Corn: It’s always best from a roadside stand

Published 12:00 am Monday, August 27, 2001

Tony Bias can talk your ear off about corn.

Monday, August 27, 2001

Tony Bias can talk your ear off about corn.

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He’s been selling it fresh from the bed of his pickup each summer for many years, and he thinks he’s figured out why his customers keep coming back for more.

&uot;I think people like fresh corn – picked that very morning by hand,&uot; Bias said. &uot;And that’s what I do. I get up at 6 a.m. and pick 60 or 70 dozen.&uot;

Carol Thompson is one of those repeat customers that Bias sees every few days. She stopped by the stand Friday to pick up a dozen ears. She swears the freshest corn is &uot;less starchy.&uot;

&uot;This should last for a couple of meals,&uot; she said. &uot;It’s just for me and my husband, but we love it.&uot;

Bias recognized Ada Kuethe when she pulled up to the stand, located on North Bridge Avenue.

&uot;Hey! I’ve seen you before. Didn’t you get enough yesterday?&uot; he teases.

&uot;That’s some good corn,&uot; Kuethe replied matter-of-factly.

Price is one key to roadside stand success, Bias said. He only charges $1.50 per dozen, but he likes to put a thirteenth ear in each bag as a little bonus for his customers, &uot;just in case they get a bad one,&uot; he said.

Site selection is also important. North Bridge Avenue is perfect, because there’s plenty of traffic and wide shoulders for parking.

&uot;I like it here, and I guess people know to look for me on this street,&uot; he said.

In five or six hours, Bias can usually sell out of his corn, taking home over $100. The earlier he sells his truck load, the better. On really good days, he sells out by lunchtime, meaning he can squeeze in a quick nap before he heads into Wells for his full-time job at Dulas Excavating.

Though selling roadside corn makes for a tough schedule, Bias said it’s worth the effort.

&uot;I figure I make about 10 bucks an hour if you factor in the time it take to pick the stuff,&uot; Bias said. &uot;It’s a nice little supplement.&uot;

Bias is taking the weekend off from selling corn to attend – you guessed it – Kernel Days in Wells, a celebration dedicated to the glory of corn.

&uot;Apparently, I can’t get enough of the stuff,&uot; he said.