GRAND RAPIDS, MI — The Grand Rapids Foodie Fest wrapped up its first year on Sunday where attendees discovered local restaurants and vendors while musical numbers performed at Calder Plaza.
The Foodie Fest was presented by entertainment company Where AT GR, which organized more than 15 food tours around the city before the festival.
The event hosted several unique local vendors like Desi’s Tropical Sno Shack, which was built by owner Desi Wooden two years ago using a pallet trailer. “I did it on COVID because I got laid off,” Wooden said of starting his business.
It wasn’t just food at the festival, there were several vendors like La Casa Azul based in Holland which sells handmade decorative items from Mexico and artists with Minara HXC who offered face painting as well as several fashion and beauty vendors.
Taja Vinson, who founded Where AT GR with Amanda Hadd, said the weekend was a success for everyone involved. “It was fantastic. The crowd was crazy, we saw people from New York and Chicago. We will be contacting the City of Grand Rapids to rebook this weekend. It will be an annual event.
Festival vendors also bragged about how much they enjoyed being part of the event. Ebony Black, co-owner of catering company Jamaican Way, said: “It was great, fun. We did it and I will do it again, most definitely”.
The Foodie Fest is just the first of the foodie events that are in the works for the city. “We’re planning pop-ups in city parks about every two months, probably starting in the fall,” Vinson said, “People love food and it brings people together.”