How the Minnesota State Fair Makes the Tough Food Decisions


This may be the final Minnesota State Fair for “the food guy,” Dennis Larson. After 2018 truthful, Larson will retire from August 23 through September 3. For twelve days, the Minnesota State Fair offers traffic “permission to misbehave,” said Larson, the license management supervisor, whose task is to choose which meal vendors get a coveted spot inside the honesty. In the last 12 months, almost 2 million humans ditched their diets to the song of nearly $ 40 million in food sales.

He stocks how the honest comes to a decision wherein the meals are going, what they do while a stand is a runaway success, and how the procedures remain genuine after more than two years as “the meals guy.”

How the Minnesota State Fair Makes the Tough Food Decisions 1

A large puzzle

Larson views honesty as a giant menu. “Imagine your own family walking right into a restaurant. They don’t need to see appetizers handiest and need to move someplace else to get dessert,” he stated. Placing meal providers most of the complicated net of streets and points of interest is a balance of recreation. Larson makes sure there’s something for each person on each block.

In 2017, forty-four % of overall meal sales came from the top 10 meal sellers. With nearly 500 objects to pick from, the pinnacle ten icons dominate year after year, and that elements into Larson’s decisions regarding expansions and new food offerings.

The truthful should balance the want for something new with what he calls “feeding the beast.” Suppose there are 15-minute strains at Sweet Martha’s, including a third place to ease the burden.

One new seller, The Hanger, could be positioned inside the former domestic Pet Center (the domestic dogs get a brand new Pet Pavilion nearby) on the northeast corner of Murphy Avenue and Underwood Street. The massive eating place at the north quiet of the fairgrounds has aircraft-themed décor related to the construction’s history as domestic to the aircraft shown in the early 1900s. Along with one of the new meals, the menu will include a variety of nearby beers selected through Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild participants.


Sweet Martha’s Cookie Jar is getting their 0.33 permanent vicinity, just multiple doorways from their successful “tent” on The Hill. Sweet Martha’s been eyeing a third spot for some years. The new building is vast, vibrant yellow, with a cookie bite cut out to peek into the movement—the West side of Underwood Street between Murphy and Lee avenues.

Pronto Pup is getting a new construction with a peek-a-boo window into all the motion. Most Pronto Pup stands are franchised, and the components needed to create those golden beauties on a stick have come from a warehouse building hidden out of sight in the heart of honesty until now. In 2018, the brand new facility will not be the most helpful feature because of the franchised stands’ wholesale space; however, as a massive Pronto Pups seller. Look for it across the Ball Park at Underwood Street across Dan Patch and Carnes avenues.

Farmer’s Union’s strains have grown increasingly insupportable because of the advent of nitro coffee beverages. To ease the wait time, a renovation will make more intelligent use of the general area. Farmers Union is positioned much less than a block from the main entrance on Dan Patch between Cooper and Cosgrove.