Apply to Showcase Food & Beverage Businesses at Feast! Local Foods Marketplace

The 4th annual Feast! Local Foods Marketplace is now accepting applications for food and beverage businesses from Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota to attend the event at the Mayo Civic Center on Dec. 1-2, 2017.

Feast! 2017 will cap off a ‘food week’ in Rochester that includes the Feast! Restaurant Week—showing off Feast vendor products in local restaurant specials—and the large annual convention of the Midwest Food Products Association (MWFPA) that features over 150 vendors from equipment manufacturers to packaging and labeling suppliers. Special free entry to the Feast tradeshow will be granted to MWFPA registrants, and likewise for Feast exhibitors to attend MWFPA Thursday morning (lunch excluded).

The award-winning Feast! Local Foods Marketplace hosts over 100 exhibitors who show, sample and sell their artisan food products to wholesale buyers during the Friday tradeshow and to consumers during the Saturday festival. The jury-selected exhibitors also have a half-day of networking and sessions to help them grow. Businesses selected to attend are utilizing locally grown ingredients when possible and operating at or near a distributor-ready scale (2016 exhibitors here).

After Feast! 2016, one exhibitor said they intend to return for Feast! 2017 because it is a “Great way to make contacts with local customers, find new locations (stores) to sell our product, networking, great workshops.” Another exhibitor said, “I love the focus on local. I had no idea that our region produced so much diverse and delicious food!”

The show is a great way for regional stores to find local products: 75% of Feast! 2016 buyers surveyed said they purchased products from vendors they met at Feast, while others took samples to share and consider for purchase; 44% increased purchases from vendors they were already buying from.

Feast awards also draw attention to popular regional brands. “We’re looking forward to having several awards given again this year, including the People’s Choice Award,” says Tim Penny, Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation President and CEO. The 2016 People’s Choice Award went to newcomer K-Mama Sauce, and awards for each state went to O’Brien’s Own Gourmet Granola (Iowa), B&E’s Trees (Wisconsin), and Kakookies (Minnesota). The 2017 People’s Choice Award will be announced at the end of the festival this year.

For more information, visit www.local-feast.org or email eli@local-feast.org. To keep in touch with the latest updates, ‘like’ us at FEAST Local Food Network on Facebook, follow @Local_Feast on Twitter, and use #localFEAST to join the conversation.

Feast! Local Foods Marketplace is co-hosted by the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation and Renewing the Countryside non-profit organizations and is supported with premiere sponsorship by Mayo Clinic, The McKnight Foundation and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.

 

 

 

 

MSU enjoys a park-like campus with outlying research facilities and natural areas. The campus is located in the city of East Lansing, adjacent to the capital city of Lansing. The Lansing metropolitan area has a diverse population of approximately 450,000. Local communities have excellent school systems and place a high value on education. The University is proactive about its obligations under the ADA, and provides individual accessibility plans to students and employees with disabilities. Michigan State University is also proactive in exploring opportunities for employment for dual career families, both inside and outside the University, and respects all family forms. Information about MSU http://miwin.msu.edu/. Information about WorkLife at MSU can be found http://worklife.msu.edu/.

 

CRFS Mission: CRFS works to engage the people of Michigan, the United States and the world in applied research, education and outreach to develop regionally integrated, sustainable food systems.

 

MSU is an affirmative-action, equal-opportunity employer and is committed to achieving excellence through cultural diversity. The university actively encourages applications and/or nominations of women, persons of color, veterans and persons with disabilities. Michigan State University employment opportunities are open to eligible/qualified persons without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, marital status, or family status.

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