FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn. (WCCO) — Most of the 300 different food vendors at the Minnesota State Fair offer at least two different menu items, but there is surprisingly little competition between the stands.
However, two vendors in particular like to push each other to do better each day. It’s a friendly competition that’s based on a long-standing history together.
After 16 years at the State Fair, Joe Cranston knows how to bring in a crowd at his Scotch Eggs stand.
“We do really well,” he said. “Every year we go 10 percent to 15 percent increase.”
He’s found success in a hard boiled egg wrapped in sausage rolled in breadcrumbs and deep fried. Joe’s signature food allows him to stand out in a fair full of competition, yet one food booth in particular gets his attention — his brother’s.
“I come up to see how he’s doing, and he comes down to hang out,” Joe said.
The oldest Cranston, Matt, followed his younger brother into the fair food scene. Over the last eight years, Matt has built a customer base with the “flowering onions” — a whole battered and deep fried onion.
The two brothers have managed to create an annual tradition out of a friendly competition — brothers have a way of pushing each other around as no one else can.
“Every night, we see who does the best. It’s usually me,” Matt said.
“No it’s not!” his brother chimed in.
The sibling rivalry is based on daily sales and customer lines.
“We’re way more efficient in the Scotch Egg trailer than he is,” Joe said.
“No, I’m thinking it’s because we have more customers,” his brother added.
Yet the Cranstons can quickly put competition aside when the situation calls for it.
“Today, he needed something and I went out and got it,” Matt said. “He’s my best buddy, and vice versa. It’s just fun to be a part of this together.”