Fork Fest samples West Michigan fare


Local First’s Fork Fest draws hundreds of people ready to taste samples from West Michigan’s food and drink producers. Courtesy Local First 

Get out your most generous pair of pants.

More than 40 West Michigan food businesses will be doling out hefty spoonfuls of some of their best menu offerings at Local First's third annual Fork Fest on Oct. 24, from 5-9 p.m., at Romence Gardens & Greenhouses.

All food samples are included in the $25 ticket.

"Fork Fest is about building relationships — relationships between consumers and businesses and relationships between businesses,” said Elissa Hillary, executive director of Local First. “We love the conversations that happen and the questions that get asked at this event. We get excited when restaurants build new relationships with local farmers and when businesses decide to partner together after trying each others' products at Fork Fest.

“We hope that consumers will find new sources for fresh local food,” Hillary added. “This is how we continue to build a sustainable local food system.”

The event

During the evening, people can connect with local chefs, farmers, bakers, brewers and other businesses that support West Michigan’s local food system.

In addition to the food, local beer, wine and cider will be available for purchase.

There will also be plenty of entertainment, provided by local string band Hawks and Owls.

The 10×10 Pledge

Fork Fest is the final event of Local First's Eat Local Challenge, which challenges participants to pledge to shift $10 a week for 10 weeks between August and October to local food purchases.

In previous years, the challenge has helped shift more than $100,000 into the local economy.

Fork Fest 2013 vendors

Annette’s Favorites

Brann's Steakhouse and Sports Grille

Brewery Vivant

Chapbook Café at Schuler Books

Charley's Chips & Salsa

CitySen Lounge

Connie’s Cakes

Crooked Goose

Derby Station

Earthkeeper Farm

Essence Restaurant Group

Frosty Pints

The Gilmore Collection

Gordon Water Systems

Grand Rapids Cheesecake Company

Grassfields Cheese

Graydon’s Crossing

The Kitchen Collective


Logan’s Alley

MadCap Coffee Company

Metro Cupcakes

The Mitten Brewing Company

Monica’s Best Cookies

Old World Olive Press

Schuil Coffee Company

Sietsema Orchards

Slow Food West Michigan

Supermercado Mexico

Thought Design

Trillium Haven Farm

Twisted Rooster

Uccello’s Ristorante

Uncommon Grounds Coffee


Uptown Kitchen

Vander Mill 

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