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2016 Local Food & Gift Trade Show


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The Midwest Pantry Local Food & Gift Trade Show is the largest trade show in the nation dedicated solely to local produced food & gift products.

Locally sourced products continue to be a fast growing sector in both gift and grocery, yet finding store ready products available in wholesale quantities can be time consuming and frustrating to buyers. It is also very time consuming and sometimes frustrating process for producers to meet and present their products to buyers. The Local Food & Gift Trade Show is a one day event designed to solve this problem for both buyers and producers.

We are looking for licensed and insured producer that make quality local products, and want their business to grow, to stay in front of local buyers, and connect with other local businesses who learning and growing their businesses as well. In 2016, in response to buyers demand, we are especially interested in finding 1) locally produced frozen products, and 2) locally produced products that are available in commercial sizes to meet the growing demand from restaurants, delis and food trucks.

Established in 2010, Midwest Pantry has worked with over 350 local food and gift producing companies to increase sales through educational, wholesale, and retail opportunities.

Founded by local food producers, Zoie Glass and Chad Gillard, Midwest Pantry helps Midwestern-based food and gift entrepreneurs grow their companies from start-up through the point of scale-up by providing education, experience, and mentorship with a series of local public retail and private wholesale events. Most notably, the Local Food & Gift Trade Show which attracts hundreds of wholesale buyers from across the region. Midwest Pantry was a recipient of the 2015 EUREKA! Award for Innovation.

After 6 years of working with local food producers, Midwest Pantry is reorganizing to be a membership driven organization. This new organizational model will includes food creators from across Minnesota's entire food ecosystem. We subscribe to the idea that the work that benefits Minnesota's food creator community needs to be led by the food creator community.

Plug into the MN food creator community network by becoming a Midwest Pantry member at!

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2016 Local Food & Gift Trade Show

  1. 1. Hello, we’re Midwest Pantry!
  2. 2. We organize and offer… • networking events • educational seminars • sales events (wholesale & retail) • sales opportunities • mentorship & consultation
  3. 3. We are MN food entrepreneurs. We help MN food entrepreneurs. Making MN #1 for food startups.
  4. 4. We created the Local Food & Gift Trade Show
  5. 5. Which showcases juried locally made products to be sold to wholesale buyers from across the region.
  6. 6. The Local Food & Gift Show is a little different than the average tradeshow. (my business partner) (my Mom)
  7. 7. It’s an intimate experience…
  8. 8. Crafted to connect quality producers and motivated wholesale buyers
  9. 9. To establish business relationships that benefit both businesses.
  10. 10. We know wholesale buyers are busy.
  11. 11. Even as we are growing, we know we must make it worth the buyers time
  12. 12. So, we vet producers at our Shows: 1) They must be licensed & insured
  13. 13. 2) They must be unique; we minimize dupes to maximize variety
  14. 14. 3) They must be shelf-ready, with great packaging & a UPC Code
  15. 15. We’ve been doing this for a while. established in MMX (2010) We’ve organized dozens of events…
  16. 16. Starting by organizing groups at the Food & Wine Show here in Mpls...
  17. 17. It worked… We saved $$ and proved a group of producers can attract attention! (that’s me)
  18. 18. So we grew, creating a “pop-up” show with 18 producers & 50 buyers.
  19. 19. It worked! So, we grew again…
  20. 20. Filling up the 8000 ft Grain Belt Bottling House with 35 local producers, and attracting over 100 buyers… twice in 2014! 2
  21. 21. It worked! Buyers put a lot of local products on their shelves, making a great story!
  22. 22. We grew again in 2015, maxing out the Bottling House with 50 producers & over 200 buyers!
  23. 23. We’ve attracted more media and great strategic partners...
  24. 24. We’ve grown to be the largest local food trades how in the nation! (and at a fraction of the cost)
  25. 25. It’s working. Business relationships are forging...
  26. 26. We’ve got buyers… Screen Shot 2014-10-07 at 12.14.18 AM
  27. 27. …meeting local producers.
  28. 28. It’s working for new producers... “Including new accounts landed at the recent Fall Show, a full 60% of Cool Jerk’s wholesale accounts have been acquired from Midwest Pantry’s Show” -- Owner Mali Kouanchao, Cool Jerk
  29. 29. It’s working for experienced producers “The costs of most wholesale shows run in the thousands of dollars, making it difficult for smaller producers to attend and get access to large groups of buyers. We need a show like this in Minneapolis.” -- Owner Michael Sedlacek, WorkerB
  30. 30. It’s working for buyers from start ups “I really didn't think show was that big of a deal and almost didn't go! Boy was I wrong! Coming to the show completed my business plan of having locally produced retail products for my coffee shop. I wanted a retail area with all these types of products and would've had to spend a lot of time tracking each one if these businesses down and getting samples and pricing. I am so glad I didn't pass up the opportunity to come and see all these awesome businesses I am now going to have in my coffee shop. ” -- Owner Jeremy Voss, Fish House Coffee Shop
  31. 31. It’s working for experienced buyers “Midwest Pantry provides easy, local access to a bevy of local food producers. To be able to go booth to booth under one roof, meet the manufacturers and have an opportunity to possibly support them … is what we’re looking for. It’s nice to have something locally focused.” -- Buyer Joe Moore, Kowalski’s
  32. 32. …and it’s working for our partners “We are a small business disrupting a entrenched industry with similar values [to Midwest Pantry]. As Johnson-Turner works to make the practice of law more accessible to businesses and people in our region, we are finding tremendous value by placing our brand at Midwest Pantry’s shows.” -- Owner Erin Turner, Johnson-Turner Law
  33. 33. We aim to help food creators with networking, mentoring, education, and sales events & opportunities.
  34. 34. As a member based organization, we continuously seek to increase the value of our events and maintain prices attainable for startup budgets.
  35. 35. Showcase your products… Local Food & Gift Trade Show Monday, March 14th, 2016 Minneapolis, MN
  36. 36.
  37. 37. Join us at Plug into the food community & enjoy member event discounts!
  38. 38. We’re Midwest Pantry!