FIFTY-FIVE YEARS AND STILL GOING STRONG! LITTLE RICHARD: THE FRIED PIED PIPER OF ZERNS!
Some customers might wait all year for a fried candy bar. Or a corn dog made from scratch. Or the famous colossal onion from Texas, weighing at least a pound, and makes a circle of home-fried essence at a reasonable $6.
Even new fans of Dutch Treat food stand will simply ‘follow their noses’ to one of Little Richard’s stands, mouths watering with the fragrance of a sausage sandwich, replete with sautéed onions and peppers. Little Richard draws food fans like the Pied Piper.
Maybe at 80 years, it is a good title for “Little” Richard Thomas. There was a modest beginning: Richard’s career started with peeling potatoes at Q Mart at age 15. Before long, those entrepreneurial genes set in – – he moved over to start his own stand at Zerns Farmers Market, expanding from soft ice cream to a steak shoppe. Richard’s wife Dolly spent years making costumes for Bavarian Festivals for hundreds of employees, she still makes the aprons. Dolly and Richard met when she was a seamstress in a sewing factory. Between the cousins and the children, five family members met their spouses working at Zerns!
In addition to the popular food stands at Zerns, Little Richard works all the State fairs. His daughter and son trail along when they can, and never know what new menu treat their brainstorming will create. Daughter Sandy told me, “We always bring something new to the fair, starting with a ‘premiere’ in West Palm Beach. Florida. Customers always ask – – what’s new this year?” laughs Sandy. “We try to invent something, or have a jam session where we play with food, until we can put our own spin on it.”
In 2010, the family created a donut-burger-sizzled on the grill with a homemade hamburger in the middle of it! No one raised an eyebrow paying $8, for a bacon and cheese quarter pound burger served on a donut. Little Richard’s Sweet Treats include funnel cake, a deep-fried powdered pastry. The Amazing Onion has been a favorite with Zernies for at least a decade, the recipe starts with a colossal onion from Texas, weighs at least a pound and the decorative “blossom covers the plate with 14 to 16 inches of calories for $6. Or try the fried Oreos, with homemade chocolate frosting – six Oreos for $5. Special orders: Phone Sandy at 610 367 7810. Visit Stands 101and 103.