MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — With nearly 250 vendors selling food at the State Fair, and a massive waiting list for people who want to get in, you know there are dreams of making big money during the fair’s 12 days.
But which vendors make the most money?
Below are listed the top food vendors based on total revenue in 2011. All these numbers are before expenses, but the fair says food vendors usually profit about 25 percent their total revenue.
Let’s start at the bottom with number five: Giggles’ Campfire Grill.
And Giggles’ shot onto this list with an impressive 2011 showing. They grossed $675,037 last year when they came out with salad-on-a-stick.
At the Corn Roast, Brad Ribar sells just shy of 200,000 ears of corn during the State Fair. That’s a lot of corn. Good enough for fourth place of all the vendors that don’t sell beer. The Corn Roast grossed $675,931 last year.
Midwest Dairy Association is in third place with the all-you-can-drink milk booth. For a buck a glass, it’s all you can drink. And that adds up, along with the Dairy Goodness Bar, which offers milk shakes and ice cream cones. The association managed to milk $843,861 out of fair-goers.
“We serve well over 9,000 malts a day on average,” said the association’s Sherry Newell.
Number two on the list is Mouth Trap, the cheese curds booth in the food building. Dave Cavallaro’s booth has 100 employees and goes through 4,000 pounds of Ellsworth Curds a day. Last year he grossed $862,262.
When Sweet Martha (Rossini Olson) started baking cookies at the fair in 1979. She was in her 20s, and had no idea what her little stand would become. She is again number one on our list of fair moneymakers.
The total made by all her stands in 2011 was $2.5 million.
A Note On Beer: As much as Minnesotans love food, they love their beer, too.
Cafe Caribe is the beer garden by the DNR building. It made more than the corn guy, nearly $780,000.
So did Shanghaied Henri’s, the beer vendor at the International Bazaar. It made $716,000.