State fairs are known for many food-related things: deep fried Twinkies, corn-on-the-cob slathered in butter, turkey drumsticks as big as a human head—and so on. Vegan-friendly edibles aren’t usually at the top of that list.
The New York State Fair, however, is looking to diversify. The organization issued a press release today announcing its search for a “Vegan/Vegetarian Food Vendor ” for a permanent on-site restaurant.
“We are constantly working to satisfy more of the diverse wants and needs of our fairgoers, and adding vegetarian and vegan food has been at the top of our list,” said Acting State Fair Director Troy Waffner in the press release. “We don’t get many openings in our food vendor ranks, so when this space became available, we saw this as a real opportunity to provide vegetarian and vegan food.”
The restaurant space is listed as “one of the Fair’s prime destinations for food”, in the southeast corner of the International Building, and they want someone ASAP. Applications are open through May 1st. The fair runs from August 27 – September 7, 2015.
“The Fair annually receives requests for vegetarian and vegan food options but just as importantly as the Fair seeks to reach out to new audiences, it is immensely important all food options are available,” Joe Morrissey, Public Information Officer for the New York Department of Agriculture told Latest Vegan News. “The Fair is often known for what is being deep fried, but more and more people are seeking a healthier menu.
So what are they looking for in a new vendor?
“The criteria are laid out in the bid, but it is really about experience in preparing vegan/vegetarian food, the menu options and diversity of the foods being offered and the use of NY grown and produced goods,” Morrissey explains.
Any bidders must be currently in the food service business (and have been for the past three years), and demonstrate a knowledge of preparing veg-friendly food. The winning vendor will have to supply his or her own equipment and pay an annual rent of $7,160 for 2015—the fair supplies water and sewer services, electricity, and trash removal.
At the 2014 fair, approximately 600 vendors served a whopping 960,000 customers. That’s a big audience for one vegan vendor to get in front of. So who will it be?