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Food Vendor Ideas for a County Fair

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Our Ladies Auxiliary is thinking about having a food stand at our county fair. Does anyone have any suggestions on something new we could offer that other vendors might not offer? Thank you for your suggestions.

TRFD from Coshocton, OH

Recent Answers

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By Chef Alan (Guest Post)08/27/2008

Lots of great ideas! Don't forget Waffles or Waffle Sticks with topping and/or ice cream. You could buy Waffle Sticks ("Belgium Chef" from Nestle makes the best, we used them at the Club. There is a great Cinnamon Whole Wheat Stick that smells super! And CHEAP too! For something unique, try frying the waffles and serving hot and crispy!
The baked pot idea is also good, with chili, broccoli, you name it. People see it and look for it. Try Rhode Island Clam Cakes, like a fritter, or perhaps Corn Fritters. They're like a Hush Puppy to those outside New England.
"Drum Rock" mix is great, its from RI or you could order from Kenyons Grist Mill on line, or make your own.
Also, there is a new Pork Wing out, its made by Tyson but the Farmland product is MUCH more tender. Its like a big, fat chicken wing (1st joint) but its Pork, makes a novel BBQ and easy to carry.
Fried Dough is great, and if you don't want to have the hassle and danger of a fryer there is a great new product out, just pop it in the oven and go, or finish it in the fryer, but just for a second. Add sauce and cheese or cinnamon sugar and go!
Pierogis are great, and unique, but you need the right market. How about Fried Ravioli?
There is also a new Crispy Cheesecake Bite that is square and is meant to be fried, that would be unique.
Lots more ideas, but those are just a few!
Have a great fall and lets all go to the fair and have a snack!

By Kathy (Guest Post)03/05/2008

Recipe for Bierox? Thanks. kathy @kcbruce. com

By brenda (Guest Post)03/05/2008

Can someone please send me some web sites regarding getting starting as a food vendor? I just want to do something part time and have always wanted to do this.

By susan [5]06/03/2006

When I was young, I worked at food stands at fairs for years. One BIG consideration is, are you set-up to make and keep foods hot/cold? If not, you are going to have a big expense up front or will be closed down by health inspectors. What will the weather be like? Most people don't want to eat hot food if it is 99 degrees outside or cold food if it is 58 degrees in the evening.

Good signs make all the difference in drawing the crowd to your booth. We helped many new vendors who hadn't sold anything make new temporary signs that people could see, and they made great money on their final day--be aware that you usually do not break even until the final day financially.

The best thing to sell is something that costs little to make, will not spoil easily, and people will want to pay for--something that fills a need. I remember working a lemon-shake booth at a fair where the weather never dipped below 95 degrees. Everyone was thirsty, the drinks were very refreshing, and we couldn't make them fast enough. Good-luck.

By Deb (Guest Post)03/10/2006

At our last "fall festival", bbq turkey legs were the smash hit. Most people had never seen them at a fair before.

By mOM (Guest Post)02/25/2006

CHILI

By Becki from Indiana (Guest Post)02/16/2006

My local theater group had a booth at a fair last summer. We served "fruit kabobs" -- chunks of tropical fruit on a wooden skewer -- for $1. They were VERY good sellers! Choose fruit that won't turn brown, like melon. We even carried the "tropical" theme over to our booth decor and dress code. It was very successful!

By Holly [350]02/15/2006

Sweet potatoes along with the regular potatoes idea. They have more fiber.

A huge sign that said "Low Carb" might attract more buyers. Serve lo cab fruit, veggies and animal origin products.

Bags of roasted peanuts.
THEN, contact the manager of the fair and let that person know you have low carb for diabetics in case there is a request from a visitor. Remind this person daily!

Black Eyed Pea Soup. Add a topping of chopped jalapenos, carrots and onions. Serve with 2 crackers. Always popular at the TX State Fair. I seem to recall the soup being $3.00 per plastic bowl and the fruit cup $2.00.

Also at the fair, a vendor with large clear plastic cups full of fresh fruit in fingerable slices (apple, pineapple, grapes, orange...).

I'd like to point out that my DH's idea of a trip to the fair is to eat his way across the grounds. I opt for a small bite of whatever he is having, and by the time it's lunch, my tummy feels weird and I am craving wholesome food. That's when we make a beeline for the BEP soup and the fresh fruit cups. Later on the the afternoon, we return to the BEP booth for another bowl of that yummy soup. It gives us the strength to keep enjoying the fair.

The first time I tried the soup, it was better. Succeeding times haven't been as tasty as the recipe has been changed. I asked the booth manager about the recipe and was told, "nothing but black eyed peas and water".
Did a little further research, tried making BEP soup at home. The closest I could come to it was fresh or frozen bep's in the crockpot for 12 hours.
BEP's take a loooong time to cook, so I would suggest you practice the recipes beforehand and have a general concensus tasting.

Of course, bep's and fruit are not necessarily low carb, but they are a welcome respite from the junk DH is ordering.

By TRFD (Guest Post)02/14/2006

Thanks to all for the GREAT ideas! I am anxious to share them with the other members of our auxiliary and I am sure we will use several of them at fair and other events we have.

By badwater [242]02/14/2006

Dirt Cups (Kids love them): in a disposable cup make a layer of chocolate pudding, then a layer of well crushed Oreo cookies, hang a couple of gummy worms out over the sides of the cup, add another layer of chocolate pudding, ending with another layer of well crushed Oreo cookies. Add a petite artificial flower on the top, or decorate the top as you see fit (could put a small plastic tractor, or a small green Army man (something to attract the kids, along with the gummy worms). Sell with a spoon. This are great, for parties as well. This is a fun way for kids to get their calcium (unbeknowing to them) & dessert, too! Best of Luck on your fundraiser!!

By Linda (Guest Post)02/14/2006

How about something healthy? Veggie plate with dip? Not everyone who goes to a fair can or wants to eat a whole day of junk food!

By srhp69 (Guest Post)02/14/2006

Bierox are a big hit around here. For those of you who don't know what theyare-they are a a mixture of hamburger, onions, cabbage and seasoning cooked up and spooned onto a piece of homemade bread dough. Then you fold the dough around the the meat mixture, let rise for a few minutes and bake. People pay big bucks around here for them. let me know if you would like a recipe.

By Sandra02/14/2006

Our local sports boosters have held down a large booth just booming w/business selling "Pizza Logs", pizza toppings on french bread.

However, I think the Walking Tacos wins my vote!

By Diana (Guest Post)02/14/2006

How about funnel cakes
or those cookies that are fried (like funnel cakes) but lighter, sprinkled with powdered sugar

home-made icecream
cobbler with store bought icecream
home made pies YUM

By Diane (Guest Post)02/14/2006

How about brownies? Who could turn down a decadent piece of chocolate dessert? And how about homemade fruit cocktail for the health conscious or sugarfree cookies or other sugarfree items for the diabetic and weight conscious?

By Michele (Guest Post)02/13/2006

Someone at our county fair for the last 2 years have had baked potatoes...they oven cooked them and lined huge coolers with foil and added them. They brought condiments to put onto them. They were a big hit and I think they charged like $2 each. They were pretty good sized potatoes.
Hope this helps.

By Nancy (Guest Post)02/13/2006

Our high school band boosters started a couple of years ago selling Dip N Dots. They are little balls of ice cream in all different flavors. At the hot fair, ice cream is a hit. We also have a Strawberry Festival in the city and we sell the Dip n Dots there also. A real big hit. We get about $3.50 a half-cup. Check it out perhaps on-line for a site near you. Good luck.

By Maryeileen [76]02/13/2006

How about something vegetarian? 2 things I can think of off the top of my head would be veggie burgers, or small pizzas with only cheese or veggie toppings.

By Mary Koehler [8]02/13/2006

Re WALKING TACO
Forgot to add chopped tomatoes to bag.after lettuce and before cheese. Also had jars of selsa or taco sauce costumers could add on their own

By Mary Koehler [8]02/13/2006

What about WALKING TACOS. Easy to make.
Crush the contents of a small individual bag of FRITOS, right in the bag. Cut bag open and add spoon of taco meat,
some shredded lettuce and shredded cheddar cheese. Stick a plastic fork in, and send people on their way to enjoy. Adults and kids enjoy these.
Our group browned the meat and purchased taco flavor in large jar at SAMS, so was quite economical.
.

By (Guest Post)02/13/2006

Ooooh Terri, that sounds wonderful. You could also use chocolate cake, whipped cream, chocolate fudge and nuts or cherry! Yummmm! I sure would look for that booth if I saw someone with one!

By Terri [7]02/13/2006

Our little town fair always had corn on the cob. They would leave a big stem on the corn, peel back the husk, clean the ears, replace the husks, cook, peel back the husk and dip in melted butter. The peeled back husk and stem were the way you held the corn so you didn't have to have a plate. I always thought fried green tomatoes would go over well but no one ever had them. My husband makes them with a batter and fried them. Anything in season would be better since it would be cheap and fresh. Good luck.

By Terri from Apex, NC (Guest Post)02/13/2006

I love Country Fairs!
I think the trick to get people to come to your booth is to provide something they can take away with them. They become walking advertisements for your product.
What about a strawberry shortcake booth? Take a waffle cone commonly used for ice cream and inside the cone layer in the following order: cake cubes, strawberry syrup, strawberries (sliced) whipped cream, more cake, syrup, strawberries and finish with a huge amount of whipped cream. Top with a ripe berry and serve with a long, plastic spoon. The shortcake can be eaten with the spoon and the cone will make a tasty treat too having absorbed the flavors inside the cone!
If strawberries are not in season brainstorm with your team - there are endless possibilities for the waffle cone.
If it's something savory you have in mind, there's nothing better (at least here in the south, anyway!) than a barbecue sandwich. Chopped pork; in a vinegar or tomato based sauce; on a hamburger bun and topped with slaw. Hushpuppies vs. fries on the side please!
Have fun

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