Taste of Minnesota Owners Forced into Bankruptcy

Twelve creditors claim that the Taste of Minnesota's owner-International Event Marketing-owes them more than $237,000 for goods and services from the 2010 event.

Crave, McFarland Cahill Communications, and Cummins NPower, are among the 12 local creditors that filed a petition seeking to force the Taste of Minnesota's owner-Edina-based International Event Marketing-into Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

According to the petition, which was filed Wednesday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Minnesota, the 12 creditors are owed $237,149 for goods and services provided at the July 2010 event.

For the first time since the event stated, attendees were charged admission this year-$20 in advance and before 4 p.m., and $30 after. Last year, the festival charged a $10 fee for the first time, but attendees also got $10 worth of food and drink tickets. This year, food and drink tickets were not issued in exchange for the admission fee.

Several media outlets claim that the event struggled this year and that admission was down, especially on the last day of the festival.

White Bear Lake-based Cummins NPower-an engine and power generation systems distributor-is allegedly owed the most, $63,108.07, and Prior Lake-based PR firm McFarland Cahill is owed the second-largest amount, which totals $32,519.64. Minneapolis-based restaurant chain Crave is owed $25,629.11.

The other nine creditors listed in the petition are Cities 97 radio host Brian Turner; Oakdale-based International Graffitti, Inc.; Minneapolis-based Box Office Sales & Services; Plymouth-based Gass Concessions, Inc.; St. Louis Park-based Gibson Global, LLC; Minneapolis-based Hansen Bros. Fence; Bloomington-based JBJ Dining; Crystal-based Kreativesmith, Inc.; and Burnsville-based Q Events, LLC.

International Event Marketing is a partnership between Andy Faris, president of Minneapolis-based networking equipment distributor Zycko USA; Dan Hare, a vice president at Bloomington promotional agency Kelly Productions; and Terry Moore, a lawyer and founding partner at Steingart, McGrath & Moore in Minneapolis.

The group purchased the Taste of Minnesota festival from Capital City Partnership for an undisclosed amount in early 2009. Before that, Capital City owned the festival since 1996.

A Thursday morning phone call to Faris seeking comment on the petition was not immediately returned.