Minnesota Salsa Fest FAQ

FAQSMinnesota Salsa Fest Contestants & Vendors

Salsa and Hot Sauce Contestants:

Can I enter salsa into the contest that I made in my home kitchen?

Salsa Contestants may offer salsa samples at their vendor tables, if they are prepared in a commercial kitchen, fresh on site, or hold a Cottage Food exemption.  All food is to be prepared using safe food handling practices, including good personal sanitation, clean approved equipment, proper cooking, cooling, transporting, re-heating and serving. All contestants are responsible for understanding and adhering to local, state, and federal food safety regulations. 

Please contact us if you need help finding a commercial kitchen near you: central@sfa-mn.org

What are the categories of salsa for the Salsa Fest contest?

There are three categories for the various kinds of sauces:

  • Traditional Salsas including Salsa Verde
  • Hot Sauces (Chili, Sriracha, Pepper, Buffalo, etc.)
  • Alternative Sauces (chutneys, BBQ, Dessert Sauces, etc.)

How will salsa be judged?

Attendees of Salsa Fest will be offered a ballot with the brands and names of all contest sauce entries. Trays of tortilla chips will be available. Contestants will provide samples of salsas and sauces at their vendor booths or contestant tables. Consumers will use rank choice voting to pick their top three salsas in each category. Each first-place vote will be awarded 3 points, second-place 2 points, and third-place 1 point. Points will be tallied, and winners chosen based on total points.

How much salsa should I make for the contest?

It is recommended that public samples be at least 1 ounce. We cannot recommend the total amount of salsa needed for public samples, but we do estimate that up to 300 people may participate in the tasting and voting.

Will there be sampling supplies provided?

No. Contestants are required to provide their own 2 oz. container for distributing samples. Salsa Fest will have tortilla chips available for attendees to purchase and use for sampling.

Find answers to your questions by contacting us at: central@sfa-mn.org


What is the fee for participating as a vendor at Salsa Fest?

The registration fee for all Farmers Market vendors, Arts/Craft vendors, and Salsa vendors is $25.  If you are a member of MN Sustainable Farming Association, the fee is $10.  SFA is open to everyone.

Join here:  https://sfamn.z2systems.com/np/clients/sfamn/membershipJoin.jsp

Do Farmer’s Market vendors have to complete the ST19, Operator Certificate of Compliance form as required by Minnesota Revenue?

Yes. We are required to have a completed ST19 for all vendors, even if they are selling non-taxable items. It is the responsibility of the vendor to understand their tax liability. There is a section for those who are not required to have a Minnesota tax ID number, in which you can select “I am selling only nontaxable items.” You can find this form here: https://www.revenue.state.mn.us/sites/default/files/2011-11/st19.pdf

Can I have food samples as a vendor? 

The 2014 Safe Food Sampling law (Minnesota Statute 28A.151) allows vendors and food demonstrators to prepare and offer food samples at Farmers’ Markets. If this applies to you, you do not need a food license for product sampling.  However, you must follow the Minnesota food code requirements for “Special Event Food Stand” (4626.1855, B-O and Q and R). The Safe Food Sampling Worksheet for Minnesota Farmers’ Markets Vendors and Food Demonstrators available under “Resources” at: https://extension.umn.edu/food-entrepreneurs/safe-food-sampling

Can a vendor sell food not prepared in a certified kitchen?

Depending on the product you are selling, you might be eligible to sell food prepared in a home kitchen with a MN Cottage Food Law exemption. See the training,  eligibility requirements, and registration steps at: www.mda.state.mn.us/cottagefood

Find answers to your questions by contacting us at: central@sfa-mn.org