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Calling all Butchers, Bakers, and Artisanal Foodmakers

Local Parnerships

This article is from People's Food Co-op September/October 2014 issue of the Shopper. Click here to read the entire issue.


For two delicious days, local farmers, food entrepreneurs, and food artisans will converge on Rochester, Minnesota, for the FEAST! Festival and Tradeshow, held on November 2 and 3, 2014, in the Mayo Civic Center. As the single largest showcase of local foods from Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin, FEAST! is the premiere place to share your food products with others, and perhaps even land an account with a wholesaler or buyer serving the region.

From apples to preserves, from locally-grown nuts to hand-dipped chocolates, the FEAST! event is attracting purveyors that have honed their talents in growing and making amazing foods. The Upper Midwest is rich with wonderful food growers and makers who will showcase their goods at this show. More than a hundred farmers, craft and specialty food producers, wineries, and breweries will share the most unique and delicious items found in the Upper Midwest and vie for the “People’s Choice” and other awards. Sample purveyors include Water Buffalo Taleggio cheese and Scrumpy Gold Hard Cider.

“The FEAST! Festival and Tradeshow is a go-to destination for the best farmstead and artisan products found in the Upper Midwest,” notes Brett Olson, with Renewing the Countryside, one of the organizers of the event. “The producers’ exceptional craft and passion come through with every bite.”

Unlike most autumn harvest festivals in the region, the FEAST! Festival and Tradeshow showcases only local and regional foods. These exhibiting food entrepreneurs and farmers can meet customers and commercial buyers, plus access a range of workshops that provide information on topics critical to growing local foods businesses that include product development, marketing, labeling, regulations, distribution, and sales.

“Interest in local and regional foods is booming across the country, and the Upper Midwest is leading this trend,” says Tim Penny, CEO/President Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation. “Creating market opportunities for food producers is crucial to growing more business success in southern Minnesota.”

The two-day event starts off with the “Homegrown for the Holidays” Festival, where over a hundred farmers, food artisans, and specialty food producers will showcase their products while chefs demonstrate holiday cooking and educators present workshops. The festival will include a children’s activity area, live music, and a local beer and wine tasting event. The FEAST! Festival is followed the next day by the business-to-business “Grow It! Make It!” Tradeshow focused on connecting producers and their products with buyers.

People’s Food Co-op is a proud sponsor of FEAST! To attend, to exhibit or for more information visit

—By John D. Ivanko