Local Food Fest

14th Annual Taste Real Guelph Wellington Local Food Fest

OCTA tourism award event of the year banner

WINNER of Ontario Culinary Tourism Alliance's 2015 "Event of the Year"!

June 23, 2019  |  11:00am - 4:00pm

Ignatius Jesuit Centre
5420 Hwy 6 North, Guelph/Eramosa


We invite you to participate as a booth or vendor in the 14th Annual Local Food Fest. We are expecting about 1800-2000 people attending this event. Limited spots are available and they are allocated on a first come first served basis. Final deadline for application is Friday May 24, 2019.

Vendor Application 2019


2019 information will become available closer to the date.
Please check back for updated workshops and event details! See below for last years event.

Enjoy the tastes of Guelph Wellington, watch food skills demos and pick up fresh, delicious and real local food. You can also learn about mushroom growing and foraging, sausage making, fermenting and composting, bread making, backyard chickens, cider making and fish butchery - all through free workshops offered throughout the day. 

We love seeing families sprawled on the grass with their Local Food Fest bags packed full of great local produce, meat, bread, craft products, and seedlings! We hope you will take home some new skills from our workshops and cooking demos, and make new friends and new connections with our local farmers and producers. Scroll down for workshop times and more information on activities you can enjoy at the 14th Annual Guelph Wellington Local Food Fest!

Admission: Minimum donation of $5 per person, $10 per family

We'd also like to say a big thank you to our volunteers and our sponsors. The Local Food Fest wouldn't happen without strong community support. Thank you!

Local Food Getaway Package for Two!

Thank you to everyone who entered our contest to win a weekend in beautiful Guelph/Wellington. The contest is now closed, and congratulations to Nadia N. of Oakville!

 Local Food Fest poster


 How to get to the Local Food Fest site:

We encourage you to BIKE or take the free shuttle bus, if possible.

A map and driving directions and map can be found on the Ignatius Guelph website.

 Shuttle Schedule and Locations

Catch a free ride to and from the Guelph Wellington Local Food Fest thanks to the Downtown Guelph Business Association and Denny Bus Lines.

St. Paul Catholic School- 182 Clairfields Dr E, Guelph



Pick up


Pick up/ Drop Off

11:15 am

Pick up/ Drop Off

12:15 pm

Pick up/ Drop Off


Pick up/ Drop Off

2:15 pm

Pick up/ Drop Off

3:15 pm

Drop off

4:40 pm









Downtown Guelph - Quebec at Wyndham westbound bus stop (near BMO Bank)



Pick up to Ignatius


Pick up/ Drop Off to St. Paul


Pick up/ Drop Off to Ignatius


Pick up/ Drop Off to St. Paul


Pick up/ Drop Off to Ignatius


Pick up/ Drop Off to St. Paul


Pick up/ Drop Off to Ignatius


Pick up/ Drop Off to St. Paul


Pick up/ Drop Off to Ignatius


Pick up/ Drop Off to St. Paul


Pick up/ Drop Off to Ignatius


Drop off to St. Paul


Ignatius Jesuit Center-  5420 ON-6, Guelph, ON N1H 6J2



First Drop off at Ignatius


Pick up/ Drop Off


Pick up/ Drop Off


Pick up/ Drop Off


Pick up/ Drop Off


Pick up/ Drop Off


Final Bus to leave Ignatius




 Vendors and Exhibitors
 Craft Beer and Cider

We've invited Minga Skill Building Hub back to help us organize hands-on food re-skilling workshops. We are happy to have these amazing local instructors to teach us about preparing food for ourselves. All workshops take place at the Food Skills workshop area close to the entrance to the festival. The workshops and tours will run at 12:30-1:15 pm, 1:30-2:15 pm, 2:30-3:15 pm. This year, we will be presenting the following:

Sausage Making

with Katherine Sowden

Schedule: ReSkilling Hub - 12:30-1:15, 1:30-2:15, 2:30-3:15

Join Chef Katherine Sowden owner of  Bella Roma foods as she demonstrates the art of sausage making. You will learn how to break down a bone-in pork shoulder butt, grind the meat, develop your own sausage spice blend, stuff, and link custom dinner sausages from scratch at home without the fillers, preservatives, excessive fats, sodium, and gluten found in many store brands.

What you will learn:

  • Which cuts of meat to use for sausage making
  • How to break down a bone-in pork shoulder butt for grinding
  • How to grind meat for sausage
  • How to choose between natural and synthetic casing for your project, and where to source it.
  • Perfecting the texture of your sausage for best cooking results.
  • Pairing flavours and ingredients to achieve your custom sausage flavour dreams.
  • Master the professional guided tasting process to develop and test your custom spice blends. 
  • Stuffing and linking your sausage to the perfect size.

Sourcing high quality, local ingredients to continue your flavour adventure at home.

After earning a degree in business, Katherine quickly got fed up with sitting around an office all day so she decided to change gears and pursue a career in the food industry. Butchery runs across several generations of Katherine's family and she counts herself as fortunate to have learned the art of traditional sausage making from a member of well known Italian family in the Guelph community who she worked for on and off for over 5 years. She believes in the importance of connecting communities around food, food issues, and food skills that help us all to become more active members of our food system. That business degree does come in handy though, as she manages Bella Roma Foods in Guelph.

Wild Foraging

with Luke Eckstein

Hands On Workshop and Walking Tour

Schedule: ReSkilling Hub - 12:30-1:15, 1:30-2:15, 2:30-3:15

Come enjoy the wonders of nature by foraging for wild edibles in a late spring hike through out the Jesuit Centre. Join avid forager and nerdy biologist Luke Eckstein in celebrating spring ephemerals. Whether you’re keen to learn about nature, want to be more self-reliant or perhaps lack a green thumb, foraging is a fantastic window through which to explore the natural world and increase our awareness and respect for its beauty and complexity. Wild foods are very nutritious and often have much higher amounts of minerals and other nutrients than their domesticated counterparts. They can also be used medicinally – and they’re free. You will get an introduction:

  • To harvest fresh wild edibles to take home
  • A greater awareness and appreciation of nature
  • Knowledge of what’s edible and what’s not in your own backyard

Luke has been eating wild edible plants since I was little.  His love for foraging took him to study biology during University and was entirely amazed by subjects like genetics and cell biology, and chose to specialize in molecular biology and microbiology. Learning from these fields about how the world works on a scale below what we can see with our eyes is like rediscovering all sorts of things that he thought he knew. Luke also took courses in plant biology and zoology and have been quite compelled by questions about the origins of life, the story of life on Earth over time and how the world of today came to be.  Luke loves to share his years of foraging experience and help others discover and rediscover the wonders of the world around us.

The foraging tours leave at the meeting point in the Food Skills workshop area.

Fish Butchery

with Andrew Bilyk

Demonstration Workshop

Schedule: ReSkilling Hub – 12:30-1:15, 1:30-2:15, 2:30-3:15

In this demonstration, you will learn the proper way to fillet a fish and then cure it using a traditional process. We will focus on Arctic Char from the University of Guelph’s Alma Research Station and discuss the fantastic research taking place there. At the end of the demonstration you will have the opportunity to sample the finished product.

Andrew Bilyk knew from a young age that he loved cooking and now with over 17 years of experience, enjoys sharing the knowledge he has learned with cooks of all skill levels.

Born and raised in Winnipeg, MB, Andrew trained at Red River College before following a path that has led to his home at the University of Guelph, where Hospitality Services has a focus on local and sustainable food.

Bread Making

with Eric Voss

Hands on Workshop

Schedule: ReSkilling Hub – 12:30-1:15, 1:30-2:15, 2:30-3:15

Join us to explore one of the most ancient human activities, baking bread. We’ll make bread using the No Knead technique. The appeal of combining flour, water, salt and starter and being able to produce beautiful, delicious loaves of bread continues to amaze while the reward of a finished loaf never grows old. Your instructor, Eric Voss, is thrilled and thankful to be able to share his experience in hope that others will follow suit and develop their own bread making ability.

Eric is an engineering program manager by day, who is obsessively passionate about sourdough bread baking in the off hours. Having always appreciated sourdough bread but never attempting to make his own, it was the Minga Sourdough Bread Baking workshop taught by Richard Preiss in December of 2017 that gave Eric the confidence to really dive into bread making. Through trial and error and much repetition, he has personalized the bread making process and developed it into a truly rewarding and fulfilling pursuit. 

Composting for Everyone

with Kelly Vrooman

Demonstration Workshop

Schedule: ReSkilling Hub – 12:30-1:15, 1:30-2:15, 2:30-3:15

Come and learn about the benefits of composting. Whether you have a large or small yard, a balcony, or no outdoor space at all, we can help you compost.

You will get:

  • A firm understanding of how composting works
  • How to choose a composter that suits your needs and lifestyle
  • Tips and tricks to get the most from your finished compost

Kelly will walk you through the basics and benefits of composting in this quick and comprehensive workshop. Kelly works for Solid Waste Services at The County of Wellington, and is delighted to be able to share her knowledge about composting with you.


with Josh Whitehead of Green Table Foods

Hands On Workshop

Schedule: ReSkilling Hub - 12:30-1:15, 1:30-2:15, 2:30-3:15

Learn how to wild ferment local seasonal produce in small or large batches as it becomes available. We'll be chopping, mixing, spicing and filing jar in this hands-on workshop where we'll cover cabbage ferments like sauerkraut and kim-chi.

Josh Whitehead is the founder and CEO of Green Table Foods, a certified organic food processing company which specializes in lacto-fermentation. Over the past decade GTF has established itself as the go-to manufacturer of living vegetables, and currently makes over 20 products under six nationally distributed brands.

Growing Oyster Mushrooms

with David Fields

Hands On Workshop

Schedule: ReSkilling Hub – 12:30-1:15, 1:30-2:15, 2:30-3:15

Growing your own mushrooms is an easy way to increase the productivity, health and interest of your gardens and your plate. This workshop will offer an overview of some of the many ways you can grow delicious edible and medicinal mushrooms in your garden and in your home or apartment, by reusing easy to acquire, usually free natural materials.

You will learn:

  • Mushroom growing demystified- everything you need to know to grow oyster mushrooms successfully in your home and/or in your garden
  • Materials to use for growing oyster mushrooms at home and garden
  • How to propagate your Oyster mushrooms

David Fields is an Organic Master Gardener, his hands have been in the soil since his earliest memory- playing and eating in his grandfather’s vegetable garden. As a community change agent and environmental activist, David builds bridges between people, ideas and nature through the power of shared experience in events, projects and strategies, including community gardens, a housing co-op and an urban farm pilot project. Cycling, reading, playing games and genealogy count among his other interests, which he usually shares with family. David’s love of nature have lead him through years of garden trials and triumphs, in urban and rural contexts, shaping his approach to gardening and view of life, that we (everything) work better together.

Cider Making Workshop

with Heartwood Farm and Cidery

Hands On Workshop

Schedule: ReSkilling Hub - 12:30-1:15, 1:30-2:15, 2:30-3:15

Join Wellington County’s brand new cidery for a hands-on cider making workshop. Learn the different steps involved in prepping, mashing, extracting juice and all about the fermentation process.

You will get:

  • The chance to smash up some apples in a bucket with a piece of timber
  • A turn at pressing the cider using a traditional cider press
  • A sample of yeasted juice to take home in a jar
  • Instructions on what to expect during the process of fermentation
Heartwood Farm and Cidery wants to create inspired connections between community, land, food and drink. The farm uses traditional farm practices to raise pastured livestock as well as produce maple syrup, grow an orchard and this year, start a cidery. Passionate about regenerative agriculture, the farm reaches out to the community with workshops, seminars and workbees. Samples of their cider varieties are available in the Craft Brewery section at the Local Food Fest.

Backyard Chicken Display

Join us for an exploration of raising hens in a backyard. Backyard hens are a powerful way to connect with easy, low-cost, delicious, and nutritious local food. You can have fresh eggs every day, just outside your back door! Chickens will be on site for viewing.

Courtyard Garden Tours and Living Food Box Demonstrations

Using Gardening to Enrich Lives with The Julien Project

Courtyard Garden, Orchard Park - Throughout the Day

Living Food Box Demonstrations - 11:00, 1:30

Follow the green arrows to the peaceful courtyard in Orchard Park where you will find a cool, accessible and beautifully diverse garden with creative features such as a small willow house, living food boxes, vertical gardens and lush beds filled with flowers, herbs and vegetables.

Come and taste the delicious organic produce and products students have made throughout the spring and fall season. Pick up some good quality garden tools at the silent auction, or take home some plants students have grown from seed.

Learn how to assemble and plant a "Living Food Box"; a container garden that is ideal for gardening on patios or balconies. See you in the garden!

Hands on Workshops sponsored by Minga Skill Building Hub

Live Music Line-up
Sponsored by Hillside Festival

Children's and Family Activities

  • Kids planting workshop
  • Face painting
  • Apple bobbing
  • Paint a pot
  • Wagon rides 12:30 - 3:00 pm
  • Butter Tart Eating Contest at 12:45 pm
  • Planet Bean Coffee Sack Races 1:50 pm
  • Historical Butter Making with the Wellington Museum and Archives
  • Kids Make Guelph and more!

Exhibition Sponsors

the neighbourhood group logo  Borealis Grille and Bar logo  miijidaa cafe and bistro logo  The Wooly Pub logo

Location Sponsor

Ignatius Jesuit Centre logo

Harvest Sponsor

Morton Wholesale logo 

Field Sponsors

Visit Guelph logo  Hillside Festival Logo  Minga Skill Building Hub logo  Strom's Farm and Bakery logo  Red Tree Productions Inc. logo  Magic 106.1 logo  1460 CJOY logo

Seed and Product Sponsors

Downtown Guelph logo 

Bernardin logo  Butter Tarts and Buggies logo  Slow Food Wellington County logo  Royal City Nursery logo

Site Partners:

Planet Bean Coffee logo   

Local Craft Breweries and Cideries:

Ontario Craft Brewers logo  Royal City Brewing Co. logo  Wellington Brewery logo  Elora Brewing Co. logo  Heartwood Farm and Cidery logo

Thanks to our amazing MCs:

Brendan Johnson and Mark Rodford

Guelph Neighbourhood Support Coalition  The Cornerstone Logo

© 2019 County of Wellington, 74 Woolwich St. Guelph, Ontario N1H 3T9, T 519.837.2600, TF 1.800.663.0750, F 519.837.1909