Local First Hosts Fourth Annual Fork Fest Thursday

The favorite community event will be at Romence Gardens & Greenhouses and feature over 40 West Michigan businesses!

by Samantha Vanderberg

Fork Fest is a favorite event of the Grand Rapids community.
Fork Fest is a favorite event of the Grand Rapids community.

Grand Rapids Local First is hosting Fork Fest, presented by Twisted Rooster and Crooked Goose, for the fourth year in a row on October 23 from 5-9 p.m. at Romence Gardens & Greenhouses.This event is a true taste of West Michigan, featuring over 40 of West Michigan’s best local food and beverage producers, growers, and restaurateurs. All food samples are included in a $30 ticket. Brewery Vivant beer, Fenn Valley wine, and Vander Mill cider will be available for purchase at the event. Live folk music will be performed by the Fauxgrass Quartet. Fork Fest is open to the public, and with over 500 people in attendance last year, Local First is expecting a big crowd.


At Fork Fest, attendees will have the opportunity to connect directly with food entrepreneurs and learn about ways to shift their dollars to local sources.

Supermercado serving Mexican food.
Supermercado serving Mexican food.


“We have a great agricultural abundance here in Michigan, and at Fork Fest we see that first hand and celebrate it in a memorable way,” said Elissa Hillary, Executive Director of Local First.


“Attendees will meet and try samples from food entrepreneurs that build our connection to place, and contribute to the uniqueness of our community.”

Taste foods from Earthkeeper Farm.
Taste foods from Earthkeeper Farm.New this year, Local First will be hosting five individuals representing farms or non-profit organizations integral to our sustainable food system in West Michigan. These informal pop-up presentations will provide a way for people to engage with and learn about what’s happening right now in our food system. Presenters include representatives from the MSU Extension, GVSU’s student farm, Hope Farms, Earthkeeper Farm, and Urban Roots Farm.

Fork Fest is the final event of the Eat Local Challenge, which included documentary screenings of Fresh, the 10×10 Pledge, and two first time events on the Lakeshore: Gather and the Lakeshore Street Party.


Participating food & beverage vendors

Brann’s Steakhouse & Sports Grille

Brewery Vivant

Catered Creations

Charley’s Chips & Salsa

Chocolates by Grimaldi

CitySen Lounge

Country Winds Creamery

Crooked Goose

Cultured Love

Daddy Pete’s BBQ

Desiderio Chocolates


Earthkeeper Farm

Electric Cadillac Delicatessen

Essence Restaurant Group

Field & Fire

Fulton Street Farmers Market

Furniture City Creamery

GoJo Ethiopian Cuisine

Grand Rapids Cheesecake Company

Grand Rapids Downtown Market

Grassfields Cheese

Just Enjoy Bakery


Love’s Ice Cream

Nourish Organic Market

Prospector’s Cold Brew Coffee

Relish Green Grocer

Romence Gardens & Greenhouses

Sara’s Sweets Bakery

Schuler’s Chapbook Cafe

Schuil Coffee Company

Sip Organic Juice Bar

Slow Food West Michigan

Supermercado Mexico

Terra GR

The Gilmore Collection

Twisted Rooster

Uccello’s Ristorante

Visser Farms