Recently, our very own Paula Klimek interviewed Martha Olson, our client and owner of Sweet Martha’s Cookies. Learn more about their brand, and our recent project with them – as well as where you can check out their newest location at the State Fair.
1. HOW MANY YEARS HAVE YOU BEEN SELLING COOKIES AT THE STATE FAIR?
We started in 1978, so this will be our 40th year anniversary at the Great Minnesota Get-Together!
2. IS THERE A YEAR THAT STANDS OUT FROM THE OTHERS THAT IS ESPECIALLY MEMORABLE AND IF SO, WHY?
“It would definitely be our first year in business because we were rookies and had no idea what we were doing! We somehow muddled through and knew right away we had a successful product.”
3. WHAT MAKES YOUR COOKIES SO DARN GOOD?
“We start out with the best ingredients that we can source. We then mix and bake the dough on demand so the cookies are always fresh for our customers.”
4. WHAT IS THE MOST REWARDING PART OF HAVING A BOOTH AT THE STATE FAIR?
“The most rewarding part is seeing our customers’ faces light up when they’re handed a cone or pail of cookies — it’s truly remarkable! Many of our friends and family also come back annually to work at our booths, which makes it a really fun, 12 day reunion.”
5. DO YOU TRAVEL TO OTHER STATE FAIRS WITH YOUR COOKIES?
“There’s no place like home! At this time, we only operate
at the MN State Fair.”
6. YOU HAVE A BRAND NEW, GROUND UP SWEET MARTHA’S COOKIES BUILDING GOING UP THIS YEAR! HOW EXCITING! WHAT CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT IT? HOW MANY YEARS WAS THIS IN THE MAKING? CLEARLY MACHINERY HILL NEEDS SWEET MARTHA’S COOKIES, WAS THIS LOCATION YOUR IDEA?
“Three years ago, the MN State Fair came to us to see if we would entertain a new location on the North end of the Fairgrounds(Machinery Hill). For two years, we set up a temporary location ,which worked out well. We then received to go ahead to permanently build our third location with the help of Sullivan/Day Construction!”
7. THERE IS A CUTE STORY ABOUT THE CHOCOLATE CHIPS DESIGN ON THE BUILDING I BELIEVE YOUR DAUGHTER HAD A HAND IN THEIR CREATION?
Yes, my daughter, Jen. She was a great art student, so in 2003, I enlisted her to paint all the chocolate chips on the large cookie that is on the front side of our Grandstand booth. We met to go over the
scope of the project and she told me that she knew how to draw a chocolate chip and for me not to worry about it! So I said “OK!” and away she went! And of course, she did a perfect job!”
8. WHEN YOU HAVE TIME AWAY FROM MAKING COOKIES, WHAT STATE FAIR ATTRACTIONS DO YOU LIKE TO VISIT? THE MIDWAY? THE FOOD BUILDING?
“I love looking at the Education Building, as well as seeing all the projects at the Creative Activities Building. The new History Museum at the West End is fabulous. My all time favorite is the
9. HAVE YOU HAD ANY CELEBRITY SIGHTINGS AT SWEET MARTHA’S BUYING COOKIES?
“We have had so many wonderful people stop by over the years, but it was unbelievable when the Vice President stopped by in the early 2000’s.”
10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING TO EAT AT THE STATE FAIR?
“I have so many wonderful favorites — it’s impossible to list them all!”