Deep-Fried on a stick : There’s no food like that fair food
Amanda Jost of Wahpeton sells cheese curds to some customers as fairgoers wait in line for the cheesy treats
Every self-respecting fairgoer has experienced the food on some level – whether it is something as radical as deep-fried pickles, or just a modest pile of cheese curds. By: NATHAN KITZMANN, DL-Online
The pickles, by the way, made their Becker County Fair debut this year.
Jill Winkels — the Manager for Hansen’s Amusement Foods out of Fergus Falls, which hosts all of the for-profit vending in the fair food court — says the dish has been an unexpected success.
“They’re going over very well,” she said. “It’s a very good product.”
Such is the nature of the fair-food vending business: show up, sell products that seem appealing and hope they catch on.
There is no safety net to protect the vendors from ruin, nor is there a large, bureaucratic company to take most of the workers’ profits.
In a rare departure from convention, the food vendors — Midway-associated and independent alike — operate very democratically.
Personal earnings are directly contingent on sales, so everyone works together to make every precious stop as successful as possible.
Co-workers must operate almost as a family to be profitable, and loyalty to the company is a must.
“This isn’t a business you can let someone run for you,” Woodward said. “You have to travel with it.”
Fair food vending is capitalism in its purest form, a cutthroat game of Sink or Swim.