Whitecaps focus on wowing fans at concession stands
Patrick Center February 12, 2013 | WGVU
“What is that, deep fried risotto here and that’s a Pig swims to Cuba sandwich which is a mixture of looks like some ham, pickles, some mustard. It looks delicious, though.
The West Michigan Whitecaps, Mickey Graham is my maitre d’. At Wyoming’s Gordon Food Service headquarters, clients are rolling out new food items that could potentially end up on the minor league ballpark’s menu like the Drunken Weiner.
“We’ve got a quarter pound hotdog, we beer batter it, deep fry it, put it in a nice big bun, liquidy cheese and a couple strips of bacon,” as described by Brent Smith who works with Grand Rapids-based Supreme Great Lakes.
“Whitecaps do things different than any other minor league baseball in the country,” explained Kevin Vander Meer with Michaels and Associates, a Grand Rapids food broker.
I asked if there’s a little competition here?
“It is a competition every year. Who’s going to come up with what and the wildest and craziest thing we’re going to see this year? We developed the Fifth Third Burger with them a few years back and it’s still a very popular item”
Vander Meer rattles of a few of his new creations.
“Well, we’ve got a giant eight once meatball here that is a precooked meatball. It’s that wow factor. It’s a baseball sized meatball. We have an Italian sausage wrapped in bacon that we’ve sautéed on a flat top grill. Deep fried avocados. When we were out east we went to a restaurant and they were doing deep fried avocado and we were like, what a unique item.”
Lew Chamberlin is Managing Partner and Chief Executive Officer for West Michigan Whitecaps Baseball. He calls this experience food entrepreneurism. The organization will give anything a try.
I ask him if there’s a point made or if there’s any pressure to have something on the menu that becomes nationally acclaimed?
“You know, that sort of happened, that was just sort of a side benefit of the whole Fifth Third Burger creation and I don’t think we’re necessarily looking for national exposure. It’s great when you get it”
Brett Bakita is sports radio program director at WBBL. He’s doing some taste testing.
“Any type of that stuff that gives you notoriety is a big deal. That’s why you see even in what we cover in sports radio stories that pop up about such-and-such got married at a game or whatever. Everyone’s looking for that angle from the social media aspect which is so powerful with YouTube and everything. So, for them they caught fame. It was a nice moment that they had with the Fifth Third Burger and now you always try to recreate that if you can.”
With six vendors serving up nearly 100 new items there’s a good chance something will amaze the masses and mass media.
More WGVU News
Friday Hop candy delivers flavor without the hangover GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. December 19, 2014 | WGVU Today is National Hard Candy Day. The ingredients for making hard candy is basic; syrup, citric acid, food coloring and flavoring. And for kids young and old it’s the flavor that matters. WGVU discovered a one-of-a-kind candy taste earlier this year at the American Homebrewers Association Conference held at Grand Rapids’ DeVos Place. ListenDownload US Senate race in Michigan drew $56M in spending LANSING, Mich. December 19, 2014 | AP The race for U.S. Senate in Michigan drew more than $56 million in spending from the campaigns and outside supporters. Snyder signs bills to streamline some courts LANSING, Mich. December 19, 2014 | AP Gov. Rick Snyder has signed legislation designed to streamline the district court system in Michigan by creating more flexibility for magistrates. Snyder signs bill to expand nuisance abatement LANSING, Mich. December 19, 2014 | AP Gov. Rick Snyder has signed legislation to expand local governments' power to file nuisance complaints against homeowners and businesses suspected of illegal activity such human trafficking or gun crimes. Michigan Lottery sales reach record $2.6 billion LANSING, Mich. December 19, 2014 | AP Michigan Lottery ticket sales have reached a record $2.6 billion in the 2014 budget year. Tighter Internet sales tax collections are OK'd LANSING, Mich. December 19, 2014 | AP Amazon.com and other online stores will have to collect Michigan's sales tax on purchases under legislation headed to Gov. Rick Snyder. 168-year-old Grand Rapids house restored as treatment center GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. December 19, 2014 | AP A 168-year-old Grand Rapids mansion has been renovated for use as a private treatment center for women with alcohol and drug addictions. Cyberbullying legislation sent to Gov. Snyder LANSING, Mich. December 19, 2014 | AP Michigan school districts would have to include cyberbullying in their anti-bullying policies and report bullying data to the state under legislation going to Gov. Rick Snyder. Michigan voters to decide road funding tax hike LANSING, Mich. December 19, 2014 | AP A proposed tax hike aimed at improving Michigan's transportation infrastructure and schools is heading to voters. Authorities: Man arrested in 1990 beating death GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. December 19, 2014 | AP Authorities say a 56-year-old man has been arrested in the 1990 beating death of a 23-year-old in Grand Rapids. 11 charter authorizes remain at-risk of suspension LANSING, Mich. December 19, 2014 | AP The Michigan Department of Education has decided to keep the status of 11 of the state's charter school authorizers at-risk of possible suspension. Michigan gets $349,000 in cell 'cramming' deal LANSING, Mich. December 19, 2014 | AP Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette says the state will receive $349,000 as part of a $90 million national settlement with cellphone company T-Mobile.