Rochester, MN – Food and beverage businesses from Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota are invited to register for the eighth annual FEAST! Local Foods Marketplace, to be held on Saturday, Dec. 11, 2021. Fans of the event should save the date to join us for the in-person festival at the Mayo Civic Center in Rochester, and participate in the Online Marketplace, where customers can preview products and order online for curbside pick-up. Regional food makers can learn more and register online at local-feast.org/registration2021.
With both the in-person event and the online shopping experience you can savor the taste of the Midwest and learn why local is best. Buying regional food helps to build and support our local food system, from the families growing and creating the food all the way to your kitchen table. While a hybrid event is currently planned, hosts are actively monitoring the COVID-19 situation and will switch to an online-only event if necessary.
"There are so many unique regional products at FEAST! that you really can't get just anywhere, and I love being able to discover the passion these food businesses have for local, sustainably-grown ingredients," said Beth Dooley, James Beard Award-winning cookbook author and tireless advocate of ecological eating. Dooley has offered cooking demos at past festivals, and is looking forward to repeating that this year.
FEAST! hosts more than 100 regional food businesses each year, including national award-winners. Most utilize locally-grown ingredients to make foods such as cheese, jam, specialty and ethnic sauces, as well as cider and wine. Many also carry certifications, including gluten-free, grass-fed and organic, and show leadership through business practices such as commitments to environmental sustainability, fair wages, community food access, and supporting social movements.
“I believe business can—and should—be a force for good,” said John Peterson, Founder and CEO of Ferndale Market, which has been both a sponsor and a vendor at FEAST! from the beginning. “When done properly, businesses can extend opportunity, and enrich their communities. It’s why we consciously source local, so we can drive demand and create change in our food system.”
Vendors are encouraged to register by September 22 to take advantage of early bird pricing.
FEAST! Local Foods Marketplace is co-hosted by non-profit organizations, Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation and Renewing the Countryside, and sponsored by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. For more info, including COVID-related updates, visit www.local-feast.org and follow us on social media: @localfeastnetwork on Facebook, @Local_Feast on Twitter, localfeast on Instagram, and #localFEAST.