Speaker Heastie today continued his statewide tour with Assemblymembers William Conrad and Jon Rivera in Buffalo. The trip included a tour of Fowler’s Chocolates Factory Headquarters, tire manufacturer Sumitomo Rubber USA and a stop at the Hispanic Heritage Cultural Institute of Western New York.
“From local businesses to manufacturing to cultural centers, today’s tour was a refreshing reminder of just how much New York State has to offer,” said Speaker Heastie. “It’s always exciting to see all of the great foods and products that are made right here in New York, as well as the rich cultural diversity that exists at every corner of the state.”
On the first stop, Speaker Heastie joined Assemblymember Conrad at Fowler’s Chocolates Factory Headquarters in Buffalo. Since 1910, Fowler’s Chocolates has been making authentic sponge candy, a culinary staple in Western New York. Fowler’s distributes its products through seven retail store locations in western New York and produces custom corporate gifts, fundraising products and campaigns, and custom personalized wedding gifts.
Afterwards, Speaker Heastie and Assemblymember Conrad visited tire manufacturer Sumitomo Rubber USA, LLC. Sumitomo Rubber USA, LLC manufactures a wide range of automotive tires in the U.S. and internationally. The plant first began production in Tonawanda in 1922. The facility produces over 4 million tires annually for a variety of applications such as passenger cars, trucks, buses and motorcycles.
“These businesses we visited today are just two examples of the many different products that are created right here in Western New York,” said Assemblymember Conrad. “It was such a pleasure to be able to show the speaker around this wonderful community and showcase just a small sample of what it has to offer.”
Later, Speaker Heastie met with Assemblymember Rivera and other state and local officials at the future site of the Hispanic Heritage Cultural Institute of Western New York to announce Assembly funding of $3.8 million for the institute’s construction. The facility has been a project of the Hispanic Heritage Council of WNY Inc., which is a nonprofit organization that exists to foster and inspire awareness, understanding, and appreciation of past, present, and future contributions of the Hispanic community in Western New York. Afterwards, the pair visited Mount Olive Baptist Church in Lackawanna. At the church, they met with Reverend Blue, president of the NAACP and reverend for the Second Baptist Church, as well as Pastor Keith D. Mobley of Mount Olive Baptist Church. The church provides multigenerational programming such as the Men in Action mentoring program and backpack giveaways.
“As we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, I am so proud to be highlighting the diversity of Western New York and all of the wonderful work that the Hispanic Heritage Cultural Institute of Western New York does,” said Assemblymember Rivera. “I am extremely grateful for the speaker’s visit today, and I’m especially thankful for the Assembly’s investment in this new facility.”