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:


Our Tradeshow awards are designed to dig into exemplary and commendable business practices we've observed in these businesses.

For some, it's their fantastic dedication to growing their brand; for others, it's the way that some of these founders have worked to give back to their communities.

In 2018 we launched the Innovative Local Sourcing Award and the Inspiring Social Benefit Award. It's yet another indicator of what makes small, regional businesses special. 

Read more about the 2022 tradeshow awards here


People’s Choice Award Winners:

K-Mama Sauce (2016), kmamasauce.com

Mama Stoen’s (2017–tie), mamastoens.com

Millner Heritage Winery & Cidery (2017–tie), millnerheritage.com

The Bee Shed (2018), thebeeshed.com

CannonBelles Cheese (2019), cannonbelles.com

Panache (2021), panacheapple.com

Sailor Mercy (2022, 2023), sailormercy.com


Innovative Local Sourcing Award

Grandma's Gourmets (2018)

Siren Shrub Co. (2019)

Panache (2022)

Spirit Creek Farm (2023)


Inspiring Social Benefit Award

Heartland Burrito (2018)

Ferndale Market (2019)

Country View Dairy (2022)

Dogpatch Gardens (2023)


Most Engaging Booth

The Greensted (2018)

  —listed as their previous brand, My Sweet Greens MN

Sailor Mercy (2019)


In Spring 2022, we launched a new award to recognize retailers going above and beyond to promote local foods; this award was inspired by the Nicci Sylvester Award, as you can read about below.

The 2022 Local Food Champion Award was presented to The Greensted of Zumbrota, MN for their dedication to filling their new farm store with a range of foods from local vendors. 

The 2023 Local Food Champion Award was presented to Kowalski's Markets.

As a result of their conversations with vendors at FEAST!’s 2022 & 2023 events, Kowalski's onboarded 15+ local brands to their 11 stores throughout the Twin Cities. Their dedication in seeking out and bringing great fare to consumers, provides eaters with more local options while supporting area agribusinesses and the regional economy. Their support exemplifies the importance of the connections made through FEAST! and how a single conversation can make a big impact.


In years past we also offered a range of awards to recognize excellence and provide opportunities for growth: 

Ready to Grow Minnesota Award

Kakookies (2016)

CannonBelles (2018)

Sara's Tipsy Pies (2019)


Buyer's Choice Minnesota

Grandma's Gourmets (2017)




Outstanding Wisconsin Vendor

B&E's Trees (2016)


Something Special from Wisconsin Award

CTL Foods (2018)

Out of the Kitchen (2019)


Buyer's Choice Wisconsin

Alsum Corn (2017)


Outstanding Iowa Vendor

O'Brien's Own Granola (2016)


Buyer's Choice Iowa

Agri-Cultured Foods (2017)






In 2019 we presented The Nicci Sylvester Award for local foods passion to Jennifer Becker and Erik Kleven of Bleu Duck Kitchen, along with Tim Wiste of Tonic Local Kitchen and Juice Bar. Tim, shown at center here, was Nicci Sylvester's business partner at Tonic until her tragic passing due to illness in 2018. Read more about the award and Nicci's dedication to local foods from the Post-Bulletin here


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