ROCHESTER, Minn. — Over 40 food and beverage businesses from Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota are convening together online for a hybrid version of this year’s FEAST! Local Foods Marketplace. The wide range of local products will be available to browse and purchase online from Nov. 8 to Nov. 29, for pick up on Sunday, Dec. 6, 2020, when a modified in-person marketplace will also take place at Graham Park. Learn more and shop at local-feast.org.
Local foods continue to be in demand for their authenticity and clean labels, as well as the economic value to the region. After a successful first FEAST! festival in 2014, it was clear that customers, makers, and buyers value this opportunity to connect and support a more robust local foods economy in Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin. Now in its seventh year, the award-winning FEAST! Local Foods Marketplace is a unique opportunity to buy hard-to-find local artisan goods to stock up for the winter or buy early holiday gifts for fellow local food enthusiasts.
“The many food businesses in our region have had to adapt to survive this year. We wanted to continue to offer a way for customers to access their quality local foods, even if it meant learning new systems and procedures,” said Tim Penny, President and CEO of Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation.
“FEAST has been an excellent venue for us to introduce our Bee Shed honey to the community,” said five-time vendor and 2018 People’s Choice winner John Shonyo. “Most of our 2020 regular markets have been canceled, so we are looking for every marketing opportunity we can take advantage of. The online option allows people to still have access to locally produced/grown food items without leaving their car—truly a win for the customer, the vendors and the future of FEAST.”
The online marketplace offers over 400 locally-made and locally-grown products, encompassing a huge variety that can be searched by product name, by category, or by business name. From cheese and meat to pickles, jam, chocolate, and all sorts of delicious and unique sauces, there’s something for everyone.
“This will be our seventh year as a vendor at FEAST!,” said Sue Kakuk, who makes gluten-free, superfood cookies. “Each year brings new opportunities for us to introduce Kakookies and reach new customers, whether it is through the in-person event or this year’s online marketplace. 2020 has been a challenging year for all of us, so we are especially looking forward to reconnecting!”
FEAST! Local Foods Marketplace is co-hosted by non-profit organizations, Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation and Renewing the Countryside, and sponsored by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. For more, visit www.local-feast.org. Follow @localfeastnetwork on Facebook, @Local_Feast on Twitter, localfeast on Instagram, and use #localFEAST to join the conversation.
— Renewing the Countryside
For more news from Minnesota, click here.