Friday, September 23, 2016

Made In Utah Festival

A preview of the inaugural festival happening at The Gateway.

Posted By on September 23, 2016, 1:00 AM

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As our festival season wraps up, the city is pulling out their final lists and getting many of them done this coming weekend. One of the newest additions to the list is the Made In Utah Festival.  The one-day festival will take over The Gateway's streets and highlight food, music, art and beverages from across the state. Today we chat with one of the festival's organizers, Golda Hukic-Markosian, about her time at the publication and starting the festival, as well as what we can see this weekend. (All pictures provided courtesy of the festival.)

Golda Hukic-Markosian
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Made In Utah Festival on Facebook

Gavin: Hey Golda, first off, tell us a little bit about yourself.

I am originally from Bosnia. I came to U.S. as a refugee years ago. My background is in experimental physics, therefore Ph.D follows my name.

Prior to working for Utah Stories, what had you been doing in SLC?

Before Utah Stories, I worked at Cavendish Laboratories in Cambridge, U.K. and here at U of U in Physics and Chemistry departments. I worked on projects in solar energy, electronics, and magnonics.


How did the concept for the Made In Utah Festival come about?

We write about small businesses and our readers love their stories. They tell us that all the time at Farmers Markets. So we absolutely had to create an opportunity for our readers to meet these wonderful people. We created a festival that would make it possible.

What would you say separates it from other localized festivals like Craft Lake City or the Farmer's Market?

This festival is all about supporting local economy, farms, artisans, food producers, artists, etc. Also, attendees will be able to shop while drinking their favourite brew, wine or a cocktail. This festival is focused on branding and marketing of our participants. We will have a networking session the night before with a goal of forming new partnerships and we are bringing speakers that will examine topics important for small businesses.

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What made you decide on The Gateway as the place to hold it?

We wrote about The Gateway’s efforts to reinvent itself. The property is under a new ownership. We respect their efforts to attract more local businesses and community building events. We want to be part of it.

What was the process like in deciding who to include on the vendor end?

Utah has so many great businesses, product makers and we want to give them all a chance to get in touch with our readers.

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Who are some of the food vendors you're excited to feature?

I am excited about all of them. They are all exceptional, I could not single any of them out. However, I have to mention that Blue Tree Farms and Canyon Meadows will be cooking their pasture raised and grass fed beef. We will also have German pastries by Petra’s Backstubchen which will go well with Red Rock and Vernal Brewing's beers, then chocolates by Food Of The Gods Chocolatier next to Iron Gate Winery and Twisted Cedar Wine. We are having 4 Country Gals coming from far Southern Utah to bring us their Mexican caramel sauce. One has to know that one of the four "gals" is 94 years old and still going strong. As I said they are all exceptional and worth writing about.

What kind of local music will you have as part of the entertainment?

We were a bit picky about our music. I am in love with all of the bands that will perform. Some of them are: Oskar and Julia, Rythym Junction, September Say Goodbye, Brian Bingham, and of course, Tom Bennett. We wrote about him eight years ago when he was pursuing a different career and now we simply cannot have a festival without Tom Bennett. And we will also have Michael Feldman from Feldman’s Deli. Michael is a man of many talents and it seems whatever he does he does it well. We are excited to see him perform.


What other events do you have going on that we haven't touched on?

Made in Utah is the only event that we have going on so far but we are planning to expand more into events in the future.

What are your thoughts going into the festival?

We are excited of course. We hope that our participants will form meaningful relationships, learn from each other and that they will sell out of their products. When it comes to festival goers, we hope that they will have tons of fun and that we will give them a festival similar to European ones that I was fortunate to grow up with.

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