MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Great Minnesota Get Together kicks off in less than two weeks.
For most vendors, the rush to be ready for the fair happens in the days right before it begins.
However, for one vendor, the weeks leading up to the fair are considered crunch time.
Sara Hayden is the owner of Sara’s Tipsy Pies. She is in her commercial kitchen preparing for an upcoming order nearly every day.
She prepares a couple hundred baked pies during an average week.
“We have farmers’ markets and we have weddings, and we also have a wholesale business,” Hayden said.
At the end of summer, that demand grows into the thousands to serve the 1.9 million potential customers who visit the Minnesota State Fair.
“We are preparing for about 12,000 pies,” Hayden said. “It’s all done by hand. We fork every pie, we make all the fillings, we make all the topping for the sugar.”
Pie preparation of that scale is impossible in her small food booth at the State Fair, so Hayden must have her product fully prepared and frozen.
She has to arrive to the fairgrounds ready to bake and serve.
“You never want to run out, you don’t never want to run out,” she said.
Preparing product for the fair’s volume is stressful in itself, but Hayden added another layer this year.
She has three new items on her menu: a chocolate satin stout pie, a golden ale and onion-Gouda pie, plus a vegan pie option.
Hayden can only make a guess on their success amongst customers, and they are preparing 2,000 new pies.
“We just know this week we made 919 onion and Gouda pies,” Hayden said.
The preparation may be labor intensive, but the potential reward goes well beyond the 12 days of the Minnesota State Fair.
“Getting into the fair opens up a whole realm of business for me,” Hayden said.
Sara’s Tipsy Pies is located in the Food Booth. The Minnesota State Fair kicks off Aug. 25.