FEAST! Local Foods SCOOP: January 2021


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Got Local? | Eateries | Fresh & Tasty | Contest Fun! | Who's Fueling FEAST!?

JANUARY 2021  |  VOL. 3, NO. 7

Mid-winter delights

We hope this newsletter finds you well, and enjoying good food along with the other great winter pastimes—winter sports, baking season, paging through seed catalogs, or however else your passions take you. 

We're sharing some stories below to whet your appetites, as well as a contest of sorts! Follow the link to a very short feedback survey, and you'll have a chance to win a gift bag full of local foods goodies!

—FEAST! Local Foods Network newsletter team 


Got Local?

Try Maazah

If you attended the FEAST! festival in 2018, you might remember seeing and sampling Maazah chutney...and you’d be lucky! Yasameen Sajady and her sisters had a very new business at that time, and in the past year they’ve really grown. Inspired by their Mom’s secret cilantro and ginger chutney recipe and their Afghan culture, Yasameen’s vision is to see the “magic green sauce” go from being a staple condiment for their family to taking over America’s kitchen tables. 

Maazah means flavor in Farsi, and these fresh-tasting sauces definitely have it—learn more about how and why from their “Behind the scenes” video here.  As Yasameen says, people don’t always know what chutney is, or realize how many foods taste great with their tangy, fresh-tasting cilantro-based condiment. But they’re catching on! 

After the sisters rolled out a catchy new logo and label last fall, they earned some serious national media. There was an in-depth Q&A in Thrive Global in December, and they were on the cover of Food Entrepreneur, January 5th edition, but the thrilling little blurb in the New York Times may prove to be the biggest boost.

The Sajady sisters in their production kitchen.
L-R: Nasreen, Fatima, Yasameen, and Sheilla.

Photo: Lauren Schneck, Tucker Fox Co

Packaging debuted in 2020

Photo: Quincy Street Kitchen

Now that you want to track down one of these sauces—original, spicy, or their newest, vegan aioli—head to their website where you can order, or check out where to find it in stores. Follow them on Facebook and Instagram, and stay tuned for chances to connect with them at future FEAST! events!



We all know that restaurants have taken a hit in the past year, and we're not yet out of the woods. For those of you in the Rochester area, there's a handy way to get options for delivery/take-out all in one spot: RochMNFood.com is a partnership between Rochester Downtown Alliance, Rochester Chamber of Commerce, and Choochoo-ca-Chew (aka Tiffany Alexandria). 

It's a great tool, showing hours and special offerings such as gift cards and take and bake. For example, did you know about the Saturday Holiday Markets at Bleu Duck Kitchen? Way to innovate, everyone!


Know Your Farmer

Strength in Unity

Southern Minnesota has a rich variety of food producers. Whether they’re raising pigs or sheep, growing blueberries or making cheese, each plays an important role in the local foods economy. While this work can be incredibly fulfilling, it can also be difficult to manage independently.

Little Berry Hill farmSo begins the FEAST! Local Foods Magazine article “Strength in Unity: Growing a Foodshed,” which details the origins and funding journeys of two farmer collaboration efforts: Driftless Grown and Cannon Valley Grown. 

[Read the full article here.]

These groups offer many benefits to member farmers, who often have to wear too many hats. A key function of these groups is to help consumers find and get to know their farmers. For example, both groups' websites have searchable directories of their member farms.

Pictured, left: Little Hill Berry Farm, member of Cannon Valley Grown


Driftless Grown put together a gift guide over the holidays—consider it for Valentine’s Day! They also released a set of print postcards (shown here) to highlight the bounty of goods produced in the region, featuring a set of icons to represent the categories of goods. In a new partnership with the NE Iowa Food and Farm Coalition (NIFF), Driftless Grown’s website will soon be home to NE Iowa's Local Food Directory - expanding the network of farmers, makers, and producers into Iowa.

Cannon Valley Farmers' Markets are held periodically throughout the winter, with the next one coming up February 20th at the Faribo West Mall in Faribault, MN. [Learn more]

Stay in touch:
Driftless Grown Facebook | Instagram 

Cannon Valley Grown Facebook | Instagram 

Share your thoughts for a chance to win local foods!

FEAST! switched to an Online Marketplace in 2020, and we'd like to know what you thought of it!

  • Did you make a purchase?
  • Was it easy to find products you wanted?
  • Would you do it again? 

We need your input to improve, and we have a gift bag full of local foods that one lucky survey respondent can win. 

5-minute survey + help us improve + chance to win
What do you have to lose?

Who's Fueling FEAST!?

E1 Collaborative 

The FEAST! Local Food Network exists to strengthen food and farm businesses, so we’ve been excited to get to know the E1 Collaborative this year.  E1, which stands for Entrepreneurs First, is made up of 16 partner organizations that form the Southeast hub for Launch Minnesota.  As such, they hold events throughout the year for networking and sharing expert information for some of the specialized needs that entrepreneurs have, such as marketing, and legal and financial services.

Many of the presentations are available on demand from their website’s Resources page and their YouTube channel, and they’ve worked to provide a Spanish language version of their website.

Their recent Showcase event featured stories from invited entrepreneurs, and is also available online.

The E1 (Entrepreneurs First) Collaborative was created by Red Wing Ignite to enhance regional connectivity among builders and stakeholders in 11 counties within southeastern Minnesota (SE MN) over a 3-year period. E1 Collaborative was a Friends of FEAST! sponsor for our 2020 event, and is engaged with us in plans for the FEAST! 2021 industry-only tradeshow. E1 is an excellent asset to the region, both for the businesses they help grow, and for the communities that enjoy the economic vitality and creative spark that entrepreneurs bring about.



The FEAST! Local Foods Marketplace is a production of the FEAST! Local Foods Network, which is always open to new members. Founded by Renewing the Countryside (RTC) and Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF), both the Network and the Marketplace depend on collaboration with partner organizations and individuals.  
The Network supports local food growers and makers by boosting access to financing, peer networking, and sales opportunities. Have a subject we should cover? Hit 'reply' and let us know!
The FEAST! Local Foods Magazine Vol.1 & 2 are available online here.
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  • Elena Byrne
    published this page in FEAST! blog 2021-02-03 14:47:44 -0600


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