This past weekend, my roommate and I attended the 2014 Minneapolis Chipotle Cultivate festival, hosted in Loring Park. Chipotle Cultivate is a free music and food festival that is appearing in various major cities across the United States this summer. It features local chefs who perform cooking demonstrations, an all-day concert of different musicians and various food and drink options from local breweries. This helps bring together the community and support local businesses. It is also a great marketing opportunity for Chipotle to test out new menu items and see the response to them regionally. In addition to the typical festival food/drink/music scene, Chipotle went a step further to promote their core company values and spread their message of responsible and sustainable farming with their customers. It was a cloudy but nice day for a festival in Minneapolis
At entry, each attendee is given a small handbook with a map of the festival. There are 5 various stations throughout the park, each station is a different demonstration of a component of Chipotle’s company values. After attending each demonstration, fair goers receive a stamp and after collecting 4 stamps, the booklets can be redeemed for a free burrito coupon. This is an excellent way for Chipotle to spread their message of sustainability and also highlight the health benefits of choosing Chipotle restaurants for a quick meal over McDonald’s or other chain fast-food establishments.
Katie and I tried Gorditas and the Meatball bowl, both new regional dish concepts conceived by Chipotle. Both were awesome, especially the pork-belly Gordita. I really hope to see these in Chipotle locations in Minnesota.
In addition to the new foods, I also sampled several beers and ciders from local breweries. A new favorite I discovered at Chipotle Cultivate was the Dangerous Man Cream Ale. It was awesome, and I am now on a mission to find bars and restaurants that have it on tap. Also loved Sociable Cider Works cider and the Lonely Blonde beer from Fulton Brewery.
Chipotle Cultivate is an awesome marketing idea and was a great way to spend a Saturday. I hope that it comes back to Minneapolis in the future, I can never turn down a free festival!