2022 Awards of Distinction Finalist Spotlight: Hospitality Service
Date Published: September 27, 2022
Hospitality Service Finalists: Paige Flori | Casey Jurutka | Indira Naidu
Congratulations to the Hospitality Service Award of Distinction Finalists!
Paige Flori, Owner of Boutique Wines, Spirits and Cider, Fishkill
Casey Jurutka, Director of Catering at Shadows on the Hudson, Poughkeepsie
Indira Naidu, Director of Sales and Marketing at the Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel and Conference Center, Poughkeepsie
The Hospitality Service Award of Distinction recognizes individuals that provide phenomenal and innovative offerings to visitors and contribute to a “Storied Experience” for travelers coming to Dutchess. Join Dutchess Tourism in celebrating all the honorees at the 9th annual Dutchess Tourism Awards of Distinction breakfast at The Henry A. Wallace Center at the FDR Presidential Library and Home in Hyde Park, NY. Read more about the event here. Learn more about each finalist below.
What about your business/organization inspires you?
Paige Flori, Boutique Wines, Spirits and Cider: Working with people! We get so many folks from so many different walks of life in our store, from A-list actors to families celebrating weddings to military members assigned to the area. Working with them, introducing them to locally made wines, spirits and cider and pointing them toward those wineries, distilleries and cideries to visit is something I really enjoy doing.
Casey Jurutka, Shadows on the Hudson: No two days are alike. Being able to meet and speak with new guests and help them envision their special day; whether it be a birthday party, bridal shower, wedding celebration or even a celebration of life for their loved ones. We see our hard work pay off each and every day from the beginning stages of their initial contact to their finished event. it is rewarding to be a part of something special that most guests will cherish forever.
Indira Naidu, Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel and Conference Center: Meeting people and being able to assist them with solutions for their hospitality needs
What makes your destination/organization unique?
Paige Flori, Boutique Wines, Spirits and Cider: Boutique Wines, Spirits and Cider is the only liquor store in NYS to currently offer hard cider and mead on tap. We have 13 taps available for growler fills which allows customers to taste the product before they purchase. Our floor-to-ceiling apple tree was fashioned by a local artist, with a working cider tap in the trunk featuring a specific cider. For the hard cider enthusiast, we offer over the largest collection of craft hard cider in the area- 300 different types of cider, featuring over 90 from NYS. Our collection and reputation for an extensive, curated selection of cider draws customers from as far north as Maine, as far east as Ohio and as far south as Charleston, South Carolina.
Our store has won many local awards, including Best Cider Selection (2020) and Best Wine Store (2022) Hudson Valley Magazine, Chronogrammie 2nd Place for Best Wine and Liquor Store (2022) and Chronogrammie 3rd for Best Tasting Room (2022) from Chronogram Magazine. On a national level, we were the recipient of Best Off-Premise Store, East Coast (2020), from the American Cider Association.
Additionally, I am a Sommelier (Master Court of Sommeliers), Certified Cider Professional (American Cider Association), Certified Bourbon Professional (The Council of Whiskey Masters) as well as being one of less than 45 people in the US to have Champagne Expert from Champagne MOOC (with distinction). I anticipate being one of less than 70 Certified Pommeliers in the world this fall, (pending the results of my exam with the American Cider Association). We have other Cider Certified Professionals, Sommeliers, Champagne and Port Experts on staff as well as bartenders and CIA students and graduates to assist in mixology and cooking/pairing questions.
Casey Jurutka, Shadows on the Hudson: Here at Shadows on the Hudson, we cater to groups from two to 100 and have the most breathtaking views of the Hudson River paralleled with exceptional service and delicious food. The perfect combination for a memorable event!
Indira Naidu, Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel and Conference Center: My organization is the only full-service hotel in the county within walking distance from the Walkway over the Hudson, gourmet restaurants, theater as well as the Poughkeepsie train station. The close proximity to Marist College, the Culinary Insitute of America, downtown government offices and waterfront restaurants makes this the place to be, for both corporate and social events, leisure travelers and groups. Once we are flagged as a Doubletree by Hilton, we will be a part of the global footprint with Hilton Hotels and Resorts right here in Dutchess County.
What are your hopes for the future of travel in Dutchess County?
Paige Flori, Boutique Wines, Spirits and Cider: The future I see for Dutchess County is to become an international destination, known for lush farms producing some of the freshest food, incredible wine, cider and spirits made right here as well as some of the top dining options in America, with graduates from the best cooking school in the U.S., helping to bring all of those elements together, in the majestic geographic backdrop that we have here. I see a destination for agritourism as well as education, business and pleasure.
Casey Jurutka, Shadows on the Hudson: To keep creating the wow factor that brings new guests to us every single day! So many of our guests are amazed by the beauty, fullness and historic values of Dutchess County and cannot wait to come back. There are so many hidden gems right around the corner from all of us and we have had the pleasure to welcome guests from all over the country and even the world. Social Media has given us the ability to reach those guests and show them all we have to offer.
Indira Naidu, Poughkeepsie Grand Hotel and Conference Center: I hope we can see more international travel here, with all the history, multi-cuisine restaurants and scenic beauty that we offer.
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