The Register's Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa

Concessions at campsite in Newton this year

Hey everyone! My 10u traveling softball team will have a concession stand at the softball field campsite in Newton this year. I am wanting to get an idea as to what everyone will want us to serve. I look at it this way. If I can get an idea what the people riding/driving want it will make a better experience for everyone. Please reply to this with anything and everything that you want at the concession stand and we will do our best to accommodate and make this the best camp area on the trip!

25 Replies

Sunflower, April 25, 2018 at 2:14 pm

I can tell you some things to avoid, most importantly;

1) Do not precook burgers, brats, dogs, etc.then wrap them and stack them in a hot box to serve. You cannot believe how many people think this is a solution. If you can’t cook and serve it fresh, don’t bother because there are plenty of vendors doing that. A lot of the food trucks that follow RAGBRAI have some fairly serious owners when it comes to food quality and you’re competing with that.

2) Most RAGBRAI food has a bit of the “county fair” sameness after a few days. Fresh Iowa produce is a great alternative. I’m a fan of greasy, but a person can only eat so much of that. A simple garden salad in a pita bread pocket with some choices of dressing on a card table would sell well, I believe, especially with a little effort to add some flavor- feta cheese/olives/etc. If the sweet corn is in, that’s a no-brainer.

3) Pie. Most vendors will sell all the pie they can make. Don’t forget the vanilla ice cream.

It really boils down to quality. If your mom makes the best lasagna anyone has ever eaten, do that. Don’t be afraid to upcharge for some extra effort; a good-looking bowl of homemade chicken tortilla soup with a tomato/cucumber salad would probably sell easily at $10 and be very simple to serve.

If riders are walking away from your stand with colorful food that looks fresh you will be a magnet.

#1284962

T. Gap Woo, April 25, 2018 at 4:10 pm

During Ragbrai 41 in 2013, Mrs Woo (my support driver) was sightseeing well off the route and found herself in Newton. She spent quite a few bucks at the Maytag Dairy Farm, after sampling their wide selection of cheeses. They paired very well with the wines we bought along the way.

May I suggest that you offer a meat-and-cheese platter featuring an assortment of Maytag cheeses, crackers and Iowa trail bologna. I’ve never seen a vendor offer this before.

Try to set up near a wine/beer vendor, since you may not be able to get a “liquor” license.

Good luck to your group. I’ll see you along the I-O-Way in July.

#1285012

Sunflower, April 25, 2018 at 4:27 pm

Awesome idea.

#1285032

jelly0317, April 25, 2018 at 6:54 pm

BLTs w/homegrown lettuce and tomatoes, locally-sourced bacon and bread

This reply was modified 3 weeks, 5 days ago by  jelly0317.

#1285048

Mike Cordes, April 26, 2018 at 7:53 am

I like chocolate milk just after I finish my ride for the day.

I’d also recommend fresh corn on the cob if you can manage it. They usually offer this in town and along the road, but I’ve never seen it by a campsite. I’d wander over several times for an ear or two as I was setting up, cleaning up, and relaxing after the ride.

#1285062

Kraig Pyer, April 26, 2018 at 8:35 am

Just the opinion of one here but I would like to see more fruit. Plenty along the way but not much in the campsite, watermelon, oranges, apples, grapes, bananas, whatever just good chilled fruits. It is easy to store, serve, etc and dont forget the go to liquids, gator/powerade, chocolate milk, water. Lastly, charge nice round numbers…..$1, $2 $5, $10 etc….good luck, see you in July!

#1285063

hnschipper, April 26, 2018 at 10:06 am

Pop. I get really tired if water and Gatorade all day long. Sometimes it’s hard finding any vendors selling pop, and that is who will get my business every single time.

#1285066

Larry Klaaren, April 26, 2018 at 12:14 pm

I am pretty sure the reason you don’t see food and fruit on the overnight sites is because you don’t want to be stick with perishable products if you don’t sell it all. It is a one night deal for you guys. That being said, think about some local products, maybe some Dutch pastries from Pella, or some food from the Amanas. Just a thought. Cheese, cheese and more cheese is always good for me. And fresh popcorn.

#1285102

Sunflower, April 26, 2018 at 2:21 pm

Another great idea. I bet there is a meat locker in Newton with bacon to die for.

Jeff, the thing you need to remember is that a BLT on wonder bread with soggy lettuce isn’t something people are going to walk to buy.

One of the things every RAGBRAI rider learns the hard way is that most church spaghetti and salad dinners are tomato paste over soggy noodles with watery lettuce and garlic bread without enough garlic. Iowans, generally, aren’t from Italy. Find something to serve that you can get excited about eating yourself.

#1285112

ncrosgrove, May 1, 2018 at 7:43 am

frozen candybars – snickers and milkeyways are my favorite!

#1285297

swiifg, May 1, 2018 at 12:11 pm

In 2014 there was a school group, I believe, in Emmetsburg serving Maid Rites. Those really hit the spot for a native Iowan no longer able to get those in my local area. Fresh salad is a nice treat also but I can understand the limitations there also.

#1285328

Bob Kidd, May 1, 2018 at 4:02 pm

Cook something that you can smell from a ways away. Something on a grill if you can. That will catch the attention of the people around you.

#1285357

Charles Dana, May 1, 2018 at 6:01 pm

Frozen

#1285365

GP_in_SD , May 1, 2018 at 8:20 pm

I agree, Maid Rites and frozen candy bars. Milky Way for meeeeeee!

#1285380

jeffreydennis, May 1, 2018 at 8:28 pm

BLT’s sound fantastic. Dill pickles. Pickles are good.

#1285381

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