Firefly food orders produce sweet treat for Dover businesses

DOVER — Need 200 cupcakes by 10 a.m. today? Piece of cake.

How about a truckload of organic produce and vegetables fit for a knight? Done deal.

Good News Natural Foods co-owners Marcia and Richard Collins, of Milford, this week filled an order of 66 cases of all-organic produce and vegetables for Sir Paul McCartney and his entourage. Sir Paul performs tonight at the Firefly Music Festival in Dover. (Delaware State News/Dave Chambers)

Good News Natural Foods co-owners Marcia and Richard Collins, of Milford, this week filled an order of 66 cases of all-organic produce and vegetables for Sir Paul McCartney and his entourage. Sir Paul performs tonight at the Firefly Music Festival in Dover. (Delaware State News/Dave Chambers)

Contacted by Red Frog Events for help in providing food for this weekend’s Firefly Music Festival at the Woodlands of Dover International Speedway, two Dover businesses didn’t hesitate to answer the call to perform.

“I was stunned when he called,” said Marcia Collins, of her reaction when a chef associated with Red Frog contacted Good News Natural Foods to ask if it could provide organic produce for Sir Paul McCartney and his entourage of 80 plus.

Ms. Collins said she doesn’t know how Brett Donaldson, festival chef for Stellar Hospitality Group, learned about the store, but he told her he likes to support small local businesses when shopping for festivals.

Stellar is associated with Red Frog, producers of this weekend’s festival.

Good News Natural Foods, at 739 S. Governors Ave., is owned by Marcia and Rich Collins and Sharon and Ray Fields.

For Ms. Collins, the most difficult part of the order may have been converting kilogram weights to ounces and pounds and translating British names for produce to American.

But once she did the conversions — and figured out rocket is arugula — Ms. Collins worked with her supplier in Pennsylvania to fill the order. The 66 cases, weighing more than 1,100 pounds, of all-organic foods will feed the entourage for two days.

Good News Natural Foods’ Douglas Hunt of Dover stocks the refrigerator with fresh apples Thursday. This week the store filled an order for more than 1,100 pounds of organic produce and vegetables for Sir Paul McCartney and his entourage of more than 80 people. (Delaware State News/Dave Chambers)

Good News Natural Foods’ Douglas Hunt of Dover stocks the refrigerator with fresh apples Thursday. This week the store filled an order for more than 1,100 pounds of organic produce and vegetables for Sir Paul McCartney and his entourage of more than 80 people. (Delaware State News/Dave Chambers)

“I’ve been taking care of produce for about a year now,” said Douglas Hunt, who manages the day-to-day produce at Good News, “I’ve never seen an order that large.

“It was an order you would imagine for a large grocery store.”

Nestled among the garden variety of vegetables were different kinds of melons and hot chili peppers.

“It went smoothly,” Mr. Hunt said. “We were able to get everything they asked for.”

Both Ms. Collins and Mr. Hunt said the most unusual item was a Galia melon, a cross between a honeydew and a cantaloupe.

Mr. Hunt described it as a heirloom melon that resembles a cantaloupe but has the color of a honeydew.
Good News had to turn around the order relatively quickly.

“He gave me the list last Wednesday,” Ms. Collins said. From there, she converted the items’ weights and names and last Friday worked with her supplier to put some items on hold.

“They were picked over the weekend and delivered on Tuesday,” Ms. Collins said.

“Brett was ecstatic,” when he picked up the delivery later on Tuesday. He was so pleased with the produce that he ordered more, Ms. Collins said.

“He’s a wonderful person to work with.”

As for feeding Sir Paul, who plays the festival tonight, “It’s exciting that I was able to help support what he likes to do,” Ms. Collins said. “And that’s eat organic.”

While Sir Paul and his entourage are eating fruits and veggies, other Firefly artists today can sink their teeth into one of Frankfurt Bakery & Deli’s top four flavors of cupcakes.

Like Ms. Collins, owner Dawne Nickerson-Banez was contacted by Red Frog representatives interested in ordering cupcakes from her 323 S. Governors Ave., bakery.

“Initially, when the conversation started, it was 200 a day, but (the organizers) decided on only 200 for Friday,” she said.

Dawne Nickerson-Banez, owner of Frankfurt Bakery & Deli, made 200 of her top four flavors of cupcakes, similar to ones she made Wednesday, for Firefly artists to eat today.  (Delaware State News/Dave Chambers)

Dawne Nickerson-Banez, owner of Frankfurt Bakery & Deli, made 200 of her top four flavors of cupcakes, similar to ones she made Wednesday, for Firefly artists to eat today. (Delaware State News/Dave Chambers)

“I love that Red Frog tries to do everything local,” Ms. Nickerson-Banez said. “That’s what’s beautiful about these festivals: They try to use local sources.”

Since the cupcakes are needed by 10 a.m. today, she expected to start baking Thursday afternoon.

The four flavors — turtles (chocolate, caramel and nuts), caramel sea salt, grape soda and lemon orange — will be graced by Frankfurt’s signature decorations, exemplified by the grape soda flavor: “white buttercream with a purple dollop on top and a little straw.”

Ms. Nickerson-Banez didn’t sweat the 200 cupcakes or the deadline: 200 isn’t close to being Frankfurt’s biggest order.

“That’s a breeze. We did 600 for Dover Little League for its opening day. We did 600 for (Kraft Foods’) 50th anniversary celebration.”

While she took in stride the amount of the order, whom she baked for is a different story.

“It’s kind of cool to think these guys are going to eat our cupcakes,” she said.

“It’s nice to be chosen.”

Ms. Nickerson-Banez aims to be at Firefly, even though Big Barrel, with its country music, next weekend is more her taste.

“I have a four-day pass,” she said.

“One thing I really want to see is Paul McCartney. How often does that happen?”

Her husband, Thomas Banez, especially is eager to see Sir Paul. “He grew up a big Beatles fan.”

Ms. Nickerson-Banez likes some of the other bands, too. “But they are way after my bedtime.”

Ms. Collins, however, is taking a pass on going to the festival. Several of the Good News’ folks are going and somebody has to mind the store.

“I’m gonna let the kids go,” she said. “I had my day. It’s time to let the kids have a good time.”

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