ROCHESTER, Minn. - Feast! Local Foods Marketplace returns to Rochester in less than a month on Friday, Nov. 5. It’s happening from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Mayo Civic Center. More than 70 food and drink producers from Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin are already signed up to be there, and more are being added as we get closer to the big day.
This is an annual event dating back to 2014 that connects you with people making food in our area, with the goal of creating a sustainable, local, and regional food system.
From pantry staples like vinegar and flour, to local beer and snacks, to cheese and cuts of meat, you can find anything you need to stock your kitchen at Feast! Local Foods Marketplace. “The show is designed to support local food makers and local farmers who in turn supply ingredients to local food makers. What we do is put local eaters like you and me in touch with local food makers,” explains Marlene Petersen, outreach ambassador for Feast! Local Foods Marketplace and editor of Local Foods Magazine.
When you attend Feast! You get to learn about every detail that goes into making your food before you buy it, an opportunity you don’t get at the grocery store. Feast! Attendees can ask vendors where their ingredients are from, who they employ, why they started their company, and any other questions they may be curious about.
Locally sourced, grown, and made food doesn’t just make a difference for your tastebuds. It also makes a difference for your community. Most of the vendors at Feast! Local Foods Marketplace are located within roughly 100 miles of Rochester.
“Your money is staying right in your community. Instead of part of that going off to another state, to another country, to another company, it stays right here by someone who employs your neighbors, your friends. They’re buying something from a farmer that might live 10 miles, 20 miles down the road from you,” says Petersen. “We know when businesses are local and they have local employees and local products, they’re less likely to close their doors in hard times. So we’re not only helping them, but we’re helping ourselves.” She also comments on how the COVID-19 pandemic shone a light on issues with our existing food system, when shipping backlogs and worker shortages led to empty store shelves. When food is made within your community, it doesn’t need to be transported across the country or world in boats and trucks.
General admission tickets for Feast! Local Foods Marketplace. General admission tickets are $10 at the door or $5 in advance. Kids under 12 get in free. If you’d like to VIP experience, which includes alcohol tastings, tickets are $25 at the door or $20 in advance. To buy tickets, click here.
In addition to food vendors, there are cooking demonstrations with award-winning and celebrity chefs, kids activities, people’s choice voting, and more at the event.
To read the stories of people growing, raising, and making food across our area, pick up a copy of the Feast! Local Foods Magazine. Volume five hits newsstands soon.
KIMT is a proud event sponsor.