OHIO - 8 year old Paul Netterfield decided to visit the rail yard after school one day. He was intrigued by the trains and decided to attempt to climb on one of the train cars. As he started to climb, the train car bolted forward. He fell and in a tragic turn of events, the train car cut his foot off at the ankle. Unfortunately, by the time he reached the hospital, gang green had set in, and it was necessary for his leg to be removed from the hip. Paul Netterfield had a fighting spirit. He made it evident that he could find a way to do the everyday things that others did with the use of a single crutch. Fast forward to 1926. In those days, no one wanted to hire someone with one leg. So, what would Mr. Netterfield do? His family had the opportunity to buy a Roaster. The cost was $5. Unfortunately, that was $5 they didn't have. So they paid $3 with the promise to pay off the other $2 at a later date as they earned money from the Roaster. Paul would set the Roaster on a trunk in downtown Toledo Ohio and sold Peanuts for $.05 per bag. He would do this for the next 3 years.
One day a Fair came to town. He was asked to bring his Peanut Stand to The Fair. He wasn't sure how to transport his Roaster, but as was his custom, he found a way. He loaded the Roaster on a Sled and some horses dragged it to the Fairgound. After 4 days, the Fair ended, and he had sold more peanuts in 4 days than in the last 2 months. From that point on, Paul Netterfield would get into the Fair Business and pass it on for the next 2 generations. His determined spirit is one that demands respect and instills in others a deep sense of inspiration.
The Netterfields would continue to specialize in Fresh Peanuts until 1950 when the family would begin to expand to include Popcorn & Caramel Corn. Caramel Corn would prove to be a Game Changer. They found a recipe, added Carmel Corn to their line of offerings, and sales began to take off. One thing led to another, and in 1973 Lemonade was added and in 1989 even more items such as Candy Apples, Cotton Candy, Corn Dogs and more were added.
Today The Netterfields carry on that tradition traveling from fairground to fairground. Paul's son Butch would carry on the family and business and now his son Ronnie continues to carry on the Netterfield banner. They travel as far north as Escanaba, Mi as far west as Oklahoma City, OK as far east as New York City, NY and as far South as Miami, FL. Now based in Tampa, Fl , Netterfields conessions consists of Approximately 25-30 people working 11 Food Carts. The line of foods has continually increased to include Italian Sausage, Pizza, Fried Bologna Sandwiches, French Fries, Fried Chesse & more...
In addition to the Fantastic Fair foods, The Netterfields also have a First Class food court. On your trip to the Fair this year, be sure to stop by a Netterfields Concession and rest a while at their one of a kind Food Court.
One of, if not the most, popular food item started in Oklahoma City. It is a Chicken Tender on a stick, dipped in batter, then dipped in Frosted Flakes. This Salty & Sweet Treat is a Can't Miss!
The ever popular Caramel Corn is still a Best Seller as well as the Fresh Peanuts - Exclusive to Our Fair!!!
Why are the Peanuts a Charleston Exclusive?
Paul Netterfield's favorite Fair was always Charleston, SC. Coincidently it is also the favorite of his son Butch. Charleston has always held a special place in the hearts of The Netterfields. That being the case, this is the only location on their tour that they set up the original Roaster from 1926 and Their Vintage peanut stand from the early sixties.
Be sure to look for the Orange, White & Blue topped tents to know you're at a Netterfield Concession Stand. Stop by and check out there Fabuolous Fair Food! Stop by the Peanut Stand (usually run by Butch Netterfield) and say Hello!
-And Be sure to tell them you read their story here in The Metro Shopper!