-related destinations to grow their businesses., a guide to local farm, food and beverage getaways within a day’s drive or train ride from New York City since 2000, will offer the first-of-its-kind “Virtual Agritourism Conference” this spring on its B2B site:

The conference, presented by EscapeMaker and Fulton Stall Market, is not only the first digital conference focusing on the tourism and agriculture industries (agritourism), but also will be produced solely by women, 30% of whom are certified as an M/WBE (Minority Women-Owned Business Enterprise). Fourteen female industry experts will come together on one online platform to share insider tips, trends and best practices for preparing a business to capitalize on the rapidly changing travel landscape and to meet the demands of leisure, group, event and corporate travel markets.

The interest in agritourism travel, i.e. visits to farms, wineries, craft beverage trails, bed and breakfasts, harvest festivals, farm-to-table events, etc., has greatly increased in recent years in the NYC metro area and everywhere as people get more interested in where their food comes from, how it’s made and sharing authentic experiences outdoors with their friends and families. Based on a survey produced by EscapeMaker for GrowNYC-Greenmarket, many regional farmers and producers have PYO (Pick-Your-Own) operations or tasting rooms, but are still seeking education on marketing, event production, temporary on-site lodging, infrastructure improvements, insurance, liability risks, packaging and partnership opportunities, best practices in tourism and more.

“Whether you’re a farmer, a winemaker, a brewer, a bed and breakfast owner or a tourism promotion agency, there is more opportunity than ever to capture these evolving competitive travel markets,” says Caylin Sanders, Founder & CEO of “Our goal is to ensure these small agricultural businesses, producers and destination marketing organizations are armed with the education, know-how and savvy to survive and thrive in the changing landscape.”

With so many external factors affecting their bottom line from a hurricane decimating a farmer’s crop to a government shutdown delaying an FDA approval on a new label, it’s imperative that every farmer and producer diversify their income. “It’s exciting to share how we’ve been able to supplement our income through various cider and folk festivals to farm-to-table dinner pop-up events,” says Elizabeth Ryan, one of the conference speakers and a woman who has been farming for three decades and producing hard cider for ten.

Bob Lewis, Fulton Stall Market’s public market advisor and co-founder of Greenmarket 43 years ago, comments, “women food and farm entrepreneurs are the backbone of our operations and make up over 80% of the producers we have featured in the market. Supporting this virtual agritourism conference was a natural extension of our team’s commitment to their economic development.”

All of the women speakers are either farmers, producers, entrepreneurs or consultant experts in their respective fields. Each of them will share in the conference profits and/or promotion for their organizations. Sanders says, “as we were reaching out to various topic experts, an all women lineup became apparent. We decided the best way to support women in this industry is by sharing in the profits and promotion -- considering the gender pay gap in an industry whose workforce is now 50% women.”

Each of the 12 digital presentations is 25-45 minutes long and includes access to information on financing from, plus additional workshop downloads and links to more resources. All combined, the conference is 6+ hours of education.

Topics and speakers are as follows:

  • Welcome & Introduction:
    Caylin Sanders, Founder & CEO,, Inc.
  • Social Media for Food/Beverages/Farm on Instagram 101
    Amelia Tarpey & Kathleen Ernsting, Social Media Managers, GrowNYC-Greenmarket
  • Basics of Agritourism Liability & Your Risks: Cari Rincker, Esq., Rincker Law, PLLC
  • Rallying Your Resources for Group, Corporate & Motorcoach Business:
    Jennifer Ackerson, CEO, ALON Marketing
  • Farm, Winery & Craft Beverage Trail Overnight Packaging:
    Debbie Meritsky, Innkeeper, The Black Sheep Inn
  • Social Media & Storytelling for Destinations:
    Danielle Gaebel, Owner, True Food Collective
  • Using Public Transit to Fuel Your Marketing Strategy:
    Donna Haynes, Asst. Director Promotional Partnerships, Metro-North Railroad
  • Capturing the Eco-Traveler & Making Green On-Site Improvements:
    Jennifer Woofter, CEO, Strategic Sustainability Consulting
  • Craft Beverage Trail & Event Marketing:
    Linda Pierro, President, Flint Media & Hudson Valley Wine Magazine
  • Adding Lodging to Enhance the Agritourism Experience:
    Erica Frenay, Farmer, Shelterbelt Farm
  • Successful Tastings, Tours & Winery Events:
    Chelsea Snider, Food Programming & Events Consultant, Tousey Winery
  • Offering On-Site Classes & Public Workshops:
    Cheryl Rogowski, Farmer, Rogowski Farm
  • Hosting Farm-to-Table & Cider Events:
    Elizabeth Ryan, Farmer, Breezy Hill & Stone Ridge Orchards & Hudson Valley Farmhouse Cider

Presented by and Fulton Stall Market, the conference sponsors and partners include:, Edible Manhattan, The New York Apple Association, Heritage Radio Network, Metro-North Railroad and Women in Hospitality Untited, all of which are organizations with a commitment to the advancement of the food, farm, beverage and agritourism industries and their stakeholders.

The full virtual agritourism conference access-pass is available for purchase for $249 or 4 topics for $120.

To inquire about group discount pricing, contact [email protected] or 877-997-2726. All presentations are downloadable with 24/7 full access beginning on May 6th, 2019 at


About’s mission is to provide New York City area residents with the education and tools necessary to explore the countless farms, wineries, craft beverage trails and local agritourism destinations located within a day’s drive or train ride of New York City. Whether it is through overnight packages, local tasting showcases or tours, EscapeMaker advocates lowering one’s carbon footprint and supporting the local economy through unique local experiences.

About Fulton Stall Market
Fulton Stall Market is a multi-faceted public market that connects regional farmers and producers with the growing Lower Manhattan community.  Located in the historic district where the city’s public markets began in the 1700's, it's a first step toward development of a multiple-vendor indoor public market for the community featuring local farm and food products and educational programming that celebrates the region’s food producers and the Seaport District's vibrant market history. The market is operated by the Fulton Market Assn., Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.




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