A Food Concessionaire Remembers Her First Event

July 2013

Do you remember your first event? Read below as Barb Fitzgerald reflects on hers.

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A Food Concessionaire Remembers Her First Event
by Barb Fitzgerald of foodbooth.net

I think every food concessionaire remembers his or her first event. Mine was with a stick joint made of scrap barn boards, screwed together on sight by my dad and me. It took all day and lots of hand tools to have it standing straight enough to throw a tarp over it and call it a food booth. Inside I had a folding table, folding chair, stack of napkins, cash box, and, a tall stack of coolers full of my one and only menu item: sliced loaves of banana bread. I knew it wasn't the perfect menu for a five-day Fourth of July event, but, since I was already baking loaves to sell to restaurants, it was easy to bake extra. Besides, what's not to like about banana bread?

In anticipation of sales, for a week prior to the event, I stayed up late each night baking bread in my home kitchen. By fair time I was ready with two freezers full of bread. I mistakenly believed I would sell every one of them. It's amazing now to recall how, back then, the health department was much more lenient in their food service licensing than it is today. By just answering a few questions, such as: "Is your dog an indoor or outdoor dog?" I was able to get a license to cook commercially at home.

I wanted a classy looking booth so an artist friend hand lettered wooden signs for me. On the front counter I plunked down a nice bouquet of flowers. I was set to make my mark in the concession business.

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