Online Registration is now closed. Onsite Registration will be available the day of the event.
A unique networking experience for local food growers, value added producers & businesses, buyers, distributors and wholesalers in Central Illinois.
WHO IS THIS EVENT FOR?
- Local food growers & producers
- Local food businesses & processors
- Local food distributors
- Food service providers
- Institutional meal program administrators
- Food literacy and education practitioners
VENDOR FAIR & NETWORKING
Looking to add a new source for local ingredients? Seeking a distributor to meet your wholesale needs? Looking for a bigger market for selling your products?
Meet a variety of farmers, producers, suppliers, buyers, and distributors at the Food Fair.
OFFERS & NEEDS MARKET:
The Offers and Needs Market is a two-hour guided process in which community members meet to identify and exchange their passions, knowledge, skills, resources, opportunities, and needs. It’s a fun and effective way to connect, get more comfortable expressing your offers and needs, and begin conversations with interesting people.
Watch this short video about what to expect.
HYPER LOCAL LUNCH & LEARN
Come learn from and eat with a central Illinois chef and restauranter focused on using local ingredients.
CheFarmer Ken will showcase our delicious, hyper local lunch and will share their connection to the local food economy post lunch. It should be an engaging and delicious opportunity.
LOCAL FOODS DIRECTORY: Food Fair Resource Booklet
From buyers looking for produce to farmers who are looking to access new markets, we will be compiling a Local Foods Directory that will be available the day of the event. If you would like to be added to this resource, make sure to include your entity’s info when you register!
PRE-EVENT TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE
Farmers Market Vendor 101 on Monday, June 26th from 12-2pm. Join the Illinois Farmers Market Association (ILFMA) team for an interactive workshop for those interested in selling at farmers markets and other markets. The workshop will discuss marketing your booth and brand; maximizing sales and building a diverse and loyal customer base; the cottage food law; food safety updates, nutrition assistance programs; networking, and more. Come discover new information and great ideas to improve your business and boost sales.
One-on-one business consultations with Sybil Ege of The Business of Food. Sybil has extensive experience building businesses. Since her corporate career, where she grew a company from 12 employees to over 850, Sybil has launched several of her own businesses. In addition, she has served as a center director for the Illinois Small Business Development Center and a business coach at the Next Level Northwest business accelerator. Sybil’s specialties are business planning, marketing, and franchising, but mostly she just loves watching other entrepreneurs bloom into successful business owners.
10:00: Opening Remarks, Coffee & pastries, Vendor Fair Opened
10:30: Nutshell Shares*
11:15 – 12:30: Vendor Fair & Meet and Greet
12:30 – 1:30: Hyper Local Lunch & Learn
1:30 – 3:30: Offers & Needs Market (with Priyanka and Mike Strode)
3:30 – 4:00: Vendor Fair
4:00 – 4:30: Closing Remarks and Vendor Tear Down
4:00 – 5:00: Happy Hour
*What is a Nutshell? It is a way to introduce yourself and your interests to the group. Do you have to participate? Not at all. Would we encourage you to sign up for the Nutshell? Absolutely. What could you share?
- Who are you?
- Why are you here today?
- What you want to get out of the day?
- What questions do you have buying/selling?
Special thanks to The Land Connection’s partners for this event!
Funding for the Food Fair was made possible by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Agricultural Marketing Service through grant AM200100XXXXG114. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the USDA.