June 22nd, 2024

Food and beverage expo serves up taste

By Justin Seward - Lethbridge Herald on April 12, 2022.

Herald Photo by Justin Seward Don Dennis and Jon Little of Bourbon and Butter pour up a bar full of Bourbon Renewals during the Alberta Food and Beverage Expo at Exhibition Park on Saturday.

Many visited the Exhibition Park pavilion for the Alberta Food and Beverage Expo to try the different alcoholic beverages and food vendors on Saturday night.
Initially, the Food and Beverage Expo are scheduled in January but kept getting cancelled due to COVID, but owner/operator Chris Meilleur says this will be the one and only time it will be held in April.
“All of our vendors had signed up two years ago and they’ve been holding their spot for the last two years,” said Meilleur. “So when we knew we could do the show, there was only a handful of spaces to sell and the rest was marketing and promotion.”
Meilleur said it was great to get this going again.
“The hospitality industry, like every industry, (has) been hit heavily in COVID,” he said. “But the hospitality industry has been hit particularity heavy and this is just a great opportunity for the restaurants to meet their clientele face-to-face, for the clientele to meet the great business owners behind these restaurants. Then with the liquor companies it’s getting them down here highlighting our city, highlighting the vendors that we have here and making sure the public sees our brand new products that are coming out.”
The Food and Beverage Expo has a wait list of vendors every year and tries to keep the process a 50/50 split.
“We try to have half our show about food and local restaurants and local pubs and local food suppliers,” he said. “The other half is vineyards, breweries and distilleries all over the world with a very heavy emphasis on Alberta local.”
The Food and Beverage Expo hosted its first show in Lethbridge 10 years ago and organizers wanted to make sure the show was possible.
“We’ll come back in January,” he said. “Hopefully we’re in a regular schedule again. But for us, it’s meeting everybody, seeing everyone. We know so many people in the room. It’s like getting together with great friends.”

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