State Fair of Texas Vendors Boost Business – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

It’s the first full weekend of the State Fair of Texas. Everyone’s favorite cowboy, Big Tex, was back to welcome folks to Fair Park.  

One of the big traditions is the State Fair Classic. The big game brought out the fans.  

But this year – so did many small, minority-owned concession booths.  

For some vendors, like Jesus Carmona, it’s the first time at the fair. 

“It’s a dream come true, the American dream,” said Carmona, owner of restaurants Milagro Tacos Cantina & Chimichurri Argentinian Bistro & Bar. “We’re here after so many years of being in the industry, 30 years.”

The State Fair is on a mission to showcase small, minority-owned business owners, like Carmona, and Roz Stafford-Grady.  

“I am humbled and I’m overwhelmed, and I didn’t get any sleep last night,” said Roz Stamford-Grady, owner of Smoking Jacket Cigar Lounge in Cedar Hill. 

She is the first African-American to have a cigar lounge at the State Fair.   

“We’ve gotten people from all walks of life to show love, and it’s crazy because it’s never been done before,” said Stafford-Grady. 

Fairgoers were thrilled to see more representation. 

“I mean, good for them you know, more power to them!” said Erica Garcia. 

There were Alpaca gifts from Peru at the “Lael Alpaca” booth – and trinkets from Egypt at “Little Egypt.” It was a melting pot of food, and fun, all found at the State Fair. 

“I have people coming from everywhere just to see me,” said Dee Dee Asaid, owner of “Little Egypt.” 

More than 45% of the concessionaires last year were minority-owned. 

Asaid said she’s been a State Fair vendor for 26 years.  Opening day on Friday was the best she’s ever had.  

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