When you wander around the food vendor area at the SEMO District Fair, led by your nose like an old cartoon, have you ever stopped to think about all the work and dedication it takes to run and maintain a food station during the fair?
Most of us probably don’t, and that’s not your fault. The smells and views of all that tasty variety often overwhelms our senses and it’s the most we can do to focus long enough to order. For some, however, creating food to sell from trailers and trucks at fairs is a way of life.
The SEMO District Fair offers a wide variety of foods during Fair Week, and Paulette’s Food Service has been parking a couple of food trailers on Calorie Lane at Arena Park for over 20 years.
Based in Illinois, owners Norm and Paulette Keene have made the work behind creating quick and unique fair food their life for a long time. Their children and grandchildren have stepped up to help out in the family business as well, and this year will see the 5th generation of the family to serve in the fair industry.
“We have eight food trailers,” said Paulette. “We travel, serving many fairgoers across the United States. It’s a lot of work, but our favorite part of our business is presenting someone with their favorite fair food and receiving the smile and gratification on their face.”
Paulette’s crew brings many traditional favorites – corn dogs, funnel cakes, lemonade – but also works hard to stay innovative with what they bring to the fair table. With the two trailers they bring to the SEMO District Fair, we’ll see their funnel cake trailer and the corn dog & sausage trailer.
“We will have the original powdered sugar funnel cake and also the new flavors our consumers like and request; also our new strawberry shortcake funnel cake.” Okay, who’s already lining up for that one?
The second trailer received a new marquee on top this year, and will be serving Paulette’s famous hand-dipped jumbo and regular-sized corn dogs.
“We’ll have our special Polish or Italian sausages with fresh-grilled onions and peppers,” Paulette said, also touching on a unique but quickly adopted favorite. “Of course, there’s the deep-fried Snickers bar for the teenagers and the young at heart.”
Paulette and Norm consider it an honor to serve the patrons at the SEMO District Fair and those fairgoers around the country.
“It’s a privilege to continue to be involved in your community and to keep agriculture awareness and family fun time a part of our heritage. Thanks for letting us be a part of your fair family!”