Cookies and Colbert’s work at the State Fair


Submitted by Julia Colbert

SMILING AND SCOOPING. Senior Julia Colbert scoops approximately four dozen cookies into one of Sweet Martha’s signature buckets.

Sweet Martha’s is a state fair staple for many attendees. Sweet Martha’s is known for its signature chocolate chip cookies–milk is the only other item they sell besides cookies. This past year, people have waited in line through a thunderstorm just for cookies because the bake-at-home cookies offered at grocery stores just can’t compare to the delicious, warm cookies offered at the fair. While most Minnesotans can say they have gotten the beloved cookies at the fair, not as many can say they have worked at Sweet Martha’s.

Senior Julia Colbert worked at Sweet Martha’s for the first time this year. Colbert worked at the fair for five days, clocking in eight hours daily for her shift. When it came to Colbert’s specific tasks, she was moved around a lot. Some days, she worked at the front, scooping dozens of cookies into the easily-recognizable Sweet Martha’s buckets. Others, she worked putting lids on the buckets. “I served for most of it,” said Colbert, “but the first day I was putting the lids on the buckets for four hours.”

While it may be fascinating to work at Sweet Martha’s, the combination of heat from the hot summer days and the ovens–constantly having cookies put in and taken out make a sweltering work environment on the other side of the counter. “I feel like some people can infer this, but it’s super hot in the building of [Sweet Martha’s], and there are always a lot of people working inside.”

[T]he first day I was putting the lids on the buckets for four hours.”

— Julia Colbert

Surprisingly, Colbert did not get to eat a lot of every Minnesotan’s favorite cookies. “I didn’t get to eat that many cookies,” said Colbert, “I was pretty busy while I was there, so I still like them.” While Colbert may not work at Sweet Martha’s again next year, she will still enjoy some of the cookies.

Though Colbert enjoyed parts of her experience working at Sweet Martha’s, she probably wouldn’t do it again. She would consider working at a different stand in the fair, just not Sweet Martha’s. “It’s just super hot and busy,” Colbert said.

The experience offered Colbert both drawbacks and benefits. Colbert said, “I enjoyed parts of it.” There are the obvious perks of free cookies. However, the line for Sweet Martha’s is often the longest of any at the fair. Colbert also enjoyed working at one of the most iconic food stands at the fair and keeping the signature yellow t-shirt that serves as Sweet Martha’s uniform.