Caylin Sanders – Founder & CEO
Caylin Sanders is a Los Angeles native but considers herself a New Yorker at heart. She graduated from Drew University in Madison, New Jersey in 1995 with a major in theatre and art and has lived in Brooklyn, NY ever since.
Along with her late mother, Paula Sanders, she launched EscapeMaker.com in 2000 based on their mutual love of spontaneous road trips to farms. She received a small business award from S.C.O.R.E for her contributions to the tourism industry, and also from the New York State Tourism & Hospitality Association for her work as a board member. In addition, she has spoken about best e-marketing practices, packaging and destination promotion to various tourism and lodging associations throughout the Northeast, including the American Hotel & Lodging Association and dozens of NY, NJ and PA B&B, wine and farm trails. In 2010, the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences awarded an Emmy Award to Sanders for co-producing EscapeMaker’s webisode series featuring the agritourism of New York State. The series was funded by a USDA Agritourism Promotion Grant. Between 2011-2015, Sanders produced the first-ever EscapeMaker Green Getaways, Local Food & Travel Expos in Brooklyn to encourage shopping locally, visiting farms and wineries and lowering one’s carbon footprint when traveling. After getting M/WBE Certified In 2015, she received a Specialty Crop Grant from New York Agriculture & Markets to promote the New York Apple Association and to produce another video series on apple agritourism. The contract has been renewed annually thanks to the support of individual apple growers and cider makers urging the need for agritourism promotional funding. In 2016, Sanders opened the EscapeMaker Agritourism Pop-up Shop; offering maps, guides and tours to help people plan more local farm escapes, winery weekends and craft beverage trail crawls. The shop, open 7 days a week, resides inside Fulton Stall Market at 91 South St. in the Seaport District. Sanders produces their tasting events and larger outdoor-themed events throughout the year. Recent events include the “Ithaca Craft Beverage Festival,” “The Adirondack Food Festival,” “MapleFest,” “Deck the Stalls,” and “Applepalooza”– all events draw 10,000-15,000 people. With GrowNYC Greenmarket as a partner, EscapMaker staff table regularly alongside farmers in various markets during the growing season to promote local getaways and to hand out a custom agritourism guide with 50+ farms and wineries accepting visitors. In 2017, the company assumed the operation of Dutchess Farm Fresh Tours, now EscapeMaker Farm Escapes – a program that picks city residents up from Metro-North train stations and shuttles them around to local farms for the day. Over a dozen farms and craft beverage destinations have benefitted from the thousands of new visitors as a result of this program. Sanders also consults on agritourism issues and upgrades with farmers on the routes. With consultation services in demand, in 2019, she launched an online agritourism training platform at EscapeMaker.biz with over 6 hours of education for farmers and entrepreneurs in the agriculture space. The webinars are all delivered by women entrepreneurs and farmers — experts in their fields of law, marketing, packaging and hosting on-farm agritourism activities. In 2020, she produced the “Celebrate of Women of Public Market’s Series” contracted by New York City Economic Development Corporation to promote their women vendors and is currently organizing the first-ever “Women in Food & Farming Festival” in NYC. She is also a professional songwriter with song placements on MTV and was a John Lennon Songwriting Contest finalist.
Kash Barkeley – Agritourism Promotions Manager
Kash Barkeley joined EscapeMaker.com in the spring of 2016. In her role as Agritourism Promotions Manager, Kash is dedicated to exploring, curating and sharing ideas and inspiration about agritourism adventures within a day’s drive or train ride from NYC. Whether through event planning, website management, social media execution or content creation, Kash works to provide a wide variety of information to all of the EscapeMakers out there. Kash is a passionate and strategic communications professional. Prior to joining EscapeMaker.com, she spent 3+ years at B2B PR firm Powell Communications, where she developed and executed strategic public relations programs on behalf of marketers, advertising agencies and technology clients. Kash was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky and graduated from Miami University of Ohio with a bachelor’s degree in communication. She loves to try out new recipes, listen to podcasts and travel locally and internationally.
Bob Lewis – Ag Projects Advisor
Bob Lewis serves as advisor and liaison on EscapeMaker agriculture-related projects. Bob was one of the original co-founders of Greenmarket in New York City 45 years ago, and remains active in the GrowNYC Greenmarket community. Bob brings expertise about the grower’s and producer’s experience and food and beverage policy issues. Many New York State farmers, winemakers, craft brewers and distillers benefit from revenue-generating policies he instituted during his 30-year tenure at the New York State Department of Agriculture & Markets as Special Assistant to the Commissioner for Market Development. In addition to consulting for EscapeMaker, Lewis serves as an advisor to Fulton Stall Market at the South Street Seaport. Fulton Stall Market is a marketplace connecting farmers and producers with the growing community and residents of Lower Manhattan severely impacted by September 11th and still recovering from Hurricane Sandy. A year-round indoor public market featuring local products, a CSA and educational programming celebrating the Seaport’s vibrant market history are in development. In addition, Bob helps in the promotion of EscapeMaker’s Agritourism Pop Up Shop and with the coordination of EscapeMaker’s tasting events in conjunction with Fulton Stall Market’s Sunday farmers’ market. Bob majored in geology at Antioch College in Ohio and was born and bred in Brooklyn. He’s sings in various community choruses and plays the cello.