Hungry for some local fare?
It's time for the annual Feast! Local Foods Marketplace tradeshow, which will hit the Mayo Civic Center this weekend.
The sixth annual event will feature a Buyers’ Expo, Makers’ Forum as well as the presentation of local awards from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.
Visitors will be introduced to locally grown and produced foods and drinks to try and purchase. There will also be cooking demonstrations by well-known cooks, like "MasterChef" contestant Shari Mukherjee.
Buyers for grocery stores and restaurants will also have "a unique opportunity to discover on-trend products from regional businesses." Feast! will also feature panel discussions about financing, marketing and best practices.
Feast! is the creation of two local nonprofit organizations, the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation and Renewing the Countryside. The goal is to promote local food producers to help boost economic development.
Vendors have reportedly tallied sales to wholesale buyers of more than a million dollars since the event launched in 2014.
"It’s amazing to see the businesses that have grown since the FEAST! Local Foods Network launched six years ago,” stated SMIF President and CEO Tim Penny in a promotion for the event. “As we like to say at SMIF, 'collaboration is the key to vitality in our region.' This is especially evident in the local foods economy."