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A New Way to Travel Without Leaving Home

collage of the 2020 Boxes of Local Love

Unable to run tours, how would we find ways to replace the joy that came with walking around with hungry travelers on our Albany and Troy food tours?

While there was no easy way to answer that question, we decided on one way we felt we could still be together even if we were apart. In May 2020, we started our Boxes of Local Love, a series of shippable, themed boxes packed with local goods from the small businesses of the Capital Region.

It really did take a village, from connecting with the local vendors to our friends at USPS shipping them coast to coast, and sometimes in between. 

By the end of 2020, we were proud to say we were able to donate 100-percent of our profits on the July 2020 box to Soul Fire Farm, and continue to give proceeds to the nonprofit. Between November and December, we were also able to donate proceeds to the South End Children’s Cafe and raise funds for the Food Pantries for the Capital District and TRIP.

As we remain hopeful that we can all safely get together in 2021, Taste of Troy Food Tours continues to dream up new boxes that we can put together throughout the year to send friends and family when they need a little taste of travel to New York State. We’re starting with a February box to celebrate Valentine’s Day and Chinese New Year. 

In the meantime, check out the Taste of Troy Boxes of Local Love we’ve done so far.

Boxes of Local Love Ingredients

May 2020 

This curated collection was our solution to the fact that we couldn’t be with our loved ones to celebrate Mother’s Day this year. We wanted to give folks a reason to celebrate loved ones.


June 2020

With our first Box of Love we learned that community members were eager to support local Capital Region business, and find ways to safely send gifts to loved ones. With that, we created the second edition to promote six other small local businesses in Albany and Troy. Back then we were in the thick of it with Covid-19, and wanted to recognize that it is currently challenging to celebrate life events, honor local heroes, and acknowledge Father’s Day this year.


July 2020

As the summer progressed, more challenges arose after the tragic death of George Floyd in May. Like many, we knew that we had to step up and acknowledge where we as a business could be better in support of Black Lives Matter. 

“Our commitment to highlighting and supporting small businesses in the Capital Region is unwavering,”  founder Amy Koren-Roth wrote back in July, “We realized that we could do more to connect to black-owned businesses and have reached out to many on the lists that have been created on social media and by the Alliance for the Creative Economy.” 

We got into action and created the Solidarity Box of Local Love. Each purchase meant a direct payment to businesses owned by people of color. In addition, 100-percent of our profits went to Soul Fire Farm, a community farm run by Black and brown farmers, spanning 80 acres in Petersburg, New York, that brings people together through sustainable agriculture. 


November 2020

What kind of New York food walking tour company would we be if we didn’t do a Thanksgiving-themed box? From artisan coffee and chocolates to cider-infused donuts and pumpkin spice candles, we stacked this box with festive goodies. 

We continued to donate $2 per purchase to Soul Fire Farm during the holiday season. 


  • Choice of Cider Doughnut OR Pumpkin Spice scented 9 oz, candle jar from Collar City Candle
  • Choice of 6 assorted chocolate covered, fall themed pretzel sticks OR 4 pack of chocolate covered Oreos from TieBerry Sweets
  • Choice of: Small chocolate tart from Dutch Desserts OR 14 oz. jar of Peperkaker (Scandinavian Ginger Snaps) from Parchment Baking Company
  • Choice of Cranberry Orange OR  Albany -Cheddar/Carmel 2.5 oz bag of kettle corn from What’s Poppin 
  • Choice of: 3 oz bag of NY Apple Spice (tisane) from Short and Stout Tea OR 12 oz bag of Lark St. House Blend Coffee from Stacks Espresso Bar
  • Choice of: Grade A maple syrup in leaf bottle from Wells Maple Farm OR Can shaped, etched beer glass with $2 coupon from  Brown’s Brewing Company
  • $15 gift certificate towards any Taste of Troy Food Tours
  • Winter Squash Au Gratin Recipe (a Koren-Roth Family Favorite and the main vegetarian dish for Thanksgiving)
  • Troy Shopping Guide
  • Albany Visitor’s Guide
  • Personal handwritten message

December 2020

For our last box of the year, we wanted to give people the perfect way to support small, local businesses and be able to let loved ones know that “I am thinking of you this holiday!”

For this box, you had a chance to personalize our specially curated items from 6 local businesses in the Capital Region. Each box showcased 5 items that the customer got to mix and match. Every box got a true taste of New York: a maple leaf–shaped bottle from Wells Maple Farm.

Taste of Troy Food Tours donated $2 per box sold to South End Children’s Cafe located in Albany, NY. For 5 years, their mission has been to impact food insecurity, address food equality and food justice, enhance academic success and positively influence the health of children living in the South End of Albany.

Included (with variations):

  • Choice of Winter Solstice OR Holiday Sparkle scented 9 oz, candle jar from Collar City Candle
  • Choice of 6 assorted chocolate covered, holiday themed pretzel sticks OR 2 pack of hot chocolate bombs from TieBerry Sweets
  • Choice of: 12 oz. jar of Peperkaker (Scandinavian Ginger Snaps) or 12 oz. jar of Kranesekaker (almond macaroon) from Parchment Baking Company
  • Choice of Red Hot Cinnamon OR  Nine Pin Cider holiday flavor 2.5 oz bag of kettle corn from What’s Poppin 
  • Choice of: 3 oz bag of Champagne Fizz White Tea from Short and Stout Tea OR 12 oz. bag of Lark Street House Blend Coffee Stacks Espresso Bar   
  • Grade A maple syrup in leaf bottle from Wells Maple Farm 
  • $15 gift certificate towards any Taste of Troy Food Tours
  • Pear & Nut Scone Recipe (perfect for a holiday breakfast or tea/coffee break)
  • Meet the Vendors Guide
  • Albany Visitors’ Guide
  • Personal handwritten message

A local taste of spring that is perfect for celebrations in May.
Order by 4/29/2021 to ensure delivery in time for Mother’s Day, May 9th
Taste of Troy Food Tours LLC is offering our second May Box of Local Love just in time to celebrate Mother’s Day or Graduations with a brunch themed gift Box of Local Love that supports local while expressing that you are with your loved ones when you still might need to keep your distance this May.
Each May Brunch Box of Local Love will allow you to personalize choices from six local vendors and every box will include a beautiful maple leaf shaped 1.5 liter bottle of NY Maple Syrup from Wells Maple Farms.
Taste of Troy Food Tours will donate a portion of sales from each box sold to Feed Albany – COVID-19 Relief. This NYS registered charity provides at risk and in need individuals in Albany and the Greater Capital Region with access to prepared & packaged meal solutions by utilizing commercial kitchens, unemployed restaurant workers, volunteers and use of donated vehicles to produce, package and distribute prepared meal solutions.
Each Box of Local Love includes*:

  • Choice of Earl Grey and Lavender or Maple Blueberry scented 9 oz, candle jar from Collar City Candle
  • Choice of one chocolate covered apple or 2 pack of Hot Chocolate bombs from TieBerry Sweets
  • Choice of a small chocolate tart (for shipping) or a small fruit tart (with curbside pickup from Dutch Desserts
  • Choice of Crunch Mama or Cheddar Carmel flavor 2.5 oz bag of kettle corn from What’s Poppin
  • Choice of: 3 oz bag of  New England Maple Black Tea from Short and Stout Tea or  a 12. Oz bag of Lark Street House Blend coffee from Stack’s Espresso Bar
  •  Grade A maple syrup in leaf bottle from Wells Maple Farm
  • $15 gift certificate towards any Taste of Troy Food Tours

Amy’s favorite Shakshuka recipe

  • Meet our Vendors insert
  • Your Personal message
  • FREE domestic shipping via US Postal Service Priority Mail OR curbside pickup option with an additional local breakfast flour blend from O’Malley’s Oven

*we reserve the right to substitute comparable items


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