FEAST! Tradeshow a Springboard for Local Food Businesses

Exemplary local food businesses received awards at March event


Jan Joannides of Renewing the Countryside presenting the Innovative Local Sourcing Award to Amy Forgues of Hidden Springs Creamery following the wholesale expo at the FEAST! Local Foods Tradeshow, March 21, 2024 in Cannon Falls, MN.


CANNON FALLS, Minn. — This year’s FEAST! Local Foods Tradeshow was the biggest in the FEAST! Network’s 10-year history. The industry-only event, which introduces wholesale buyers to an array of farms and food businesses from Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa, showcased the achievements of makers as well as retailers. 

The FEAST! Local Foods Network recognizes food makers with exemplary practices in two categories: the Inspiring Social Benefit Award (for giving back to their communities) and the Innovative Local Sourcing Award (for the use of locally-grown ingredients). 

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8 Tips for getting the most out of FEAST!

Here are 8 tips for getting the most out of FEAST!

We can't wait to see you for the 10th annual FEAST! Local Foods Marketplace on November 4th—did you get your tickets yet?



1. Fill your FEAST! bag! 

The first 1,000 guests will receive this awesome commemorative canvas bag, perfect for loading with local food + drink finds

When it gets heavy, stroll out to the new BAG CHECK in the lobby to have us safely stow it while you continue shopping and enjoying the fest

Tip the scales & win! We'll weigh the bags as they're dropped off—get your name on the leader board, you could win a limited edition local foods tee!

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Why advertise in LOCAL FEAST!?

  YKeing Yang of Seasoned Specialty Foods Market in St. Paul

Our readers savor their annual edition of LOCAL FEAST! magazine. This free nonprofit-produced publication is mission driven to support local farmers and food makers— not sales driven to support corporate profits.

Filled with recipes and profiles, every issue reflects great things happening in the local food ecosystem across Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa. Every story—even our ads—are developed in concert with the people and organizations working to improve food access and strengthen communities. That's why we've become a trusted resource for the latest and greatest in local food in the region.

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Superfoods at FEAST!

by Taylor Joa, nutrition student volunteer


Check out these important superfoods you can find at this year's FEAST! Festival, loaded with antioxidants and beneficial in a variety of ways!



Elderberry comes in handy any time of the year, especially during cold & flu season! It’s a great addition to your diet with loads of Vitamin C, fiber, and antioxidants. You can find elderberry products from Panache and Sailor Mercy at this year's festival!



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Foods at FEAST that support gut health

by Olivia Burns, nutrition student volunteer


Probiotics have one of the largest impacts on the human microbiome and gut health. Fermented foods provide the bacteria in your gut with nutrients that fight disease and inflammation within our entire bodies. Having a healthy gut is correlated to better mental health, and having more serotonin released on a daily basis.

Check out these companies that will be at FEAST! with foods that support good gut health!



Probiotics have one of the largest impacts on the human microbiome and gut health. Fermented foods provide the bacteria in your gut with nutrients that fight disease and inflammation within our entire bodies. Having a healthy gut is also strongly correlated to better mental health and having more serotonin released on a daily basis. Kowabucha is another great vendor to check out to feed your microbiome!



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Healthy protein options at FEAST!

by Bree Landherr, nutrition student volunteer


Did you know?

Consuming healthy protein in sufficient amounts is important for all, and especially during periods of growth such as childhood, adolescence and pregnancy. It has also been found to be beneficial during aging, for optimal muscle maintenance, and during injury healing. Protein forms the building blocks for new cells, and has the benefit of triggering our body's sensation of satiety. 

As you make your way around the FEAST! Local Foods Marketplace, keep an eye out for these companies that provide healthy options for protein! Here are a few of those businesses along with some facts about protein:

Ferndale Market (Cannon Falls, MN)- Turkeys just in time for Thanksgiving! Free range turkey that are rotated onto fresh pasture each week and antibiotic free.

Fun fact: one 3 ounce serving of turkey of has 24 grams lean protein 

Hidden Stream Farm (Elgin, MN) offers chicken, beef, pork, eggs, and seasonal vegetables. This environmentally friendly farm uses regenerative farming practices without chemicals or antibiotics.

Fun fact: one 3 ounce serving of chicken breast contains 23 grams of lean protein

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FEAST! Awards

From the coveted People's Choice Award at the FEAST! Local Foods Marketplace festival in November, to the Innovative Local Sourcing and Inspiring Social Benefit Awards presented at the Tradeshow, we strive to hold up exemplary food businesses.


We launched online voting at the 2021 Marketplace, when Panache received the award for their tangy, balanced Ayurvedic-inspired juices. Online voting is now routine during the festival, though in 2023 we brought back paper ballots, tallying votes from both systems.

The People's Choice Award went to Sailor Mercy in 2022, and then again in 2023—our first repeat in this attendee-vote contest! Pictured at right, Dani and her team receiving the award from Tim Penny of Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation. 


Here's a review of the many different awards we've given out at the event since 2016:

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Joys and Challenges of Localizing your Pantry

After four years of sharing stories, the staff at LOCAL FEAST! Magazine wanted to include some content from you, our readers. So, we created a contest to learn a little more about the joys and challenges consumers experience in adding more local foods to the routines of daily life. 

Many thanks to everyone who helped spread the word about the Localize Your Pantry contest and entered the contest by answering our question: 

In 100 words or less, tell us:

What does buying, cooking and eating local foods mean to you? 

Describe the challenges you face incorporating them into your kitchen and lifestyle.

Our Grand Prize winner was Meeghan P. of Minneapolis, whose winning entry highlighted her appreciation for the way local food nourishes the mind and body, connects her to the past, present and future, and supports farmers and co-ops “who are contributing to a sustainable, healthy, and beautiful world.”

Here are some of the other thoughts you shared:

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FEAST! Tradeshow Honors Exemplary Local Food Businesses

Cannon Falls, MN – The FEAST! Local Foods Network held its first-ever standalone tradeshow earlier this month to introduce wholesale buyers to the many unique food businesses in the tri-state region of Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa. 

The FEAST! event included recognition of exhibitor businesses for exemplary practices in two categories: supporting regional farms by using locally-grown ingredients in their products, and giving back to their communities in charitable and inspirational ways. 

Ameeta Jaiswal-Dale of Panache talks with fellow exhibitor John Shonyo of The Bee Shed at the FEAST! Local Foods Tradeshow, March 17, 2022 in Cannon Falls, MN.

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Spring FEAST! Tradeshow to Focus on Strengthening Food Businesses

The FEAST! Local Foods Network will hold its first-ever standalone Local Foods Tradeshow for wholesale buyers and manufacturers on Thursday, March 17, at The Grand O2 Event Center, Cannon Falls, Minnesota. Buyers and foodmakers from Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota are encouraged to attend.

The Tradeshow focuses on strategies for growing a regional food business such as building relationships with buyers, entrepreneur peer networking, financing and marketing. The FEAST! Network believes it’s vital to support these businesses because they enhance their communities positively—creating jobs, markets for regional farms, unique food products, and business models that give back to the community. “When we support our local shops, local food growers and local food makers, we are helping our neighbors succeed,” says Katie Ruff, owner of By the Spoonful, a small grocery in McGregor, Iowa that champions local foods.

The day’s schedule includes a wholesale expo, networking lunch, and Makers’ Forum comprised of panel discussions and an optional driving tour of Cannon Falls area businesses.

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