Eli Goodwell

  • published Exhibitors Schedule in Exhibitor Registration 2019-11-27 12:56:09 -0600

    Exhibitor's Schedule at a Glance

     

    Thursday, December 5th

    Move-in: 6:00 - 8:00 PM (for Tradeshow and Festival Exhibitors)

     

    Friday, December 6th

    Move-in: 7:00 - 9:30 AM (for Tradeshow and Festival Exhibitors) *Booths must be set up by 9:30 am.

    Tradeshow schedule (see more information here: https://www.local-feast.org/tradeshow2019)

    7 am check-in/booth setup
    8 am   Breakfast, networking
    9 am  Welcome 
    10 am - 2 pm Buyers' Expo, booths must be staffed
    12 pm Lunch
    2 - 3 pm Buyers Panel
    3 - 4 pm Support Services intros & networking
    4:15 - 5:15 pm   Marketing Panel
    5:30 - 6:00 pm   Awards Ceremony

    Load-out: 6-8pm


    Saturday, December 7th

    Move-in: 7:00 AM - 9:30 AM - (For Festival Only Exhibitors) *Booths must be set up by 9:30 am.
    10 am       Festival opens, booths must be staffed
    Lunch is on your own, please plan accordingly
    4 pm         Festival Closes
    4 - 6 pm    Load out

     


  • published Magazine 2019-04-05 15:14:04 -0500

    FEAST! Local Foods Magazine

    Volume Three —now available!

    This consumer magazine-meets-trade journal explores the ins and outs, successes and challenges, of the local food movement in Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Find it at grocery cooperatives in the tri-state area, or contact us to find copies near you.

    Digital version coming soon!

     

    Can you help fuel the resilient local foods revolution? 

    Sponsorship info + Advertising rate card (PDF)

    Interested in being a part of  Vol. 4?

     Contact Elena Byrne 

    elena@local-feast.org

    608-712-8340


    Volume Two (Fall 2019)

    Click to view/download PDF

     

    Volume One (Fall 2018)

     


  • published 2018 Vendors in Marketplace 2018-09-14 12:54:38 -0500

    2018 Vendors

     

    Our 2018 exhibitors are listed below.

    Click on logos to go to their websites!

    For a closer look, see the Feast! blog for write-ups on a sampling of businesses.

    For a map of exhibitors, click the thumbnail image at right.

     

     

     


      

    Alexis Bailly Vineyard

    Alexis Bailly Vineyard is Minnesota’s oldest winery and vineyard, established in the upper Mississippi River Valley just outside of Hastings since 1973.

    Saturday festival only

    Hastings, MN - Grower/Producer, Wine

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    American Hazelnut Company

    The American Hazelnut Company is a grower-owned producer of hazelnuts and the oil and flour made from them.

    Gay Mills, WI - Grower/Producer

    Ames Farm

    Ames Farm produces single source honey. Each jar of our honey has the location, hive number, and floral source printed on the label, making it specific to a time and place in Minnesota.

    Delano, MN - Grower/producer, Honey

    Aspelund Winery

    Specializing in fruit wines, experience the unique taste sensations from apple to elderberries, or grapes to cucumber, fennel & tomato wines.

    Saturday festival only

    Kenyon, MN - Grower/Producer, Wine

    Atlas Provisions

    Atlas Provisions makes foods rooted in the spirit of adventure. We travel the world to find the best tasting foods from across the globe and partner with their communities to bring those foods to you.

    St Paul, MN - Snacks

    B&E's Trees

    We craft Wisconsin's finest certified organic bourbon barrel aged maple syrup. Our syrup has hints of vanilla and a smoky finish that is a unique addition to any meal.

    FEAST! 2016 Award winner

    Viroqua, WI - Grower/Producer, Confections

    Baba's Food Company

    Baba means father. Our baba brought an authentic flavor of Jerusalem to America in 1979. After serving his hummus for 40 years, we want the world to taste Baba's Hummus!

    Burnsville, MN - Sauces, Dressings and Seasonings, Snacks

    Badgersett Farm

    Hybrid chestnut, pecan and hazel breeders.

    Canton, MN - Grower/Producer

    Bare Honey

    Bare Honey pairs raw honey from hand-picked Midwest nectar sources with complementary spices to create gourmet products such as Hot & Spicy and Lavender Blossom infusions, or Vanilla Bean, Cinnamon, and Bee Pollen Infused honey spreads.

    Saturday festival only

    Minneapolis, MN - Grower/Producer

    Bolton Bees

    We are a beekeeping company that only sells honey that we produce. We extract each location separately, naturally creating distinct and unique flavors. Our mission-based SolarHoney product promotes the planting of pollinator-friendly habitat at solar arrays.

    Saint Paul, MN - Grower/Producer, Honey

    Bootlegger Kombucha

    Bootlegger Brewing Kombucha- Uff da it's good! We are a certified organic, midwest sourced (everywhere we can be) and locally brewed brewed, bottled and kegged!

    Apple Valley, MN - Non-alcoholic beverages

    Blue Fruit Farm

    Certified organic, Blue Fruit Farm grows perennial fruits (aronia berries, black currants, blueberries, elderberries, honeyberries, juneberries, and plums). We sell locally to consumers and wholesale to restaurants and grocery stores.

    Saturday festival only

    Winona, MN - Grower/Producer

    CannonBelles Cheese

    Artisan Cheese made with locally sourced ingredients.

    Northfield, MN - Cheese and Dairy

    Cannon River Winery

    Nestled among the lush, rolling hills of Minnesota’s picturesque Sogn Valley, Cannon River Winery’s Vineyard is home to more than 9,000 vines on 40 acres of land. Our award winning wines are crafted by hand in our nearby Cannon Falls.

    Saturday festival only

    Cannon Falls, MN - Grower/Producer, Wine

    Carlson Roasting Co.

    Small batch roasted artisan coffee using Fair Trade and organically grown coffees from around the world roasted in the driftless area of SE MN.

    Houston, MN - Beverages

    Chocolate San José - Minneapolis

    We harvest the best cacao beans from our fields and turn them into chocolate for you! Our main goal is to share our passion in the production of the best cacao beans and the best chocolate in the world; we want to share our vision of sustainability, full trace-ability and transparency with everyone interested in knowing a little bit more about what we love to do.

    New Hope, MN - Grower/Producer, Confections

    CJ's Premium Spices

    A Wisconsin family-owned spice blend company. We have innovative spice packets that create award-winning taste final products. We are Certified Organic, Kosher, and Gluten-Free.

    Hartland, WI - Sauces, Dressings and Seasonings

    Coconut Whisk

    Coconut Whisk is a premium vegan baking mix company. Our mission is to provide customers with high quality & allergen friendly baking options; while giving back to kids & animals in need.

    Rosemount, MN - Bakery and Grains, Vegan baking mixes

    Country View Dairy

    Country View Dairy makes all-natural yogurt products right on their family farm in the hills of Northeast Iowa. The cows milk gets turned into yogurt in their Grade A Milk Plant within a matter of hours & is all done right on the farm.

    Hawkeye, IA - Cheese and Dairy

    Creature Comfort Hot Sauce

    Six hot sauces, no super hots and an all purpose seasoning and rub. That being said they are still hot sauces!

    Minneapolis, MN - Sauces, Dressings and Seasonings

    CTL Foods, Inc.

    CTL Foods, the original home of Soda Fountain® Malted Milk Powder, an All-Natural, Kosher-Certified, Wisconsin-Made product. CTL has been blending and packaging Malted Milk Powder since 1972!

    Colfax, WI - Non-alcoholic Beverages

    Ferndale Market

    Ferndale Market is a third-generation family farm in Cannon Falls, Minnesota growing free-range turkeys. We also operate an on-farm store dedicated to sourcing all the best local foods.

    Saturday festival only

    Cannon falls, MN - Grower/Producer, Meat - SPONSOR

    Fierce Ferments

    We are makers of flavorful, probiotic-rich sauerkrauts, kimchi, pickles and Fire Tonic!

    St. Paul, MN - Preserves and Vinegar, Fermented Foods

    Fizzeology Foods

    Fizzeology Foods passionately produces a line of raw, local & certified organic ferments while educating the public about the benefits of local, organic and whole foods. Our products are cured in glass and oak barrels- no plastic.

    Viroqua, WI - Preserves and Vinegar, Fermented Foods

    Flower Valley Vineyards & Winery

    Located just South of Red Wing MN near beautiful Lake Pepin in the picturesque Flower Valley. In 2012 we opened our winery featuring wines grown in our vineyard.

    Saturday festival only

    Woodbury, MN - Grower/Producer, Wine

    Forager Brewery

    Locally focused brewpub and scratch kitchen.

    Saturday festival only

    Rochester, MN - Craft Beer

    Four Daughters Vineyard & Winery

    Four Daughters Vineyard & Winery is a local family winery, cidery and event center with an uptown feel in the middle of a corn field.

    Saturday festival only

    Spring Valley, MN - Grower/Producer, Wine, Cider

    Freak Flag Foods

    Freaks like us may be a little out there, but we’re out there making the world more sustainable, delicious and fun. Because we believe that when you’re true to yourself in life and in the kitchen, the possibilities are endless.

    Buffalo, MN - Sauces, Dressings and Seasonings

    Frederick Sound Fish Co.

    Hook and Line Caught, Wild Alaskan Salmon. Sold direct from the fisherman, King and Coho Salmon. Vacuumed sealed and flash frozen.

    Rochester, MN - Meat

    Goodnola

    Goodnola is a local granola company. We specialize in small batch artisan granola featuring local maple syrup and dried cherries from Michigan.

    Independence, MN - Bakery and Grains

    Grandma's Gourmet

    We make all of our products in Minnesota with love. All of our products are a blend of memories, contemporary flavors and high quality ingredients many of them locally sourced.

    FEAST! 2017 Buyers' Choice winner

    Albert Lea, MN - Preserves and Vinegar Sauces, Dressings and Seasonings

    Heartland Burrito

    Heartland Burrito offers a line of eight all-natural and Mid-west sourced frozen burritos. We feature many organic vegetables, organic cage-free eggs and cheese curds from Waukon, IA.

    Iowa City, IA - Grower/Producer, Cheese and Dairy, Snacks, Frozen

    Heil Ginseng

    Heil Ginseng Enterprises are the 3rd largest grower in WI of American Ginseng. We only sell what we Grow. Heil Harvest is our retail line in Premium boxes of varies different forms from Powder to whole root.

    Edgar, WI - Grower/Producer

    Hidden Stream Farm

    Hidden Stream Farm raises 100% Grass-fed beef, pastured chickens and naturally-raised hogs fed vegetarian diet of non-GMO feeds, sunshine, and fresh air.

    Saturday festival only

    Elgin, MN - Meat

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    Hoch Orchard

    Hoch Orchard ciders and wines are made from our estate-grown apples, berries and stone fruit, and hops. Nothing is brought in from other farms — all of our products are made with certified organic and biodynamic fruit. 

    Saturday festival only

    La Crescent, MN - Grower/Producer, Hard Cider

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    Honestly Cranberry

    Honestly Cranberry offers unsweetened dried cranberries with no added sugars, juices, or oils. Come try the true tart taste and natural goodness of cranberry!

    Wisconsin Rapids, WI - Grower/Producer, Preserves, Vinegar and Sauces

    HoneyberryUSA

    HoneyberryUSA offers honeyberries and tart cherries from our naturally grown orchard. Available fresh in season, frozen, or in preserves. Limited availability of saskatoons, currants (red/white/pink/black), gooseberries, aronia, elderberries, and seaberries at our U-pick.

    Bagley, MN - Grower/Producer, Preserves and Vinegar, Cheese and Dairy

    Infuzn Foods

    A Minnesota based company specializing in Vegan, Vegetarian and Gluten-Free meals and meal kits inspired by culinary delights of India with a global twist.

    Rochester, MN - Sauces, Meal Kits

    JRS Country Acres

    JRS Country Acres provides Wisconsin-produced Cage Free Brown Eggs to the Great Lakes Region. Our farms are family-run with small flocks. Cage Free = Happy Hens!

    Lake Mills, WI - Grower/Producer, Eggs

    Kakookies

    Deliciously flavorful, soft baked, Grab n Go cookies made with wholesome superfood ingredients that satisfies hunger and sustains energy. Certified GF, Vegan, Woman owned & MN local.

    FEAST! 2016 Ready to Grow award winner

    Minneapolis, MN - Bakery and Grains, Snacks

    KellyG's Wild Rice Burgers

    We are a family owned small business located in Northern Minnesota. We use local ingredients in our vegetarian, gluten-free wild rice burgers.

    White Bear Lake, MN - Vegetarian

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    Kinney Creek Brewery

    Kinney Creek Brewery is the first brewery to come to Rochester, MN since the last one shut down in 1922 due to the restrictions of prohibition!

    Saturday festival only

    Rochester, MN - Craft Beer

    K-Mama Sauce

    Award winning vegan Korean hot sauce made from my mother's recipe. Non-GMO, MSG free, and gluten free, we are the tastiest and healthiest condiment. It's Seoul for Your Food!

    FEAST! 2016 People's Choice winner

    Friday tradeshow only

    Minneapolis, MN - Sauces, Dressings and Seasonings

    Lake Pepin Winery

    We operate a Minnesota Farm Winery which produces very delicious and unique wines entirely from locally grown grapes.

    Saturday festival only

    Lake City, MN - Grower/Producer, Wine

    Leafy Legacy Herb Farm

    Leafy Legacy Herb Farm grows herbs without chemicals on our Lanesboro-area farm that we use to produce herb salts, herb-infused syrups, and herbal teas. We make you a better cook!

    Lanesboro, MN - Grower/Producer, Sauces, Dressings and Seasonings

    L'Etoile du Nord Vineyard

    L’Etoile du Nord Vineyard is located on Lake Irene north of Alexandra. Handcrafted in small batches from grapes we have nurtured through the seasons, our wines reflect the character of our land and the integrity of our processes.

    Saturday festival only

    Parkers Prairie, MN - Grower/Producer, Wine

    Little Thistle Brewing

    Little Thistle Brewing is a locally-owned, community-focused brewery located in Rochester, MN. We focus on small-batch craft beers - from the easy-drinking to the unique and experimental.

    Saturday festival only

    Rochester, MN - Craft Beer

    Maazah Chutney

    It's the perfect compliment to grilled meats, sandwiches, artisan cheeses and more. Made with all raw ingredients, vegan and gluten free. Fresh and delicious goes-with-anything condiment, inspired by our mom.

    Friday tradeshow only

    Minneapolis, MN - Sauces, Dressings and Seasonings

    Mama Stoens

    Filling the gap in the market that is missing for those that have the need or desire to have GF options without sacrificing taste, texture, and variety.

    FEAST! 2017 People's Choice winner

    Saturday festival only

    Owatonna, MN - Bakery and Grains

    Midwest Elderberry Cooperative

    Midwest Elderberry Cooperative grows and produces the highest quality native elderflower and berry ingredients from farmed fields beyond sustainable and organic. Sampling River Hills Harvest ElderBerry products available locally.

    Minneapolis, MN - Grower/Producer, Preserves and Vinegar

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    Millner Heritage Vineyard & Winery

    Minnesota Grown, Minnesota Made wine and ciders.

    FEAST! 2017 People's Choice winner

    Saturday festival only

    Kimball, MN - Grower/Producer, Wine, Cider

     

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    Minnesota Department of Agriculture

    Working to enhance Minnesotans’ quality of life by ensuring the integrity of our food supply, the health of our environment, and the strength of our agricultural economy.

    St. Paul, MN - SPONSOR

     

        

     

    Minnesota Hemp Farms

    The first approved Industrial Hemp Grower in Minnesota and currently the state’s largest hemp grower and wholesale supplier of hemp products. We offer the highest quality bulk food ingredients (hulled hempseed, roasted hempseed, hempseed oil, hemp protein powders) as well as CBD supplements.

    Hastings, MN - Grower/Producer

    Mostly Made

    Mostly Made helps you cook dinner! Assemble our Enchilada Filling and Lasagna Filling with your favorite fresh ingredients to make nourishing family meals.

    Deephaven, MN - Sauces, Dressings and Seasonings, Frozen

    My Sweet Greens MN

    Farm-to-table grower specializing in a wide variety of fresh microgreens and salad greens. Our produce is used in restaurants, sold retail in co-ops and available at area farmers markets. Every product is grown clean, harvested and packaged fresh, imparting incredibly sweet and intense flavors with power-packed nutrient density.

    Zumbrota, MN - Grower/Producer

    Nami Chips

    Nami chips is a family run company creating a dehydrated, SuperFood, meal in a chip. Our recipes are developed based on the local organic produce. Made with love.

    Viroqua, WI - Snacks

    NessAlla Kombucha

    NessAlla makes fresh, craft brewed kombucha in Madison, Wisconsin. All of our flavors are certified organic and kosher, and made using sustainable practices.

    Madison, WI - Non-alcoholic Beverages

     

    Next Chapter Winery

    Next Chapter Winery is a family owned and operated vineyard and winery sustainably crafting barrel-aged wine in rural Minnesota.

    Saturday festival only

    New Prague, MN - Grower/Producer, Wine, Cider

    Oak Valley Creations

    At Oak Valley Creations, we believe organics are a great way to incorporate good health into your recipes and your life! Our products are made in small batches with available locally sourced ingredients creating high quality, handcrafted, gourmet foods & gifts.

    Savage, MN - Bakery and Grains, Sauces, Dressings and Seasonings, Snacks

    Out Of The Kitchen LLC

    Out Of The Kitchen produces sauces that have been prepared using Black Garlic made from fresh garlic grown in Wisconsin as one of it's main ingredients.

    Prarie du Sac, WI - Sauces, Dressings and Seasonings

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    Pickle Creek Herbs

    At Pickle Creek, we grow herbs and produce on our family farm and use original recipes to hand craft the best possible infused olive oils and vinegars.

    Fairfield, IA- Grower/Producer, Preserves and Vinegar, Sauces, Dressings and Seasonings

    Raw Bistro Pet Food

    Our food and treats for dogs are crafted from only the most ethically raised meats, organic veggies, berries and other ingredients dogs need for optimal health & vitality.

    Cannon Falls, MN- Meat, Snacks, Pet food

    Ready-2-Fruit Mushrooms

    We offer one of the largest selections of mushroom spawn, kits and cultivation supplies around, offer in the home gardener the ability to grow gourmet mushrooms form around the world.

    Pine River, MN- Grower/Producer, Mushrooms

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    Renewing the Countryside

    Renewing the Countryside strengthens rural areas by championing and supporting rural communities, farmers, artists, entrepreneurs, educators, activists and other people who are renewing the countryside through sustainable and innovative initiatives, businesses, and projects.

    Minneapolis / Zumbro Falls, MN - SPONSOR

    Round Lake Vineyards & Winery

    Round Lake Vineyards & Winery is a family-owned business established in 2007, with 13 varieties of grapes on 30 acres. We offer dry to sweet and red and white wines. There is sure to be something to please every palate!

    Saturday festival only

    Round Lake, MN - Grower/Producer, Wine

    Ruth's Vegetarian Gourmet

    Ruth’s Vegetarian Gourmet is a local, family owned and operated, frozen food company in Two Harbors, MN. Ruth’s offers Vegetarian and Vegan Foods made with quality ingredients from our own family recipes.

    Two Harbors, MN - Frozen, Vegetarian

    Sacred Blossom Farm

    We grow super quality herbs on our small Wisconsin farm then blend and package them into beautiful, delicious herbal teas.

    Mondovi, WI - Grower/Producer, Non-Alcoholic Beverages

     

    Salem Glen Winery

    Salem Glen is a family-owned and operated boutique winery specializing in small batches of wine made from regionally grown grapes.

    Saturday festival only

    Rochester, MN - Grower/Producer, Wine

    Salsa Joe L. Diablo

    Rochester Minnesota based salsa company selling award-winning Minnesota salsa.

    Rochester, MN - Sauces, Dressings and Seasonings

    Sara's Tipsy Pies

    Sara's Tipsy Pies are delicious hand pies in unique flavors made with a splash of beer, wine or spirits and Sara's famous family crust recipe.

    Friday tradeshow only

    Stillwater, MN - Bakery and Grains

    Shokolate Haven

    Our handcrafted Artisan Chocolates are made using all naturally grown product, locally sourced ingredients and the finest quality chocolate.

    Lindstrom, MN - Confections

    Sno Pac Foods

    Sno Pac is a local family owned and operated grower and processor of frozen organic fruits and vegetables. Established in 1943.

    Caledonia, MN - Grower/Producer

     

    Sociable Cider Werks

    Sociable brews fresh-pressed apples with fruits, grains, hops & spices for innovative libations best shared with a friend.

    Saturday festival only

    Minneapolis, MN - Hard Cider

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    Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation

    Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF), a donor-supported foundation, invests for economic growth in 20 Minnesota counties. The Foundation has provided more than $50 million in grants and loans within the region during the past 29 years. SMIF's key interests include early childhood and economic development.

    Owatonna, MN - SPONSOR

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    Squash Blossom Farm

    Squash Blossom Farm's bakery features wood-fired sourdough breads, fancy breads, and pastries. During the summer, we serve our wood-fired pizza on the farm.

    Saturday festival only

    Oronoco, MN - Bakery and Grains

     

    Sweetland Orchard

    Small, family-owned and operated orchard and cidery making Minnesota's original farmhouse cider.

    Saturday festival only

    Webster, MN - Hard Cider

    The Bee Shed, SBC

    The Bee Shed, SBC produces and sells honey-related products. Our honey is raw, unprocessed and local to SE Minnesota.

    Oronoco, MN - Grower/Producer

    The Farm of Minnesota

    The Farm of Minnesota is a Certified Organic Elderberry and Mushroom grower

    Hutchinson, MN - Grower/Producer

    Timberlake Orchard

    Apple orchard located in southern Minnesota. We have recently expanded to include our new cider pressing room and a full commercial kitchen for baked goods! We have 17 apple varieties including Honeycrisp, SweeTango and more!

    Fairmont, MN - Grower/Producer

    Trail Creek Coffee Roasters

    Locally roasted small batch specialty coffee with an emphasis on fair trade, organic single origin coffees and a passion for community, connection, and global impact.

    Kasson, MN - Non-alcoholic Beverages

    Treats by T

    Treats by T is a husband and wife team. We make a versatile delicious ghost pepper sauce, that starts off sweet and finishes with a little heat. We grow all our own peppers,its from our garden to you.

    Saturday festival only

    Northfield, MN - Sauces, Dressings, and Seasonings

    MN Turkey Council

    MN Turkey Council is funded and governed by Minnesota turkey farmers for the purpose of promoting turkey products, farmers, and research for raising turkeys.

    Saturday festival only

    Buffalo, MN - Grower/Producer, Meat

    West Indies Soul Food, Inc.

    West Indies Soul Food, Inc. provides flavorful food for the soul with our authentic Caribbean cuisine and southern soul food recipes. Voted one of the Best of the MN State Fair.

    St. Paul, MN - Sauces, Dressings, and Seasonings

    Yoga Pops

    YOGA POPS®, a better-for-you snack made from Asian water lily seeds, are inspired by Ayurveda, bringing the experience of yoga through food. Hand-roasted in small batches in Minnesota, our crunchy artisanal snacks are a great alternative to popcorn.

    Minneapolis, MN - Snacks

    You Betcha! Box

    "You Betcha! Boxes"- Minnesota's new artisan food subscription boxes, delivered quarterly! Every box is specially curated to delight you with Minnesota's finest, handcrafted foods, and share recipes and makers' stories.

    Saint Paul, MN - Minnesota artisan food gift boxes

    You Betcha Kimchi

    You Betcha Kimchi makes a deliciously Minnesotan twist on the Korean classic using all local, organic ingredients (even the ginger!) in 3 spice levels: Minnesota Nice, A Bit Nippy, and Uffda!

    Minneapolis, MN - Preserves and vinegar, fermented foods

       
       
       
       
       

     


  • published Peer Network 2018-05-25 16:34:01 -0500

    Peer Network

    The Feast! Local Foods Network also supports small businesses in the food industry with peer networking meetings. Regional local foods entrepreneurs get together and share ideas, struggles, and successes.

    “The demand for local foods in our region is increasing,” said SMIF Vice President of Economic Development Pam Bishop. “We see growth in the local foods sector as a great economic development opportunity for our region. However, for businesses to step up and meet this demand, they need a range of business support. This peer network is one tool to help strengthen these local foods enterprises and our regional economy as a whole”

    If you have any questions regarding the Peer Network, please contact Pam Bishop at PamB@smifoundation.org or 507-455-3215.


  • published About the Fund in Grow a Farmer 2018-05-25 15:34:55 -0500

    About the Fund

    Grow a Farmer // About the Fund // FAQ // Apply for a Loan


    The Grow a Farmer Fund provides small-scale sustainable farmers low interest loans to help them improve their operations and increase their bottom lines. 

    WHY IS THIS FUND NEEDED?

    While we all love the idea of small and mid-sized farms growing great food for our tables, the reality is that small-scale farming is hard work and it is challenging to make a decent living. On top of that, small-scale farmers are the folks that have the hardest time securing bank financing because they often lack collateral, are too small, or are trying something new (and thus are too risky for traditional lenders.) A handful of programs do provide small loans and grants to these type of farmers, and this program will complement those funds. 

    WHO IS BEHIND THIS?

    The Grow a Farmer fund builds on years of work by many businesses and organizations (including natural food co-ops, farm-to-table restaurants, non-profit organizations, and farmers!) that are working to improve our food system and reshape the local food economy. These are people who care deeply about improving the food system, helping farmers, and preserving the land. The Grow a Farmer Fund is one step in the bigger vision that has been emerging – a vision where farmers who are committed to growing good food while being good stewards of our natural resources are able to make a respectable profit.

    This initiative is one part providing accessible financing to small farms and one part giving good food citizens a means to invest in the kind of farms we want more of: those that contribute to a healthy food system and thriving local economy.

    While a number of organizations and individuals have been involved in getting us this far – a core group began this work: Renewing the Countryside, the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation, the Sustainable Farming AssociationShared Capital CooperativeFeast Local Food Network, and Regeneration Partnership. We continue to add additional partners such as Mill City Farmers’ MarketImpact Hub MSP, the Food Building, and Birchwood Cafe. We hope to be able to add your name to the list!

    WHERE DID THE FUNDS COME FROM?

    The funds for this program were donated by individuals and organizations during a campaign we launched in 2016. This donation-based fund is a step on the road to creating more pathways for good food citizens to invest in the kinds of farms and food systems that we want to see flourish. In the future, we expect to have investment options in addition to donation options.

    With the Grow a Farmer Fund, we are supporting farmers and also learning more about the needs and challenges both to farmers and with this type of lending. This will serve as a proof of concept for broader Slow Money initiatives.

    We are looking to people like you and me – who love good food and understand the financial challenges that small-scale sustainable farmers face – to support this fund. We are organizing to meet these challenges using a Slow Money approach to keep local money in the community and build a thriving local economy.

    WHO MANAGES THE FUND?

    The Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF), in partnership with Slow Money Minn. and Feast Local Food Network, houses the Grow a Farmer Fund. SMIF is a well respected and established community foundation that serves the twenty counties of southeast and south central Minnesota. SMIF has generously agreed to donate their time and expertise to manage this fund. SMIF manages a number of loan funds and has extensive experience working with small businesses. An advisory team, with expertise in small farms businesses, will work alongside SMIF staff to assist in reviewing applications and ensuring the process works for small farms.

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    WHO IS ELIGIBLE?

    Small farms using sustainable practices who can demonstrate that a small loan can improve their operations and increase their bottom lines. In this phase of the project, we will focus on farms that are located in the FEAST Local Foods Region, which covers the 20-county service area of the fund administrator, the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation. These counties are: Blue Earth, Brown, Dodge, Faribault, Fillmore, Freeborn, Goodhue, Houston, Le Sueur, Martin, Mower, Nicollet, Olmsted, Rice, Sibley, Steele, Wabasha, Waseca, Watonwan and Winona. If all goes well, we’ll work to expand this initiative to other regions of the state.

    HOW DOES THE LOAN PROGRAM WORK?

    The Grow a Farmer Fund provides loans of up to $15,000 to small farms for projects that will improve their operations and increase their bottom line. The eligible projects are broad because every farm business is different. Examples might include building a winter greenhouse to extend the growing season, automating systems that increase efficiency (think watering systems for veggies or livestock), or covering start-up costs for perennial crops that are great for the environment, but don’t start paying back for a few years.

    The process is straightforward and transparent. Farmers will fill out a user-friendly application form, provide references, and provide financial paperwork. A lending committee comprised of SMIF lending staff and small farm advisors will review the applications based on the borrower’s ability to repay the loan. The review committee will also look beyond collateral and credit scores in making a determination. A key factor will be demonstrating a viable business plan with market opportunity. Repayment terms and loan interest will vary and will be determined by the discretion of the loan review committee.

    As these farms grow, the fund recipients will repay their loans. That money will then go back into the loan fund and be available for other farmers. This way the money will continue to circulate in the community providing enduring support for small-scale sustainable farmers!

     

     


  • published FAQs in Grow a Farmer 2018-05-25 15:33:53 -0500

    FAQs


    Why do we need a loan fund for small-scale farmers?

    Surveys, interviews, and focus groups with Minnesota farmers have identified accessing financing as a challenge to business growth. While there are lenders that provide loans to farmers (and even a few who provide grants), many small-scale farmers do not fit the criteria required by traditional lenders because they lack collateral or are engaged in production systems that are outside of the norm. Furthermore, a number of farming systems – such as perennial crops – require patient capital – and most lenders are not set up to provide those sorts of terms. This fund does not replace the programs that are out there, but complements them, expanding options for farmers.

    Why is small-scale farming not very profitable, when I pay so much for my local foods?

    Though the costs for local or organic food can seem high, compared to other countries, most of us pay a much smaller percentage of our income on food. The margins for these farms are thin. This has to do with scale, subsidies (that most small farmers don’t qualify for), the risky business of running a business dependent on the weather, consolidation in food systems infrastructure, international trade laws that bring in cheap food imported from places where workers get paid very low wages and where environmental regulations are lax.

    Why $100,000? Is it enough to make a difference?

    We’ve started with $100,000 because it’s enough money to gauge how small loans to farmers can meaningfully boost their businesses. With $100,000 we can provide loans to at least 10 farmers and maybe more and we’ll be able to evaluate the impact of these investments and work out any kinks in the process. 

    What is the Slow Money Minnesota?

    Slow Money Minnesota is an emerging network that connects people interested in building a better local food system. Together, we intend to increase the flow of knowledge and capital in support of local food makers and farmers. The network got off the ground through organizing by Renewing the Countryside, the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation, Sustainable Farming Association, Shared Capital Cooperative, and the Feast Local Food Network and was supported through a grant from North Central SARE. The network has since expanded to involve other organizations and individuals, and we anticipate that it will continue to expand as we welcome others to join us.

    What is the Slow Money movement?

    The concept of Slow Money is about investing in the sort of future we want and doing so closer to home, with a focus on food systems. A national movement of over 31,000 people is working to bring Slow Money to communities across the US. The term Slow Money was coined by Woody Tasch. To learn more about Slow Money, visit https://slowmoney.org.

    Is this an “investment”?

    The Grow a Farmer fund is an investment in more prosperous farms and in a healthier food system. By donating to the loan fund you can sit back and watch your money “Grow a Farmer!”  That said, we know people are eager for the type of investment model where you get your principal back with interest, or own a share of a company. Those models are in the making, but we don’t expect to see them emerge for at least a year. The Grow a Farmer fund was launched as a first step along the path to preferred Slow Money investing options in Minnesota. This pilot project will do more than help farmers, it will allow a community of donors to learn along the way.

    Why do applicants have to be from the 20 counties of southeast and south central Minnesota?

    The Grow the Farmer Fund originated out of the work of the FEAST Local Foods Network and is inspired by Slow Money Minnesota. The Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF), with their great financial team, understanding of loans and small business, and ability to accept donations, stepped up to manage the fund and have provided their services as a donation. Because of the way SMIF is organized, the funds must be focused on southeast and south central Minnesota, the communities where SMIF does its work.

    Our vision is that this effort will grow and as it does we'll be able to partner with other entities like SMIF, that serve different regions so that we cover every corner of the state, maybe even expanding into Wisconsin – as we have many farmers across the border who are key to our local food system.


    Have a question? Contact us!


  • published Marketplace 2018-05-22 11:33:15 -0500

    Feast!

     

    Stay tuned for 2020 tradeshow information!

    Sunday, December 6th, 2020

    Stay tuned for more information!

    Tradeshow Festival

     


     

    Gallery of past events

    Archive of past events

     


      

     Many thanks to our premier sponsors:


        SMIF_Logo  RTCnewlogo.jpg


    MDALogoSGB.jpg      

     

    Interested in becoming a sponsor for 2020?  Please contact Alissa at the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation at AlissaB@smifoundation.org or by calling 507-455-3215 ext. 107.


  • published Sponsors in Marketplace 2018-05-22 09:38:31 -0500

    Sponsors

    This unique FEAST! festival features local farms and foodmakers from Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin that make our region special. They're part of a vibrant local foods culture and economy, adding richness to our landscape through land stewardship, job creation, and social benefit practices.
    The FEAST! event allows businesses the opportunity to expand their customer relationships and increase their wholesale markets. Sponsors of the event are making all of this possible. Can you help to fuel the local foods movement?

    Sponsorship info + Advertising rate card (PDF)

    Interested in becoming a sponsor?

    Contact Pam at the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation: 

    PamB@smifoundation.org

    507-214-7013


    Heartfelt thanks to the following 2019 sponsors for their generous support!

     

    Premier Partners

     

                       MNdoa.jpg             SMIF_LogoGreenC.jpg           RTCnewlogo.jpg        

     

     


        

    Silver Tablespoon Sponsors

     

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    Bronze Teaspoon Sponsors

                        KIMT logo              

     

                              

     

               

     

      


     

     Wooden Spoon Sponsors

               KIMT logo

                

      

             


    Business Sponsor

    Agricultural Utilization Research Institute (AURI)

    D & S Gardens

    REAP Food Group

    Shopwise Magazine Rochester

                  


    Small Business Sponsor

    Historic Hutchinson House B&B

    Michael Sparby

    Saint Peter Food Co-op

     



     


  • published Festival in Marketplace 2018-05-17 16:11:56 -0500

    Save the date for the 6th Annual

    FEAST! Local Foods Marketplace


    Saturday, December 7th, 2019

    10 AM - 4 PM | Rochester Mayo Civic Center 

    Directions and Parking

     

      • Sip, sample and stock up on locally-made foods, from Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin
      • Discover new flavors made with local ingredients to stock your pantry or gift your favorite foodie
      • Spring for a VIP wristband to sample locally-crafted beer, wine and hard cider

     

    Carrot-Pea-Voting station

     

    Besides the market, you'll also enjoy...

    Cooking demos  

    FEAST! People's Choice voting

    Children’s activities 

    Rochester Downtown Farmers Market vendors within the festival

    Wine and hard cider sales allowed for wristband ticket holders (6 bottle limit)

     


    Ticket Info*

    Online: beginning in October

    At the door: $8/adults, $2/kids age 2-12, $25/VIP Wristband (includes admission, must be 21 with ID)

    *Coupons will be available at the following locations:

    • All participating FEAST! Restaurant Week venues (see the list)
    • Minnesota Children's Museum Rochester
    • People's Food Co-op, Rochester and La Crosse

    Directions and Parking for the Mayo Civic Center 

     

     


  • published smartstart in About Us 2018-03-23 08:40:47 -0500

    Farmers, brewers and food makers are also marketers, accountants, managers, educators and more. In order to grow, it helps to have outside perspective and some subject matter experts on your side. The Feast! Smart Start Initiative was a one-year pilot program beginning in 2017. It supports farm and food entrepreneurs through technical assistance and customized, transformational coaching. 

     

    FEAST! SMART START GRANTS

     

    Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF) is accepting applications from organizations to receive up to $10,000 to implement FEAST! Smart Start in their community. Up to 4 applicants will receive a total of up to $40,000 to support individual farm and food entrepreneurs through a defined, structured technical assistance and customized, transformational coaching process.

    Strong food economies are dependent upon successful entrepreneurs. These individuals start and expand small scale farms, production and processing facilities, distribution hubs, and food transportation systems. This also includes small town grocers, local cafés and restaurants, caterers and food service businesses all of which specialize in including local foods on their shelves or menus.

    Because these individuals who make up the food ecosystem are so important to the future of local food consumption and our agricultural economy, SMIF has created this special grant opportunity to build resources for creating a sustainable and resilient food economy for southern Minnesota. Business financing is important to success, but financing alone does not provide business leaders with the business acumen needed to develop and sell products and create jobs. 

    For more information, click here

    2018 Timeline

    • Application Due: May 15, 2018
    • Grant Awards Made: June 15, 2018

     


  • published Zero Waste 2016-10-31 10:03:19 -0500

    Zero Waste

    Feast is a low/zero waste event. Beyond recycling and minimizing waste, we promote organics recycling (composting) at the Mayo Civic Center. In their organics recycling program, all food scraps, soiled paper, food-service items and certified compostable foodware are placed in a single container. Waste Management picks up the waste and delivers it to a composting facility. After six to nine months, the material has been recycled into compost that is put to good use in landscaping and road construction projects.

    All vendors at feast must use compostable food ware items to sample their products. This can be a simple as wooden toothpicks, paper cups and napkins. Please be aware that certain paper items, like dixie cups, are lined with plastic. Please look for certified compostable items.

    Compostable Sampling Supplies
    Here are some good examples of compostable sampling supplies and sellers. Feast does not endorse any specific product or vendor. Contact eli@rtcinfo.org with questions.

    Suggested Compostable Products:


  • FEAST Local Foods Network Wins Food Stewardship Award

     

    feastenvinaward.jpg

    Bill Swanson, Lanesboro; Jane Olive, UMN SE Regional Sustainable Development Partnership; Devon Ballinger, Renewing the Countryside (RTC); Brett Olson, RTC; Jan Joannides, RTC; Tim Penny, Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF); Eli Goodwell, RTC; Pam Bishop, SMIF; Neal Cuthbert, The McKnight Foundation

    MINNEAPOLIS, Minn., June 20, 2016 - The FEAST Local Foods Network and its partners won the Environmental Initiative Award in the Food Stewardship category on Thursday, May 26. This program, hosted by the nonprofit Environmental Initiative, annually honors projects that have achieved extraordinary outcomes by harnessing the power of partnership.

    The FEAST Local Foods Network is a collaborative network across Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin of local foods advocates. The FEAST Network organizes the annual Feast! Local Foods Marketplace. Partners accepting the award included Renewing the Countryside, Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF), University of Minnesota Southeast Regional Sustainable Development Partnership, The McKnight Foundation, Minnesota Department of Agriculture, Mayo Clinic and People's Food Co-op. The network was created to support local food producers and foodmakers by boosting access to financing, resources, and peer-to-peer learning opportunities...

    Read more

  • published Gallery in Event Info 2016-10-04 09:17:46 -0500

  • published Feast 2014 in Past Events 2016-07-12 16:34:13 -0500

  • published FEAST 2015 Archive in Past Events 2016-03-30 15:01:19 -0500

  • published Buyers in feast2016 2016-03-25 16:20:05 -0500

    Buyers

    buyers.jpg

    "Attending Feast reinforced our belief that there are many vendors we would not normally be exposed to.  We understand that marketing is a big cost for vendors; Feast lets people in a concentrated way get their name out there." ~Retail grocery buyer

    Click here for buyer's registration!

     

    Are you a retail food business, foodservice business, food manufacturer or distributor? Are you interested in sourcing more local foods?  

    Join us on Friday, December 1st, 2017 for the fourth annual Feast! Local Foods Marketplace Tradeshow. You will have the opportunity to meet and sample products from over 100 food makers and farmers from Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin.  Don't miss the chance to participate in this event!

    The Tradeshow floor will be open from 3-6 PM and will be followed by a Reception in the Rochester Art Center.

    REGISTER TODAY!
    Early Bird Rate - $15 on or before November 10th
    Standard registration - $25 (covers multiple people from one business)

    Other Links:

    Feast 2016 Exhibitors

    Saturday, December 2nd - Public Festival

    Lodging


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