About Us: FEAST! Local Foods Network

The FEAST! Local Foods Network is a partnership of many organizations, businesses, and individuals committed to growing a sustainable, local and regional food system that encourages innovation. As a result of our work, we hope to see current businesses flourish and new businesses get established.
The graphic at right shows the programs supported by the FEAST! Local Foods Network:
  • Peer Networks
  • Feast Financing
  • Grow a Farmer loan program 
  • Smart Start technical assistance program
  • FEAST! Local Foods Marketplace festival and tradeshow events

OUR OBJECTIVES INCLUDE:

   •  To link entrepreneurs to information and business expertise

   •  To boost entrepreneurs access to financial support

   •  To increase and strengthen regional connections

 

FEAST! Local Foods Network
Programs are supported by:
Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation, Renewing the Countryside, Minnesota Department of Agriculture, University of Minnesota Extension Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships, City of Cannon Falls, Compeer Financial, Region Nine Development Commission, and many more.

See also our event sponsors.

If you'd like to know more and learn how to be involved, we'd love to hear from you! 

 

 

ABOUT THE FEAST! LOCAL FOODS MARKETPLACE

 

The FEAST! Local Foods Marketplace festival and tradeshow was created by the FEAST! Local Foods Network and launched in 2014.  

The event was created to see current local food producers and businesses in Minnesota, Iowa and Wisconsin flourish, and for new businesses get established. Exhibitor applications are reviewed to select vendors with strong value propositions who source local ingredients when possible. 

Industry-only Tradeshow: Regional food businesses who are accepted to attend have the opportunity to connect with fellow entrepreneurs, technical assistance providers, and wholesale buyers. Our next tradeshow will be held Thursday, March 23, 2023 in Cannon Falls, MN.

Public Festival: At the Saturday festival the businesses offer samples, tell their story, and sell their artisan products to the public. Learn more on the event pages, here or view our photo gallery. Our next festival will be Saturday, November 5, 2022 in Rochester, MN. 

FEAST! 2021 Local Foods Marketplace Festival final report

FEAST! 2022 Spring Tradeshow final report

Final reports are also available for the 2017, 2018, 2019, and the 2020-21 events. Previous year reports are available upon request.

By developing a food system that continues to support local producers and foodmakers, we are also supporting the economic development in our region. This event was made to help businesses grow.

 

 

The FEAST! Local Foods Magazine was launched in November 2018 as a preview of the FEAST! Local Foods Marketplace and as a means for sharing the vision, goals, and people behind the event. Volumes 2-4 followed in October 2019, 2020, and 2021. All issues are available online here

 

 

In May of 2016 the Network received an award from the Environmental Initiative. Read more about that here.

 

Please enjoy two great KSMQ interviews with FEAST! Network leaders below. First, this Fall 2021 interview with SMIF's Tim Penny:

 

During the second FEAST! Local Foods Marketplace in 2015, the KSMQ public television program Off 90 came to the tradeshow and interviewed Jan Joannides about the event, as well as talked with some of the vendors. Host Barbara Keith was very entertaining!

 

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