Thursday, September 29, 2016

Roger the Peanut Pitcher Part 3

Dixie runner peanuts, Courtesy of Florida State Archive, Florida Memory Project
We been talking about the marketing and sales skills of vendor Roger Owens who hawked peanuts at baseball and football games in the LA Coliseum in the 1970s. Here's another lesson from Owens: he sold the product that complemented his talent (see the earlier stories on him in this series) choosing to sell peanuts because they are lightweight and easier to pass to customers than other products sold in stadiums. Similarly, he understood that in a warm weather park like the LA Coliseum it was more conducive to selling peanuts. Historically vendors sell lots of light and easy to carry bags of peanuts when the weather is hot. When it's cold vendors sell lots of hot dogs, pretzels and hot beverages. Are you selling the right product, at the right time of the year, in the right space? Perhaps it's time to reconsider your product line and timing instead of your sales pitch?

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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Roger the Peanut Pitcher Part 2

Dodger Stadium, Courtesy of the Library of Congress
More on what we learn about sales and marketing from LA Coliseum peanut vendor Roger Owens for our series fanfare. In the 1970s, fans in the LA Coliseum bought peanuts from him to see his passing skills; Owens became the Pistol Pete and Magic Johnson of the stadium and fan seemed as equally interested in him as the game on the field. Owens had skills with pizzazz, star power, which generated sales for him.  Owens admitted, “I'm a born ham.” In what way can you do your work with pizzazz and increase your income?

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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Roger the Peanut Pitcher Part 1

Home of the Dodger Stadium, Courtesy of the Library of Congress 
Here is another installment in our series fanfare which looks at the history of the stadium food experience. We will be looking a top selling vendors and lessons we can learn from them over the next several days. In the 1970s Roger Owens sold peanuts as a vendor in the Los Angeles Coliseum, home of the Dodgers and Rams. One average he earned $45 per hour! His career serves as a case study in sales and marketer. So what do we learn from Roger about sales and marketing? First have a differential that sets you apart from your competition.  Pitching bags of peanuts to customers with pinpoint accuracy overhand, underhand, and around his back served as Roger's secret sauce that other vendors could not replicate.

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Monday, September 26, 2016

Food, Weather, and Work

Detroit v Chicago,  World Series, Bennett Park, Oct. 9, 1907, 
Courtesy of the Library of Congress
Fall and spring are my favorite times of the year. What about for food vendors in stadiums? Historically vendors sell lots of light and easy to carry bags of peanuts when the weather is hot. As the weather transitions from summer to fall fans consume more hotdogs sold in heavy warmers and cold drinks carried in racks that are heavy and can be messy when the tops come off them. As the weather grows colder fans transition to potentially scolding coffee, hot chocolate, and soup. How does the weather affect your food habits and work?

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Friday, September 23, 2016

Fish Friday

Ceebu Jën (rice and smoked fish), recipe below 
The British explorer Harry Hamilton Johnston visited the Congo River region just after the Berlin Conference of 1884; European empires in Berlin discussed how to colonize Africa without fighting each other. Johnston writes, “it is a most common sight to see [the] Ba-yansi people . . . on a great sandbank in the middle of the river, smoking . . . newly-caught fish over immense wood fires.” Johnston goes on to say, “I have often bought and eaten these smoked fish [and] they are delicious—yes, emphatically delicious.” Below is smoked fish and vegetable recipe from the same region.

Ceebu Jën (rice and smoked fish) recipe

Ingredients
Stuffing mixture (roof or roff):
2 chopped green, yellow, or red sweet peppers
1 chopped scallion or onion
1 minced garlic
1/3 cup of fresh parsley, bay leaf, or cilantro
Salt to taste
Hot chili peppers to taste

Sauce and vegetables
1 cup red palm oil (substitute a vegetable oil)
2 chopped onions
Medium sized piece of dried smoked fish, such as cod or herring
3 pounds of whole cleaned sea bass, haddock, or halibut fish steak
1 can of tomato paste
4 whole tomatoes
1 or more chopped carrots, cassava, potatoes, or yams
1 hot chili pepper
Add a bit of fruit vegetables such as chopped squash, eggplant, zucchini, and okra with the ends removed
2 cups or more of brown rice

Method
Prepare the roof (or roff) by combining the stuffing mixture ingredients and grinding them into a paste, adding a little oil or water if needed. Many cooks include what seems to be an essential in Africa: a Maggi cube. Cut deep slits into the fish (but not all the way through) and stuff them with the roof mixture. Heat the oil in a large pot. Fry the onions and smoked fish for a few minutes and then remove the fish and set aside. Stir the tomato paste and a cup of water into the oil in the pot. Add the root vegetables and tubers and the hot chile pepper. Add water to partially cover them. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes or more. Add the leaf and fruit vegetables, place the fried fish on top of them, and continue to simmer for an additional twenty minutes or until the vegetables are tender. The fish and all the vegetables and set them aside, keeping them warm. Remove a cup or two of the vegetable broth and set it aside. Add the rice to the vegetable broth. Add water or remove liquid as necessary to obtain two parts liquid to one part rice. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer on very low heat until the rice is cooked about twenty minutes. It should stick a little to the bottom of the pot. Find the hot chili among the vegetables. Combine it to the reserved vegetable broth in a small saucepan and bring to a slow boil. Remove and discard the pepper and put the sauce into a dish or gravy boat. When the rice is done turn the pot over onto a large serving platter. Scrape the crust from the bottom of the pot over the rice. Arrange the fish and vegetables over and around the rice. Garnish as desired. Serves 4 to 6 people.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Documentary, Dr. Alvenia Moody Fulton, Queen Of Nutrition

 
Dr. Alvenia Moody Fulton's Store, a combination health food store, restaurant, and herbal pharmacy at 65th and Eberhardt in Chicago
Dr. Alvenia Moody Fulton the herbalist who soothed the ills of the residents of the South Side of Chicago and people called queen of Nutrition and dietitian to the stars. A documentary history. [Listen Now 39min 7sec]: https://soundcloud.com/thedinnertablewithfredopie/dr-alvenia-moody-fulton-queen-of-nutrition

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Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Baseball Stadiums and Fanfare in 1935

Cleveland Indians Baseball, Municipal Stadium, 1931, Courtesy of the Cleveland Public Library 
In 1935 US baseball stadiums had limited food menus which resulted in everyone having access to the same kinds of food. Beverage options had been limited to pink lemonade and beer. And solid foods consisted of hot dogs, popcorn, peanuts, pies, and a type of cake I've never seen before in any source, “dampish bolivars.”  Are you familiar with the cake and or can share an image of it on our Facebook page or via Twitter?

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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

North American Traditions in Panama

Baseball played in 1913, Courtesy of the Library of Congress
At the turn-of-the-century thousands of North Americans went to Panama seeking jobs in the Canal zone. With them came North American traditions such as baseball and its related fanfare. On their Sunday day off from work, laborers played in baseball leagues which attracted large numbers of fans and vendors selling peanuts and pink lemonade. 

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Monday, September 19, 2016

Beer and Fans in the 1960s

1963 Orange Bowl, Florida State Archives, Florida Memory Project
As part of our series Fanfare we turn to the 1960s and the topic of beer consumption. In 1961 a veteran of stadium concessions had this to say about the consumption of beer and fans. College crowds are big consumers of beer. And during intense close games they consume even more of it. As the tension peaks the fans start eating and drinking and they forget that they have eaten and drunk and start doing it all again. Boxing crowds drank a lot of beer and little in terms of food. As for the hockey fan, they concentrate so hard that a vendor could walk a row offering to give away a beer and nobody would look up. They drank a lot of beer but between the first and second periods when there's a break in the action to clean the ice.

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Friday, September 16, 2016

A Hot Weather business

A fan enjoying refreshments at Fenway Park in 1954, courtesy of the Boston Public Library 
We continue our series on fanfare which looks at the history of stadium food and beverages. Today we look at the history from the vantage point those hawking beer in the stands.  Ball park vending is a hot weather business in which venders sell large quantities of beer to quench the thirst of fans.  In 1950, on a hot day beer sales can make a vendor as much as $45 or $50 dollars a day. Three favorite customers with vendors at one ball park who attended week-end games during the season drank “an average of two cases of beer per game. That’s 48 bottles” according to article in the Chicago Daily Tribune.

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