FEAST! is coming back to Rochester Nov. 4th, 2023! As plans come together, more info will be added here and throughout the website. Check back often! Or, submit a question to [email protected]

What is FEAST?carrot-pea-hug

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 we had a contest in 2018 and selected two great ones as tied winners!

*Farmers Eaters and Artisans Stand Together*

*Farmers, Entrepreneurs, Artisans Successful Together*

When is the FEAST! Local Foods Marketplace festival?

The 2023 in-person festival was on Saturday, Nov. 4th.

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.  

What makes FEAST! Local Foods Marketplace special?carrot-pea-hug

This event is the first of its kind in our region. The focus is on local food businesses and farms with products not just made in our region, but made with ingredients grown and produced in our region. In this way, the event is all about strengthening markets for farmers.

The festival provides businesses with an opportunity to introduce their products and to share and build relationships with potential customers. The B2B tradeshow 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 farmers' market?

Not only do we have farmers there, but we have food makers from our the tri-state region showcasing unique products made with clean labels—locally-grown ingredients, from entrepreneurs who are creating jobs and giving back to their communities.

It’s a chance for the public to learn of more local brands and start supporting those businesses. The festival also features cooking demos, a kids area with special activities, our carrot and pea mascots, music, and the opportunity to sample local craft alcohol for people over 21 who purchase a wristband ticket.  

What kind of businesses will be at the FEAST! Local Foods Marketplace ?

Businesses that produce a range of food products. It will include produce from farmers, breads,  jams, oils & vinegars, cheese, meats, beer, wine, hard cider and so much more! See the updated list at local-feast.org/directory

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. The FEAST! People's Choice Award went to The Bee Shed in 2018CannonBelles Cheese in 2019, Panache in 2021, and Sailor Mercy in 2022 & 2023 (pictured at right). 

How much does it cost to attend the festival?

2023 Ticket Prices: $10 for adults ($8 in advance), children 12 or under are FREE.  Beer, hard cider and wine tasting requires a wristband ticket for $30 ($25 in advance). Tickets are available here 

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. If you are registering as a buyer and want to request a special discount, please contact [email protected] to find out if you're eligible. The next FEAST! Local Foods Tradeshow is March 21, 2024 in Cannon Falls, MN. 

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 [email protected].

What should buyers expect to get out of the tradeshow?Flavor Temptations

Demand for local foods is burgeoning, and we are providing wholesale buyers of all types with an efficient means to find local farmers and foodmakers with new, unique, clean-label, on-trend products who are ready to sell in bulk quantities. For buyers, this represents an opportunity to attract new, local-focused customers and demonstrate your commitment to strengthening our region's economy.

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 the Premier Partners: Renewing the CountrysideSouthern Minnesota Initiative Foundation, Minnesota Department of Agriculture, and Compeer Financial.  However, we’re grateful for the support of dozens of businesses and non-profits in the region who participate as Network members, as well as many sponsors. We welcome you or your business as a sponsor, volunteer or organizer. Please contact Pam at [email protected] to learn more about ways you can participate.


get the scoop on Feast!