December 2nd, 2016

On Friday, December 2nd, Feast! Local Food Marketplace will hold its third industry-only tradeshow.  This day is exclusively for food growers, makers, and buyers. The Food Entrepreneurs Forum will offer a range of workshops, access to technical assistance, and plenty of opportunities for networking. Growers and foodmakers will gain information on expanding sales, accessing new markets, and scaling up their oper­ations. Buyers will get a chance to meet established, new, and up-and-coming food makers in advance of the 2017 season.

The day will start with workshops and access to the resource and technical assistance booths in the Support Services Mini Expo. There will be a break for lunch with a keynote speaker to inspire you, followed by some time for networking and consultations. A group session will convene to hear from a panel of local buyers at 2:00, and then the tradeshow floor will open for buyers and producers at 3:00 pm.  

Friday evening we will host a buyer and exhibitor reception with music and local food and drink.

Click the thumbnail below to see the
Feast! 2016 Tradeshow Program.

Tradeshow ScheduleTradeshow Program

7:00 am—8:45 am  Check-in and booth setup
8:30 am—3:00 pm  Support Services Mini Expo
8:45 am—3:00 pm  Food Entrepreneurs Forum
(see below)
3:00 pm—6:00 pm  Tradeshow *open to buyers only*
6:00 pm   Private evening reception for exhibitors and buyers


Food Entrepreneurs Forum  Schedule


8:50 Welcome Feast! planners Auditorium 

Morning Keynote: State of the Specialty Food Industry

Ron Tanner, Specialty Food Association

10:00 Food Safety

Valerie Gamble, MDA; Elise Forward, Forward Food Solutions

Breakout rooms
10:00 Working with a Co-packer Andy Gehl, Rob Fuglie, Brady Barnstable, Carleton Johnson, Prescott Bergh Breakout rooms
11:00 Financing Growth Jim Gage, Margaret Marshall, Kathy Roland, Pam Bishop Breakout rooms
11:00 Branding  Hannah Bretz, HB Digital Marketing Breakout rooms
12:00 Lunch Keynote Lucie Amundsen, writer, marketer, and farmer at Locally Laid Egg Co. Auditorium

Networking break*

2:00 Buyers Panel Kimberly Bentz of UNFI, Angela Davis of Mississippi Market, Steve Sorenson of Lunds & Byerlys, Mike Reineck of Market Distributing and Callie Martin of Co-op Partners Warehouse;  Auditorium


*Note: during the networking break, entrepreneurs are encouraged to tour the tables of the Support Services Mini Expo around the perimeter of the auditorium for conversations about technical assistance and services that will help their businesses grow.


If you have specific questions about the Tradeshow schedule, please email your question to [email protected].


Presenter Bios


Ron_Calif_1.jpegRon Tanner

Group Address: State of the Specialty Food Industry, 9am

Ron Tanner is Vice President, Philanthropy, Government & Industry Relations for the Specialty Food Association, owner of the Fancy Food Shows®, and the publisher of Specialty Food Magazine. Ron has worked for the Specialty Food Association, and its 3,200+ members, since 1987.

The Specialty Food Association presents 40 educational programs each year. Ron has appeared on The Today Show, CNN and Food Network, and has been quoted in Newsweek, The New York Times, and Parade Magazine. He has an M.S. in Journalism from Columbia University in New York City, and a B.A. in English and Communications Studies from Oberlin College, Oberlin, Ohio. Ron lives in Brooklyn, N.Y.


Valerie Gamble

Food Safety, 10am

Valerie works with industry groups, non-profit organizations, and state and local agencies around Minnesota to provide information on food and feed safety programs and regulations. Previously she was a supervisor and field inspector for the MDA food inspection program and has been with the agency for seven years. Valerie also worked for five years with organic and conventional farms and orchards in California.


Elise Forward

Food Safety, 10am

Elise Forward is President and Principal Consultant for Forward Food Solutions, LLC. She has over 18 years of Food Safety, Quality, and Regulatory experience in international and domestic food markets. She has worked in laboratory and production settings, and has 15+ years’ experience managing the food safety programs of international food companies.


Andy Gehl

Working with a co-packer, 10am

Andy is a 4th generation food manufacturer. Established in 1896, Gehl Guernsey Farms (Gehl Foods) evolved from a regional dairy to a national aseptic manufacturer and co-packer with $250 million in annual sales. Andy gave up the position of president in 2011 to focus on healthier opportunities. Andy’s new company, Contract Comestibles, is focused on small batch manufacturing of sauces and dressings. Contract Comestibles is certified FDA, USDA and organic and regularly works with farmers and entrepreneurs looking to expand into the retail trade. Andy remains on the board of Gehl Foods in addition to holding a seat on the Leadership Council for Food and Beverage Wisconsin.


Rob Fuglie

Working with a co-packer, 10am

Rob Fuglie is the founder and owner of Nots!, non-nut snack that appeals to those with nut allergies, and Fergus Foods. He recently opened an allergen-free commercial kitchen in Fergus Falls, Minnesota, and in 2014 Nots! Snacks increased revenue approximately 100 percent over 2013.


Brady Barnstable

Working with a co-packer, 10am

Brady Barnstable founded Seven Sundays with his wife, Hannah, after returning from their honeymoon in New Zealand and being unable to find good muesli options in stores. He is the current chief operating officer of Seven Sundays.


Carleton Johnson

Working with a co-packer, 10am

Carleton Johnson is one of the founders of, and the chief marketing officer, at Boundary Waters Brands, makers of Joia Natural Soda. 


Prescott Bergh

Working with a co-packer, 10am

Prescott Bergh and his family started their company, Simply Native Foods, in 2014. He was raised in a family that was committed to foraging wild foods, and has spent most of his life either managing his organic farm with his family or working in the organic farming and food industry.


 Jim Gage

Financing Growth, 11am

Over the last 12 years, Jim Gage has worked with over 250 value added agricultural and local foods businesses, assisting with business plans, feasibility studies, Market assessments, financial strategies, and grants/loans. He is a certified Wisconsin Value-Added Food & Farm Business Consultant, and currently serves as the Business Strategist in Residence for the American Cheese Society and is Vice President of Slow Money Wisconsin.



Margaret Marshall

Financing Growth, 11am

Over the last decade, Margaret's desire to help improve the local food system deepened through her work with Renewing the Countryside, Featherstone Fruits and Vegetables, and Whole Foods Market. Currently, she is excited to support businesses and nonprofits that empower women, minorities, and children by helping them develop a stronger connection to their food.



Kathy Roland

Financing Growth, 11am

Kathy has spent the past 14 years helping entrepreneurial companies grow and prosper through her work at Oak Investment Partners and as a founder of Greenhouse MN.  Her favorite quote is: “At Oak, we do one thing, build great companies.”  All companies must keep this goal in mind.  She is active in the Minnesota food startup community through the creation of Greenhouse MN, which provides capital, space, and targeted services to food entrepreneurs, and as a judge for the Food/Ag/Beverage division of the MN Cup.  Kathy also currently sits on the board at Cheddar’s Casual Café, Revolution Foods and Chamate.  She has worked with Potbelly Sandwich Works, Jamba Juice, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Ulta Cosmetics and Baja Fresh.  Prior to Oak, Kathy held management positions at Harmon Glass and Target.  She has a BA from Carleton College and an MBA from The Wharton School.  Outside work, Kathy loves to cook and visit new local restaurants.


Pam Bishop

Financing Growth, 11am

Pamela K. Bishop is the Vice President of Economic Development at the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation. Her responsibilities include strategy implementation and program management of The Foundation’s regional business and economic development goals. She is a former Director of Regional Business Development Services at (NIACC) North Iowa Area Community College in Mason City, IA. Prior to her work at NIACC, she was the Executive Vice President of the Albert Lea Economic Development Agency in Albert Lea, MN, where she was instrumental in the creation and operation of a 41,000 square foot mixed use business incubator. Pam received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls. Her background includes over 10 years in economic development in southern Minnesota. She also has 10 years of experience in the field of journalism, including radio and newspaper.


Hannah Bretz

Branding, 11am

Hannah Bretz is a food entrepreneur and the founder of HB Digital Marketing, a small marketing agency in Saint Peter, Minnesota. HB Digital Marketing provides effective digital marketing solutions for small business owners. 


Lucie Amundsen

Keynote, Lunch, 12pm

Lucie B. Amundsen is a writer, marketer and reluctant farmer. She and her husband co-own Locally Laid Egg Company, a farm that provides pasture-raised eggs in Northern Minnesota and partners other mid-level producers. These farms source and sell within their own regions to reduce food miles and strengthen local economies. 



Buyers Panel with James Talbot of UNFI, Angela Davis of Mississippi Market, Steve Sorenson of Lunds & Byerlys, Mike Reineck of Market Distributing and Callie Martin of Co-op Partners Warehouse; auditorium 


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