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Minnesota State Fair: Steichen’s Market and Deli

MINNESOTA STATE FAIR: STEICHEN’S MARKET AND DELI. Last week, the Minnesota State Fair Foundation hosted its supporters for a special event to learn about one of the Fair’s vendors. The Foundation highlights vendors, attractions, education, or history several times a year. This event focused on Steichen’s Market and Deli. But before I delve into tidbits about Steichen’s, I just have to clear something up.

For years there has been a discussion as to which State Fair is the largest State Fair. Minnesotans claimed that right, but Texans boasted they owned the title. It wasn’t a fair comparison! The Texas Fair runs twice as long as Minnesota’s, and the Cotton Bowl is on the site of the Texas Fair. But now “long-time state fair baking/cooking contest managers, the Blue Ribbon Group is excited to share, for the first time publicly, their 2023 ‘Top 30 State Fairs’ (”.  Notice who is number one:

Let is also be known that the Texas State Fair covers 277 acres while Minnesota’s Fair covers 322!

Hidden away on this vast acreage of the Minnesota State Fair, in a commissary building to the left of the huge green pepper, is Steichen’s. It was started in 1926 by Jimmy Steichen’s grandfather (Jimmy was our presenter) as a wholesale business selling meat and vegetables to Fair vendors. Because it didn’t start out as a retail business, it didn’t front any of the streets. Hence, the obscure location. But it is worth your while to search it out especially if you are looking for vegetables and fruit, infant/baby items, boxed lunches, candy, cleaning supplies, ice, beverages, snacks, health and beauty aids, batteries, sunscreen, first aid products, or anything from their deli counter (breakfast, sandwiches, salads). If you need it, Steichen’s probably has it.

Jimmy told us stories of working there as a kid, of sandwich eating contests, and of unusual items people came to buy. When you are at the Great Minnesota Get-Together, stop by the store and meet him. He’s a fun guy. Here’s a map to help you find Steichen’s:








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