THIS BLOG IS DEDICATED TO MY TWIN BROTHER, BILL DYKES (1943-1995). WE WERE NOT ONLY BROTHERS BUT PARTNERS IN BUSINESS AND BEST FRIENDS! AND TO ALL THE "BUTCHERS" THAT HAVE PASSED ON TO THE BIG LOT IN THE SKY!

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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Hawking goods more than a 'fair' livelihood


Billy Newcomb has sold salsa and other products at county and state fairs since 1972. His family has been in the business for nearly 90 years.
by TIM GALLAGHER
from:  siouxcityjournal.com
July 31, 2012
SPENCER, Iowa | For more than 80 years, Billy Newcomb's family has hawked wares at the Clay County Fair in Spencer.
He returns this year, the 95th edition of "The World's Greatest County Fair." He would have it no other way.
"Right out of high school I jumped into the family business (Newcomb Enterprises)," says Newcomb, 57, of Minnetonka, Minn. "Before that, school permitting, my folks had me on the fairgrounds delivering stock to the booth. I've been around fairs my entire life."
The family works mainly state fairs in the Midwest, going from North Dakota to Oklahoma and all points in between. Clay County is one of the select county fairs that sees the family set up shop.
Why? It makes business sense with a county fair whose turnout exceeds all other county fairs.
"For 81 years people have come to the Clay County Fair and have seen what we have," Newcomb says. "Three years ago I got some shell shock when a gal and her daughter who have watched our demos and sampled our foods came back to purchase our salsa maker."
It wasn't the gal and her daughter.
It was the daughter. And, by now, she had a daughter herself. Now approaching his fourth decade, Newcomb is seeing yet another generation of customers.
 
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This year, fairgoers will see the salsa maker and one of Newcomb's 35 to 40 demonstrations, each of which lasts 20 minutes. The key involves having the 9 p.m. demonstration just as fresh as the 9 a.m. showing.
He and his staff stay atop their game by staying in motels (they don't tent during a fair) and by eating and drinking the right way. That's difficult when you're surrounded by fried fair food half each calendar year.
"In my early years I ate deep fried pork fritter sandwiches," he says. "As I wised up, I went to drinking lots of water and eating fruits and vegetables. For most fairgoers, they go to a fair once or twice per year and they can gorge themselves. It's a junk food junkie's heaven."
What might be the hot ticket item this year?
The questions sends Newcomb into his enthusiastic pitch, saying the "Boom Box" is "hotter than a pistol right now."
read more:
http://siouxcityjournal.com/special-section/hawking-goods-more-than-a-fair-livelihood/article_e0301d63-eb4f-5124-af10-946e7ea04ae1.html

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