2018 FEAST! Local Foods Marketplace Tradeshow

took place on

Friday, November 30th, 2018

8:00 am - 5:00 pm


The focus of the tradeshow day is the exhibitors and buyers. We also invite aspiring entrepreneurs who would like to attend educational sessions and observe the expo floor in action. Registration is also open for technical assistance "support service" providers to have a booth to facilitate networking with food businesses.

Starting at 8:00 am, the Makers' Forum offers a range of sessions, access to technical assistance booths in the Support Services Mini Expo, 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 2019 season.

There will be a break for a networking lunch, followed by the Buyers' Expo from 1:00 - 4:30 pm.  

To cap off the day we will hold an Awards Ceremony in the Exhibit Hall from 4:30 to 5:00 pm.


2018 Tradeshow Schedule: Makers' Forum and Buyers' Expo

Scroll down for speaker bios



Exhibitor setup & registration


Exhibit Hall 


Breakfast, Support Services Mini Expo open [CLICK FOR LIST OF BOOTHS]

  Exhibit Hall 

Welcome & introductions

  Exhibit Hall 



Benefits of Peer Network Groups

Strategies and best practices for entrepreneur peer groups, impact of peer group support for three unique businesses, why and how—managing a peer network, plus Q&A and some sample "fast burn" sessions.   

Greg Thomas, Peer Group Facilitator

John Katz, Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation

Deeann Lufkin, CannonBelles Cheese

Mary Mohn, Flower Valley Vineyards

John Shonyo, The Bee Shed


 Exhibit Hall 



A Tale of Two Branding Journeys

Two different paths to refine branding, plus what led them on those journeys and how the approaches are suited to the business goals. Each tale will be told from the perspective of the entrepreneur and the consultant.  


Tami Enfield, Brand Yourself

Austin Jevne, Forager Brewery

Jeff Johnson, Design Replace

Tom Johnson, nomi


 Dr. WJ Mayo Reception Hall



Local Sourcing Strategies

FEAST! is all about local sourcing, but what are the factors involved in making it work for both the farmer and the processor (food business). We'll hear from both sides, as well as from some service providers that work to facilitate those relationships.  

Kim Olson, Grandma's Gourmets

Joe Silberschmidt, You Betcha Kimchi

Melissa Driscoll, Seven Songs Organic Farm

Ben Penner, Ben Penner Farms

Emily Coll, Iowa State Univ. Value Added Ag Prog

Natalie Vandenburgh, The Good Acre


 Exhibit Hall 



Pitching: at Tradeshows and Beyond

We'll hear from a buyer and two entrepreneurs about national tradeshow experience, and how those conversations differ from one-on-one sales meetings. Plus the in-between: how to get from A to B, and maintaining that relationship after making the sale.   

Julie Blubaugh, Whole Foods

Melina Lamer, Superior Switchel

Jane Hawley Stevens, Four Elements Herbals


Dr. WJ Mayo Reception Hall



Buyer Panel-Retail

Hear directly from buyers what their daily challenges are so you can better serve their needs. Broaden your understanding across different store and distributor sizes, and ask your burning questions to strategize your growth. 


Jason Robinson, Agricultural Utilization Research Institute 

Steve Sorenson, Lunds & Byerlys

Mike Reineck, Market Distributing

Katie Ruff, By the Spoonful

Sherri Meyers, Just Food Co-op


 Exhibit Hall 



Buyer Panel-Institutional

Growing in the institutional direction? This panel will give you insight into the needs of three unique types of foodservice buyers and what you can do to build those relationships. 


Brett Olson, Renewing the Countryside

David Ramlow, Bon Appetit

Austin Jevne, Forager Brewery

Jennifer Geier, Federal Medical Center Rochester

Paula Thompson, Saint Elizabeth's Medical Center


Dr. WJ Mayo Reception Hall


  Networking Lunch*     Exhibit Hall



Buyers' Expo 

   Exhibit Hall 
4:30   Awards Ceremony     Exhibit Hall 


2018 FEAST! Awards Ceremony

To cap off the FEAST! tradeshow, we'll present awards in the exhibit hall for guests including the food businesses,  support services attendees, buyers across an array of marketing channels, and invited media.

President of Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation Tim Penny offered a message about the status and direction of the Network, as well as introducing key partners to make additional remarks about the role of local foods and entrepreneurship.

Guest speakers include Jamie Pfuhl of Minnesota Grocers Association, John Monson, Chief Mission and Marketing Officer at Compeer Financial,  Jamie Sundsbak of Collider Coworking, and Kathy Zeman of Minnesota Farmers Market Association.

Awards presented:

Most innovative local sourcing: Grandma's Gourmets

Most inspiring social benefit: Heartland Burrito

Most engaging booth: My Sweet Greens MN

Ready to Grow award from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture: CannonBelles Cheese

Ready to Grow award from Something Special from Wisconsin™: CTL Foods


2018 Speakers


Julie Blubaugh

Local Coordinator, Whole Foods Market

Pitching: at Tradeshows and Beyond,  10am

Julie started her career with Whole Foods Market ten years ago and has held a variety of positions in the stores and on the Education team as well as marketing before transitioning to the regional office. She’s been on the Local team for five years and in her current role as Local Coordinator, she works with small local suppliers in the Midwest looking to sell their product in Whole Foods Market.

Emily Coll

ISU Extension and Outreach Local Foods and Value Added Agriculture Program

Local Sourcing Strategies, 10am

Emily conducts economic research on local food systems including development of enterprise budgets and market analysis. Emily also coordinates the MarketReady Program which educates farmer/producers on how to effectively enter wholesale, retail and institutional markets.

Melissa Driscoll

Local Sourcing Strategies, 10am

Owner, Seven Songs Organic Farm

Tami Enfield

Founder and CEO, Brand Yourself Consulting

A Tale of Two Branding Journeys, 9am

With Marketing and Sales experience dating back to 2001, Tami knows a thing or two about bringing fresh air to an old brand. In addition to her professional experience, Tami is a big data geek. She is a lifelong learner and loves keeping up with new strategies. FEAST! 2018 Support Services Mini Expo Exhibitor.

Jane Hawley Stevens

Owner, grower and herbalist, Four Elements Herbals

Pitching: at Tradeshows and Beyond,  10am

Jane Hawley Stevens began specializing in herbs in 1981After earning a degree in horticulture from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, she founded her business in 1987. Four Elements Organic Herbals is based on plants grown in her cultivated fields, Chakra Garden, prairie and woodlands in the pristine Baraboo Bluffs. Still, the favorite part of her job is propagating and cultivating the herbs used in her various wellness products.

A pioneer of the organic farming movement and natural products industryJane inspires others through living her truth and teaching herbalism and organic farming methods throughout the country.

Austin Jevne

A Tale of Two Branding Journeys, 9am

Co-owner and brewer, Forager Brewery

Jeff Johnson

Founder, Replace Inc.

A Tale of Two Branding Journeys, 9am

Both Jeff and Replace are dedicated to only working for clients that see design a great tool for improving the triple bottom line of People. Planet, and Profit. (Social Justice, Global Health, and Finances.)

Tom Johnson

A Tale of Two Branding Journeys, 9am

Tom Johnson is a co-founder and marketing director of Minneapolis-based nomi, maker of the first fresh fruit and oat bar.

Melina Lamer

Pitching: at Tradeshows and Beyond,  10am

Melina Lamer is the founder and CEO of Superior Switchel, a Minneapolis-based company on a mission to connect people and the planet through delicious, organic, healthy beverages. They use certified organic, vegan and non-GMO ingredients like fresh fruits, herbs, and spices. You can now find Superior Switchel on Amazon Prime and in retailers across the U.S. The company is a certified woman-owned, B-Corp that actively supports U.S. waterway conservation efforts with 1% of their annual sales.

Deeann Lufkin

Benefits of Peer Network Groups, 9am 

Co-owner/founder of CannonBelles Cheese; FEAST! 2018 vendor.

Mary Mohn

Benefits of Peer Network Groups, 9am

Co-owner/founder of Flower Valley Vineyard; FEAST! 2018 vendor.

Kim Olson

Local Sourcing Strategies, 10am

Co-owner/founder of Grandma’s Gourmets; FEAST! 2018 vendor.

Ben Penner

Owner, Ben Penner Farms

Local Sourcing Strategies, 10am

Ben is an organic farmer and entrepreneur in Minnesota who grows Spring and Winter Wheat, which is then milled into flour and distributed to a growing list of stores and bakeries around the state. He also grows no-till soybeans using a rye-soybean cover crop method, oats and has experimented with pulse crops.

John Shonyo

Benefits of Peer Network Groups, 9am

Co-owner/founder of The Bee Shed; FEAST! 2018 vendor.

Joe Silberschmidt

Co-owner/founder of You Betcha Kimchi

Local Sourcing Strategies, 10am

You Betcha Kimchi is a Minnesota twist on the Korean Classic made in three spice levels: Minnesota Nice, A Bit Nippy, and Uffda! All the veggies are organically and locally grown (even the ginger!) and sourced direct in order to lend their fullest possible support to their farming partners.; FEAST! 2018 vendor.

Greg Thomas

Benefits of Peer Network Groups, 9am 

Facilitator of the SMIF/FEAST! Peer Network Groups and former consultant with Enterprise Minnesota.

Natalie Vandenburgh

Programs Manager, The Good Acre

Local Sourcing Strategies, 10am

Natalie was born and raised in the Twin Cities, where she learned to love making and sharing good food by way of a great pie recipe. After studying international relations at Georgetown University and getting a degree in food systems from the University of Minnesota, she found her way to The Good Acre, where she is the Program Manager. Her passions include educating about food as a tool for personal, community, and environmental wellbeing; working with small food businesses; and milling and baking with local grain. FEAST! 2018 Support Services Mini Expo Exhibitor.




For questions about the Tradeshow, contact [email protected]


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