Feast! is coming back to Rochester Nov. 30-Dec. 1, 2018! As plans come together, more info will be added here and throughout the website. Check back often! Or, submit a question to be added here to firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is FEAST?
The FEAST! Local Foods Network is a partnership of many organizations, businesses, and individuals committed to growing a sustainable, local and regional food system which encourages innovation. As a result of our work, we hope to see current businesses flourish and new businesses get established.
Is FEAST an acronym?
Nope! But feel free to make some up!
When is the Feast! Local Foods Marketplace festival & tradeshow?
The 2018 industry-only tradeshow will be on Friday, November 30.
The 2018 public festival will be on Saturday, December 1st.
What is the Feast! Local Foods Marketplace ?
It's the largest exhibit of the finest local food and beverages in Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin. Small- to medium-sized regional businesses come together to offer samples and sales of their artisan-made treasures. The Friday tradeshow is for making business connections, while the Saturday festival is all about fun.
What makes Feast! Local Foods Marketplace special?
This event is the first of its kind in our region. The focus is on our local producers and foodmakers and showcasing their products to the public and interested buyers. The festival will provide businesses with an opportunity to introduce their product to the public and to share and build relationships with potential customers. The trade show is a chance for buyers and exhibitors to network and create new business relationships or strengthen existing ones. When we develop a food system that continues to support our local producers and foodmakers, we are also supporting the economic development in our region.
What makes the Feast! festival different from a farmer’s market?
Not only will we have farmers there, but we will have food makers from our the tri-state region showcasing their products. It’s a chance for the public to learn of more local products and start supporting those businesses. The festival will also have cooking demos both for adults and children, a special kids area, entertainment and the opportunity to sample local wine, beer, and hard cider for those folks over 21 years of age.
What kind of businesses will be at the Feast! Local Foods Marketplace ?
Businesses that produce a range of food and food-related products. It will include produce from farmers, breads, jams, oils & vinegars, cheese, meats, beer, wine and so much more!
Who should attend the Feast! festival?
Anyone interested in good food! The Festival on Saturday is open to the public. Grab your friends, neighbors, and children and come down to the Mayo Civic Center to see the best local foods and local producers from the region. Chefs will demonstrate holiday cooking and foodmakers and educators will present an array of interesting workshops.
The festival will include a children’s activity area, a local beer and wine tasting event, and a chance to win a basket of Feast! products when you vote for the Feast! People's Choice Award.
What is the Feast! People's Choice Award?
Throughout the Feast! festival, attendees are invited to submit a vote for their favorite vendor. At the end of the event we tally the votes and announce the winner, who wins a free booth space at the following year's event. The winner of the 2016 Feast! People's Choice Award was K-Mama Sauce, a Korean-inspired product [read more]. There were two winners for the 2017 Feast! People's Choice Award: Mama Stoen's, and Millner Heritage.
How much does it cost to attend the festival?
Tickets for adults are just $8 for 2018. There will be a small additional cost for those participating in the beer and wine tasting.
What is the Feast! tradeshow?
The tradeshow is an industry-only day to connect buyers and local foods producers, as well as to offer education and networking to food businesses. If you’re a business, school district, restaurant, market, distributor or other professional charged with sourcing foods and are interested in attending as a buyer, register to attend for free during the early bird period (to be announced). After that, buyer registration is $50 per business. If you are registering as a buyer and want to request a special discount, please contact email@example.com to find out if you're eligible.
Why is the tradeshow closed to the public?
This is a day specifically organized to cultivate the relationships between wholesale local food buyers and local food sellers. It’s a chance for buyers and exhibitors to network and attend workshops that will help them to grow their business and incorporate more local food products. Because we want to inspire and assist aspiring food entrepreneurs, we're opening a new attendee category for registration—if you'd like to be notified when this opportunity is open, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
What should buyers expect to get out of the tradeshow?
Demand for local foods is burgeoning, and we are providing you with an efficient means to find local farmers and foodmakers with new, unique, clean-label, on-trend products who are ready to sell to you! For buyers, this is a chance to attract new customers and demonstrate your commitment to your region's economy by incorporating local products.
What should exhibitors expect to get out of the tradeshow?
Food and beverage entrepreneurs and farmers will meet buyers who are interested in sourcing locally and can attend a range of workshops that provide information critical to growing local foods businesses such as product development, marketing, labeling, regulations, distribution, and sales. Buyers will come from many backgrounds including restaurants; colleges; food service; grocery stores; distributors, etc. In addition, the tradeshow morning will offer break-out sessions that will help link food entrepreneurs and business owners to information, business expertise and inspiration to grow and thrive!
What should exhibitors expect to get out of the festival?
Throughout the Feast! festival, exhibitors will showcase their brand and their product for a wide array of potential new loyal consumers—evangelists, as one business coach used to say. Many people will pass by, and each time it's an opportunity to make an impression with your interaction, your story, and your samples. Not everyone will decide to make a purchase, but they may seek out your product at the stores they frequent, or even request your product from their stores. They may talk to others about your product, or look for them online. Any way you slice it, they're going to walk away with a better understanding of the wealth of creative, passionate, hard-working food businesses in our region. So, thank you!
Who’s behind the Feast! event?
Oh so many people! Our main contributors are Renewing the Countryside and Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation. However, during the months we’ve had the support of dozens of businesses and non-profits in the region, as well as many sponsors. We welcome you or your business as a sponsor, volunteer or organizer. Please contact Pam at PamB@smifoundation.org to learn more about ways you can participate.