Blog Archive

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Registration is now open! Cultivate Michigan Marketplace in Grand Rapids on April 11


Register now for a regional meet-the-buyers-style event in Grand Rapids, MI!


This networking event is an opportunity for local and regional food suppliers and institutional food service buyers in West Michigan to connect around local food!


Who should participate?

  • 10 Cents a Meal Grantees seeking local food to spend their 2021-22 grant awards, and schools and ECE sites interested in applying to participate in 10 Cents a Meal in the future.
  • Other Institutional Food Service Buyers (such as schools, hospitals, colleges, senior facilities, etc.) interested in purchasing local food products from farmers and vendors in their region.
  • Food Suppliers interested in selling local foods to institutional food buyers in the region. Farmers, food hubs, processors and distributors of any scale are welcome.


How the event works:

It's a mix between speed-dating and a trade show!

Cultivate Michigan Marketplace events are unique because they focus on meeting the needs of institutional food service buyers. Each event is regional in scope and intended for institutional buyers and food suppliers of all scales. Institutional buyers will be stationed at tables around the room, and suppliers will rotate to meet with buyers of their choice. Light refreshments will be provided along with plenty of time to mix and mingle!


Participation is open to institutions of all types, and 10 Cents grantees – both schools and ECE sites – in the West Michigan area are especially encouraged to attend this free event. Please note that we will be hosting more regional events like this one in other parts of the state in 2022 and early 2023. If you're located outside of the West Michigan area, stay tuned for more information about a marketplace coming to a region near you!


WHAT: Cultivate Michigan Marketplace Grand Rapids

WHEN: 4:00 – 6:00 pm on Monday, April 11th, 2022

WHERE: Blandford Nature Center Auditorium, 1715 Hillburn Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504



Register to participate by Wednesday, March 30th. It is free for both institutional buyers and food suppliers to attend, but space is limited and registration is required.


This event is brought to you by the Michigan Department of Education, Michigan Farm to Institution Network, and local hosts Garrett Ziegler with MSU Extension, Steve Peterson with the City of Holland, and Sam Otto with the West Michigan Growers Group. This event is made possible through an MDARD Specialty Crop Block Grant and generous funding from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. The Michigan Farm to Institution Network is coordinated by the MSU Center for Regional Food Systems with support from MSU Extension.



Colleen Matts

(she, her, hers)

Director, Farm to Institution Programs

Coordinator, Michigan Farm to Institution Network

Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems | 517.432.0310 | |


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems team members are working remotely. Our response time may be a bit slower than normal due to family and community responsibilities. 


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