Updated: 08/24/2016 4:16 PM
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Good Company: Corn Roast Stand
The Corn Roast Stand at the Minnesota State Fair has been around since 1985. When it first started, it was Brad Ribar that believed it would be a big fit from the start despite some nay Sayers. Today, around two hundred thousand ears of corn are sold during the run of the fair.
The Corn Roast Stand started after Brad went to visit his uncle’s beer stand at a fair in Wisconsin. A local Lion’s Club was roasting corn. Brad had ever seen that before and he was instantly intrigued and loved the way it tasted. At the time, Brad was working at the Minnesota State Fair in the sanitation department. He went back to Minnesota and pitched the idea of having the Corn Roast stand. It took five years to make it happen.
The corn comes from a farm in Monticello. Every day the corn is checked, tested and then picked for perfection. It is then sent over that day to the fair. It’s somewhat of a guessing game deciding how much corn is needed, but thanks to years of records and a good idea of how weather changes eating habits, they have it down and have never run out. Although, there have been some tight years.
Brad’s entire family is involved in the fair. He met his wife there while she was working at her family’s booth, Peter’s Hot Dogs. Brad’s son started the Poutine booth at the fair and his daughter helps hire employees and run the stand.
Brad’s business does very well, but he also works about 30 other county fairs and festivals throughout the year. Minnesota State Fair is the only place where he sells roasted corn. The other fairs have cheese curds or fries.
The Corn Roast stand is across from the grandstand on the southeast corner of Dan Patch Avenue and Nelson Street. For more information, click here.