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  • Writer's pictureJason

Oregon's Cheese Festivals, 2024

If you're looking to build a little "street cred" for your specialty food brand in the PNW without breaking the marketing budget, it could be time to put Oregon's foodie events on your 2024-25 calendar. Not only will you find most of the booth fees reasonable compared to others around the country, but I can say from experience that their niche festivals are very welcoming to non-Oregonians as many of the events are fundraisers for local food guilds.

Of course, Oregon's locals are among the most famous foodies in the nation, so it never hurts to get discovered by a new community of super-fans. Here are two increasingly popular fundraiser events held by the Oregon Cheese Guild to consider:

Oregon Cheese Festival

Central Point: April 27th & 28th, 2024

Originally hosted at Rogue Creamery's headquarters in Central Point Oregon, the event has been consistently growing (4,300 attendees in 2023) and now takes place a few miles away from the creamery at Jackson County Expo. Although free tastings are suggested, this is a selling event and you should do well if your products pair with Oregon's big three products cheese, wine, and cider.

A cheese board, cider, and wine at The Oregon Cheese Festival in Central Point

This is a ticketed event supporting the Oregon Cheese Guild. Learn more about how to become a Vendor/Sponsor soon, before they're full!

The Wedge

Portland: Sept 28th, 2024

Portland Syrups displays at The Wedge in Portland

Another event supporting the Oregon Cheese Guild, The Wedge is a farmer's market-style layout (indoor and outdoor) hosted at Portland's Alder Block, home to the popular Portland Night Markets. This is a ticketed 21+ event which may be advantageous depending on your product line. Here's a list of 2023's vendors to give you an idea of participating food and beverage brands from past events.

As you no doubt already know, specialty food retailers want to see brands actively priming the pump for new product sales. Ticketed events like Oregon's cheese festivals not only give you a chance to seed the market for potential specialty retailers throughout the state (Market of Choice, Provisions, New Seasons Market, etc.), but the event should pay for itself through booth sales. If you're on the East Coast, you may need to employ a booth worker to pull it off, but the Guild is a good source of information on who you might work with. If you're lucky, they just might be able to hook you up with a Cheesemonger that knows your category well.

Looking for specialty food events that would be a fit for your product? Contact Jason for ideas to help fill your event schedule.

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