Taste of MN bankruptcy filing reveals $1.6 million debt

Andy Faris says his failed company owes him $329K

Andy Faris says his failed company owes him $329K

Andy Faris, the man who ran this year's Taste of Minnesota festival into the ground, has filed bankruptcy paperwork detailing the finances of this year's botched event. And it's worse than we thought.

International Event Management, LLC--the company formed by Faris, Dan Hare, and Terry Moore to run the annual Fourth of July event--owes its creditors $1.6 million, according to paperwork filed this week.

The paperwork also reveals exactly how much money this year's Taste festival lost. Despite total sales of $1.6 million, Taste lost a whopping $924,796. Ouch.


This week's filing is the most detailed of any so far in the ugly aftermath of the failed festival. While the event was bigger and flashier than ever, too-high ticket prices and bad weather led to sluggish attendance.

Even worse: when it was all over, Faris didn't pay the people who had worked to put on the event. Taste owes the City of St. Paul $129,811; Cummins NPower $63,108; Coasters, Inc., $27,187; Kam Talebi's CRAVE, $21,974; and radio DJ Brian "B.T." Turner $18,000, among many others.

Now Faris, who owns 76.3 percent of the company, is listing himself as the biggest creditor of all, claiming that his now-defunct company owes him $329,158, for personal loans he extended when Taste got into hot water.

The city of St. Paul is now Tasteless

The city of St. Paul is now Tasteless

The paperwork also reveals that a man named Thomas Popowich, in Portland, Oregon, loaned $115,000 to Faris and his partners to get the event up and running. What's more, it shows that one of the partners wisely abandoned ship: Terry Moore, one of the original three partners, stopped being a partner on December 17.

Despite Taste's money troubles, the city of St. Paul had hoped to continue the event with new organizers, but a few weeks ago it pulled the plug on a similar Fourth of July food-and-entertainment event--no new Taste will take place in 2011, because the four proposals the city received from would-be organizers fell short of requirements. The city plans to put on a more modest fireworks show instead. That means the end of Taste: a tradition that lasted nearly 30 years.

If you'd like to see all the gory details, here's the bankruptcy filing.