hudson market

RCC’s Hudson Market Takes Lead In Sustainability

Features Living

Market Is A Teaching Platform For Students, Community

By Tina Traster

The Hudson Market on Main in Nyack is a cornucopia of cuisine, coffee, and made-in-NY consumables. But that’s only a soupcon of a much bigger story.

Officially opened yesterday, with the fanfare of a ribbon cutting and a tasting gathering of Rockland’s who’s who list, The Hudson Market on Main is the crown jewel of RCC’s Hospitality & Culinary Center. The long-awaited 45-seat market is more than just a place to grab a pastry or take away lunch – it is a platform for teaching, industry collaboration, and a leader in eco endeavors including a campaign to teach Nyack restaurateurs the benefits of “zero-waste” food policies.

Cooked foods for the market will be provided by Flik International, and the culinary students. The market sells baked, goods, soups, salads and sandwiches. But there are also locally-sourced goods from Greyson Bakery in Yonkers, 5 Spoke Creamery in Goshen, Nettle Meadow in Warrensburg; sauces, salsas and produce from Hudson Valley Harvest in Kingston; maple syrup from the Catskills Mountain Sugar House in Grahamsville and Finding Home in Orange County.

“This is a beautiful concept.”

Java Love, which is holding its grand opening Friday in Suffern, is selling a private label two-bean blend called “Nyack Market”.

“This is a beautiful concept,” said Java Love president Jodie Dawson. “They’re committed to sourcing local products. Everything is state-of-the-art. This is a great collaboration.”

Nyack’s Mayor Don Hammond said the market has been in the making for five years, beginning with a vision from the center’s former director David Kimmel.

“This market builds on Nyack’s foodie and culinary vibe,” said Hammond.

Students attending RCC’s culinary program learn to cook, of course. But Cris Spezial,, chair of Hospitality and Culinary Arts for RCC, says the educational platform extends beyond kitchen skills. Baked into the program are the essential principles of sustainability. Students are being taught where food comes from, green practices, the value of zero food waste. Food scraps from RCC’s kitchens are being used to compost Nyack High School’s organic garden. Other left-overs are set aside for soups and stocks, which are distributed to food kitchens.

“The RCC Culinary Center is leading a movement to show other Nyack restaurants how to adopt zero-food waste policies,” Hammond added.

Spezial says at least 30% of food goes to waste.

“We need to educate people about this,” said Spezial. “What better way than to begin with tomorrow’s professionals?”

RCC’s curriculum emphasizes New York artisanal food, craft beverages and agriculture. It offers fast-track culinary arts certificate programs, workforce-ready training for veterans and under-served populations, a state-of-the-industry teaching kitchen and the market.

Ultimately, Spezial would like to see the students run and manage the café, and plans are underway to create a student-run pop-up restaurant for spring 2020.

“The culinary center is a wonderful community resource,” said Mark Davidoff, Interim Coordinator of Nyack Extension Site. “With the professional teaching kitchen, we are now able to offer cooking classes for all ages and recipe demonstrations showcasing Hudson Valley foods, beverages and local ingredients.”

Upcoming classes include Vegetarian Autumn in the Hudson Valley on November 7, Italian Bistro on November 12 and Holiday Appetizers and Sides on December 5. For more information on RCC’s Community Cooking classes visit