It was the oldest foodstuff stand at the New York State Reasonable. It won’t be back again

Baker’s Hen Coop was additional than just the oldest food stand at the New York Point out Fair.

It held a central placement in the coronary heart of the fair’s Restaurant Row. It experienced a a single-of-a-variety backstory, a basic outdated-university A-body making and its personal signature recipe.

Baker’s Hen Coop is a person of at least 65 sellers that have manufactured the determination to skip the 2021 Condition Honest. It’s just one of numerous significant-title foodstuff stands to do so.

But Baker’s is not just pulling out this calendar year. The Baker loved ones has no programs to return their stand to the State Truthful.

“There are a great deal factors,” explained Reenie Baker-Sandsted, a person of three sisters who operated the stand founded by their moms and dads, Robert and Jacoba Baker, in 1949. “I never assume my dad would be satisfied. But it was just time.”

Baker’s Chicken Coop specialized in barbecue utilizing the popular “Cornell Recipe” marinade sauce. That combine of cider vinegar, egg and poultry seasoning was made by Robert Baker, a Cornell University food science professor who is also credited with inventing the hen nugget.

In its heyday, the stand served about 3,000 50 %-chickens on its busiest days of the truthful, Baker-Sandsted claimed. Much more just lately, that experienced fallen to about 1,500 on the busiest days, primarily mainly because it commenced giving quarter servings and wings.

In the classic combo, the rooster was accompanied by a side of salt potatoes.

In any situation, it turned a destination for average fairgoers and viewing dignitaries alike.

Regardless of his movie star in the food items environment, Robert Baker most well-liked to work in the background and are inclined the pits at the stand, Baker-Sandsted claimed. “Some people from Cornell would halt in to say hello, but for the most element he stayed hidden again there,” she explained.

“The total factor about the recipe is that my father produced it to market additional chickens,” Baker-Sandsted stated. “And we did.”

Robert Baker died in 2006. Baker-Sandsted and her family members, together with sisters Karen Applebee and Johanna Baker and her children Travis and Sarah Sandsted, took around and marked the stand’s 70th anniversary at the 2019 fair. That was just a handful of months just after their mother died.

Then came Covid, the cancellation of the 2020 fair and other variations, together with the expansion of the fair’s operate to 18 days.

“To be truthful, there ended up other issues, like Covid, but the 18 days was a significant one,” Baker-Sandsted stated. “That would just be tricky.”

The longevity of Baker’s Rooster Coop, plus the backstory and the Cornell sauce, gave the stand a particular area in State Truthful lore.

“I imagine it’s reasonable to say that for the Point out Truthful it was an historic landmark,” Truthful Director Troy Waffner said. “On a personal degree … this a single is tough to get rid of.”

The closing of Baker’s Chicken Coop probable suggests the oldest stand at the fair is Basilio’s Sausage, which commenced in 1958. (Its owner, Paul Basilio, died in 2020 but the stand remains open).

Fairgoers will also see the developing occupied by Baker’s, together with a identical A-body that housed Haddock’s Paddock, have been torn down. They were about 40 a long time outdated and no lengthier fulfilled present fire codes, Waffner claimed.

Inspite of the closing of the hen stand, Baker-Sandsted nonetheless ideas to go to this year’s good.

“I’ll go and eat at my favourite places and visit with all the friends we’ve created in excess of the decades,” she mentioned. “It’s terrific group of people today at the honest, the other stands, the distributors you offer with. It is like a family. I seem forward to looking at them just about every 12 months.”

Far more on the 2021 NYS Honest

NYS Fair reveals particular days timetable free of charge admission for seniors just about every working day

Who’s skipping the NYS Truthful? See list of 65 vendors opting out for 2021

New York State Honest now arranging for 100% ability in buildings way too

Comprehensive protection of the NY Condition Fair at

Don Cazentre writes for, and The Article-Typical. Achieve him at [email protected], or abide by him at, on Twitter or Facebook.