Fried fruit debuts at festival

PLYMOUTH — Everyone knows that fairs and festivals have no shortage of fried food. This weekend, you can at least claim to be meeting your daily produce requirements by picking up some fried blueberries from Argos resident Bryan McGowen's new stand, located near the tennis courts in Centennial Park.
McGowen has owned Bryan's Concessions for 10 years, and has been trying to "break into" the Blueberry Festival for just as long.
"We went to a few (Blueberry Festival) board meetings, but they always said there was no space," said McGowen's business partner Chris Smith. "They told us, if you want to get in, you have to come up with something that no one else has."
The entrepreneurs put their heads together and finally came up with the perfect idea — fried blueberries.
"We were trying to find something new and different, and fried blueberries are perfect for the festival," said McGowen.
For those who aren't fond of blueberries, the stand will also sell fried strawberries, peaches, pineapple, apples, bananas, and raspberries.
"(The fruit) is kind of like a funnel cake with a topping on it — and the topping is fried," said McGowen.
He and Smith have purchased enough fruit for the opening day of the festival, and plan to play it by ear depending on how popular the snack is.
"We will see Friday plays out, then we'll talk to other vendors about how their business usually goes Saturday, Sunday, and Monday," said Smith. "We will definitely have enough for supply and demand."
The fried fruit comes in single orders, combination bowls, or a sample stick — a kebab-style treat with a piece of each kind of fruit on it. Prices start at $5.
"I like the fried bananas and strawberries best, and most definitely the fried blueberries," said Smith.
He said that even if the fried fruit stand has only moderate success, Bryan's Concessions will still be at the festival in the future.
"Even if it's not successful, I think we will come back, just for the pride of being in the Marshall County Blueberry Festival," said Smith. "Bryan's lived in the Marshall County area his whole life, and the Blueberry Festival is something he's always wanted to get into."