Vol. 10 August, 2009
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My second daughter's birthday usually falls on the same weekend as the Adel Sweet Corn Festival. When she was little, I'm pretty sure she thought the party was for her! Our family would go up town, view the local wares, watch the parade and then stand in line for corn. One child pulling this way, one pulling that way, and one wanting to sit down.

Once we had the goods, we'd head to our favorite spot to eat,  the steps of the First Christian Church. The cement steps, over hanging trees and plenty of elbow room makes it a great place to eat. The wet wipes are as important as the corn when you have three little ones! Who ever finished first would head back into the line to get a couple more ears. In years past, we've had family from as far away as Kansas City, Mason City and Davenport come just to enjoy the celebration!

I can't remember a bad festival in over 22 years of attending. In honor of the folks who selflessly make this work, we've interviewed some of the Founding Father's of the Adel Sweet Corn Festival. By no means is this a complete list, or have we scratched the surface on all of the great folks who have made this possible for 30 years. It's a community effort of countless volunteers that has touched the very heart of our community, and one that makes me proud to call Adel home.

This month we also have interviews with Merle Cox of Brick Street BBQ and Leslie Herman of Craft Cottage. In addition, I've got a recipe for Jambalaya, information on the 30th Anniversary cake and great information from around town!


In This Issue
Feature Article - Adel's Sweet Corn Founding Fathers
Merle Cox - Brick Street BBQ
Leslie Herman - Craft Cottage
Ron Bergman - 30th Anniversay Cake
Around Town
Recipe of the Month
Simpson College Class at Adel Library
Adel Public Library - Adel's Got Talent!
Adel Sweet Corn Festival Preparation
Adel Sweet Corn Festival Header

The Adel Sweet Corn Festival is August 7-8th this year.

This year we commemorate the 30th anniversary of the festival. To celebrate, we have gathered some little known facts to spark your interest in this special event! Did you know...

In the years prior to the Adel Sweet Corn Festival, there was a Fall Festival for the Adel businesses and patrons. The Fall Festival was organized as a "Thank You" to the community for their support throughout the year. Rather than serving sweet corn, the Fall Festival fixed beef.  

Adel Sweet Corn Festival 1The Sweet Corn Festival was started when the Chamber of Commerce was looking for a new way to say "Thank You" and increase patronage to Adel businesses. "Founding Fathers" Wayne Geadleman, Darold Snow, Kenny Chapman, and Pete Mills orchestrated the first years of the Festival.

Wayne Geadleman remembers the initial years of the Sweet Corn Festival "The Chamber of Commerce wanted to get something happening. Pete Mills suggested we get some sweet corn and Darold Snow caught on. I shook my head- I didn't see how it would work! Pete and Darold asked the Rotary Club for help and we agreed to do what we could. Next, Kenny Chapman entered the picture and put something together to cook the corn."

Adel Sweet Corn Festival  3"The first year we served sweet corn and not much else. We didn't have many vendors or events that first year, but it's grown from there! I was a little skeptical at the beginning, but I am amazed how it's grown, it's become a very popular event."

In previous years, the organizers would drive to Ackley, Iowa to pick up the corn. Now the corn is purchased from Ron Deardorff of Grimes. 8 tons of corn is purchased for the festival! To off set expenses, organizers began selling spots to Vendors.

The Adel Sweet Corn Festival now hosts a wide array of booths representing Arts and Crafts, Food Vendors, Carnival Games, Kid's Activities, Local Businesses, Non Profit Organizations, and Churches. The festival now includes the All ADM Alumni Reunion, the 5K run, and in the evening, the Beer Garden is opened while local musicians grace the stage for an all ages community dance.

Adel Sweet Corn Festival  7The night before the festival, Ron Deardorff delivers the corn in gunnysacks on his hayrack. Volunteers young and old gather at the Racoon Valley State Bank parking lot to help husk the corn. Prior to the fire that effected many downtown businesses, the corn was stored in the meat locker.

Adel Sweet Corn Festival 5Now the corn is stored in an Anderson Erickson (AE) refrigerated truck. As the corn is husked it is placed in plastic milk crates, or baskets, and loaded onto a conveyor belt by the Fire Department and Boy Scouts. It takes approximately 2.5 hours to husk the 8 tons of corn!

If you would like to help husk the corn, please arrive at the Raccoon Valley State Bank Friday, August 7th at 5:00 pm!

There have been three corn cookers over the years all designed and built by Kenny Chapman. Each design has been made of stainless steel. As the festival became more popular the original cooker became too small. 10-12 years ago, Kenny designed a 12 foot cooker from a restaurant salad bar shell. It is built with Turbo Torch Burners and uses 150 million BTU to keep the water hot enough to cook the corn for 7 minutes a batch.

3 years ago, Kenny industrialized the cooker by creating a loading system. Now, the corn is unloaded using the same conveyor used to load it into the refrigerated truck. 18 baskets are loaded onto the rack and then lowered together to be cooked. Each basket contains 3.5 dozen ears of corn.

Adel Sweet Corn Festival 8Once cooked, the corn is then raised from the water using the same mechanism and unloaded on the other side of the cooker. The corn is then placed in another long, stainless steel salad bar to be portioned. The new design allows the cooker to be filled and emptied at the same time. This also reduced the amount of water used. This system is much safer than past cookers that required the volunteers to reach into the hot water outfitted with gloves and miniature A-hooks!

In the past 30 years, the corn cooker has never failed. Kenny tests the cooker before the event and jokingly says, "If it doesn't work right, you won't find me; I'm leaving town!" Corn is served starting at 11 am and normally lasts until 2:30- 3:00 pm. If any remains, it is donated to the county home.

Adel Sweet Corn Festival 6
The Adel Sweet Corn Festival wouldn't be possible without the help of volunteers. It takes the entire community to help husk and serve the corn, set up and participate in the parade, mark out vendor spots, and assist in keeping the event running smoothly.

Wayne, Kenny, the Adel Partners and all of the organizers want to thank the volunteers who have worked over the past 30 years to turn the Adel Sweet Corn Festival into a smash hit!

If you would like to sign up to get involved in the 30th anniversary events, please contact the Adel Partners Chamber of Commerce at: or visit the new Adel Partners website, for a full schedule of events.

We're looking forward to seeing everyone at the Adel Sweet Corn Festival this year!
Merle Cox - Brick Street BBQ

Brick Street BBQ Adel Iowa Header

Merle Cox started Brick Street BBQ in 2003 after marrying Adel resident Vonadale "Vonz" Odem and moving to the community. The couple had a small place in Adel, they then moved to their current 2 acre location in the country where Merle prepares the BBQ.

Brick Street BBQ Adel Iowa 3After retiring, Merle was looking for something interesting to do. He enjoyed grilling and cooking and thought "This is something I can do in my own time and place." Brick Street BBQ got its name from Vonz who was instrumental in keeping the brick streets around town. Merle thought it was a neat name for the business that kept with Adel's history.

Merle started with a small portable smoker and after a few years, moved up to a bigger portable smoker. Eventually, he out grew that unit as well and invested in a stationary unit that sits in his yard. He continues to do most of his cooking in the stationary smoker, while he uses the larger portable smoker when going to different events such as the Valley Junction Farmers Market where Brick Street BBQ has a large following. He also uses it for catering jobs such as wedding receptions, graduations, and parties. Merle is constantly asked "Where's your restaurant?" Sorry folks, Brick Street BBQ focuses on catering so keep them in mind for your next event!

Brick Street BBQ Adel Iowa 2Merle's BBQ follows the Kansas City school of thought. What makes Kansas City different than other regional BBQ techniques is the lack of sauce. The flavor of the meat is made by using a dry rub of spices and smoking the meat on a low temperature for a long period of time. Kansas City style is meant to be eaten without sauce, which is why Merle is very particular about which one he offers. Brick Street BBQ uses a tomato sauce purchased from a gentleman in Newton who started making sauce after retiring from Maytag.

The personal service Merle offers is what sets him apart. Brick Street BBQ has a lax "minimum order" which allows him to give people what they want. Merle asks that orders be placed one week in advance. This allows time for marinating, which can take 2-3 days, as well as the extended smoking process. Brick Street BBQ is best known for their ribs and baked beans. Merle prefers pork products for his BBQ, utilizing pulled pork, ribs, and loin. He recently began using beef products as well such as brisket, tenderloin, and rib eye. For those looking for award winning BBQ, you've found it! Merle entered his first Rib Cook-off last summer and did quite well by placing 2nd!

Brick Street BBQ Adel Iowa 1Brick Street BBQ will be serving at the Adel Sweet Corn Festival which is the biggest event they participate in. Last year they served over 700 Sandwiches! Merle also serves at the Adel Brick Street Car Show, Winefest, and the Iowa Book Festival.

Brick Street BBQ has recently joined with Cool Beans to offer their food during the Friday Rib and Steak Night. Merle provides ribs and baked beans while Cool Beans provides the steak. The event is open to the public and is first come, first served!

Brick Street BBQ belongs to the Adel Partners Chamber of Commerce. Merle belongs to the Lions Club and owns a farm in southern Iowa that keeps him busy. He built a hunting lodge there so that he and his friends can go fishing and hunting. Merle and Vonz are both active in the Methodist Church, like living in the smaller community and trade as much as they can with local businesses in town. Merle states that he gets a great deal of satisfaction making BBQ, especially when patrons say "Theses are the best ribs I've had!" Merle has one customer who never liked BBQ before trying Brick Street BBQ. In fact, it's the only BBQ she'll eat!

To find out more about Brick Street BBQ, please call Merle at: 515-993-3049
Sweet Corn Festival Sidewalk Sale

Cameo Rose Adel IA

Cameo Rose Collection Adel IA
Cameo Rose Sidewalk Sale

Cameo Rose will be open during the Festival!

Featuring a great selection of items from Antiques on Ninth.

Stop in to see the treasures and enjoy the collectibles!

Cameo Rose
Saturday, August 8

9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
107 N. 9th St., Adel
515  993-4211

Leslie Herman - Craft Cottage

Craft Cottage logoThis month, we sat down with Leslie Herman of the Craft Cottage in Van Meter.

Leslie began to scrapbook 9 years ago. After attending retreats held at B&B's, she realized she could do it better by creating a place that is just for friends. At first, she wasn't sure where her location would be. While Leslie was thinking about the "What Ifs" a friend suggested she use the house her parents own as a rental property.

Craft Cottage 1Leslie's parents have owned the property for years and it worked out well to use the small home. The Craft Cottage was opened in July 2008. Leslie took advantage of the Renew Rural Iowa Workshop for assistance in developing a business plan.

The Craft Cottage is rented out and used as a meeting place for various events. It has been used for a variety of crafting retreats,Athletic Boosters Club, Bible Study groups, small Bridal showers, and class reunions. The cottage typically houses 8 people for overnight stays, 25 for meetings, and 14 for crafting events. To find out more about rental costs and availability, please visit

Leslie started to scrapbook with her 1st child, Julia, and she admits she is the last person she ever thought would get into it. She even has it recorded on video! "I have never thought of myself as crafty or artistic, but with scrapbooking you don't have to be unique." Because of its social setting, scrapbooking allows the crafter to gather input from others around them. Most scrapbooking groups contain artists of different levels of expertise, and there are many idea books for inspiration.

Even the most cautious of artists can find solitude in scrapbooking! "People do better with groups. It can be especially hard for women and moms to justify private social time. This allows them to be productive while serving a purpose. A loving gesture while still providing for the family- it's the best combination!"

Craft Cottage 2Leslie and husband Joe, who have been married 18 years in August, now have three adopted children- Julia (9), Maya (5), and Jamison (2).
When adopting their middle child Maya from Florida, Leslie began another scrapbook to document the experience. From meeting the birth mother, to the first moments Maya met her big sister, to the family vacation to Disney World, the entire trip is covered. Leslie even gave Julia her own camera so that her pictures are in the book as well.

Leslie has equipped the Craft Cottage with different craft supplies and machines that are too big to bring along. One of the most sought after machines is the Cricut. This computerized paper-cutting machine isn't just for lettering. Cartridges are inserted to cut out different images to use for any theme.
One valuable cartridge available is the 50 States, which can cut out images of each state as well as it's state flag, bird, capital, and flower! Leslie also has sales consultants who can deliver supplies to the Cottage. To find out more about Pam Campbell and products, please visit

Leslie designed the Craft Cottage for those who want more flexibility in a weekend retreat. Some B&B's count on strict scheduling, which can throw off the artistic flow. The Craft Cottage has furnished bedrooms and a full kitchen with modern appliances. The main craft area has a TV with DVD player and a small selection of "Chick Flicks", iPod docks, and Wi-Fi. This allows crafters to pack less accessories and more crafting supplies! 

Craft Cottage 3Most groups spend the first few hours loading the fridge with goodies, staking out their place on the craft tables, and settling in. The group then has full discretion- some work non-stop, taking breaks as they see fit, while others work diligently for hours and then reach a mutual stopping point. Some groups decide to cook for themselves, while others rely on the restaurants nearby. Adel restaurant Cool Beans is available for delivery services, and the Craft Cottage is blocks away from Van Meter's Fat Randy's Restaurant and Casey's General Store. Leslie promotes this low maintenance style and knows many crafters who gravitate to the Craft Cottage for that reason.

Leslie and Joe grew up in Van Meter before attending college at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls. The couple then married and moved to Beaverdale for 13 years. Now back in Van Meter, they are getting reacquainted with the community as adults. They see the value in the small town and have joined the Economic Development Committee to help make Van Meter a place they can continue to be proud of with more social opportunities.

Leslie believes Van Meter is in a principal location, able to see and be mindful of how other communities have handled Des Moines' growth. She is a strong supporter of the extra curricular activities the school offers, both the Athletic programs and Fine Arts.

Leslie is becoming very involved with the community, helping establish the Raccoon River Days (a yearly festival that takes place in June) and working to increase Van Meter's ability to support it's self. "I feel like, if someone is making a good, heartfelt fellowship for the community that encourages people to visit and be proud of Van Meter, then I'd like to be apart of that!"

To learn more about the Craft Cottage or read Leslie's blog, please visit
Garden Gate Antiques Open For Festival

Garen Gate Antiques Adel IA

Garden Gate Antiques, Adel IACelebrate Vintage!

We'll be open to celebrate the 30th Annual Sweet Corn Festival.

Stop in to see our complete vintage corn server and browse our collection of Vintage Creations pillows, antique furniture, lamps, kitchen tins and table cloths.

Our charming store is filled with quality prints, photographs, glassware and beautiful hand-made linens.

Stop for a visit, we're just two blocks off Main St.

The Garden Gate Antiques
209 S. 10th St ยท Adel IA
Hours: Mon-Sat 10-5pm
Ron Bergman - 30th Anniversary Cake

Cool Beans & CoolCakes Bakery Adel IA

Ron Bergman of CoolBeans Adel IowaRon Bergman of Cool Beans and CoolCakes Bakery will design and bake the Special Anniversary Cake for the 30th Anniversary Sweet Corn Festival.

In addition to the great coffee, wonderful sandwiches and the Friday Rib and Steak Nights, they also have a fantastic bakery.

The cake, 4 foot by 8 foot, features the Dallas County Courthouse sculpted out of cake. It is sure to be a memorable experience to celebrate the 30th Anniversary!

The cake will feed 1,000 people and will be on display at the Adel Chrysler Showroom. Serving time is 1:00 pm.

CoolBeans and CoolCakes Bakery are located on the Square at, 803 Main St., across from the Courthouse.

Contact Ron at: 515-993-1955
Around Town

Welcome to the Community:

Needful Things Adel IAPlease join us in welcoming Angie Mague and Needful Things to the community! Located at 919 Main St., the store will offer antiques, clothing, and nicknacks. Opening Day is August 1st from 9am - 4 pm.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Adel Iowa Volunteers of the Year 2009The Adel Partners Chamber of Commerce presented their 1st Annual Volunteer of the Year Awards to Jan Price and Van Van Buren at the annual members meeting on Tuesday, July 21.

Jan Price was honored as Community Volunteer of the Year. Van Van Buren was honored as the Chamber Volunteer of the Year. Congratulations to Jan and Van. Continue Reading...
So, to wrap it up, this is the DiscoverAdel.Com newsletter! We hope that you've enjoyed this issue and will share it with your friends.

Chris Brocka

Featured Article

Adel Iowa Sweet Corn Festival 2009
Each month we
showcase a business or organization that makes Adel special.

This month we interviewed
The Founding Fathers of the Adel Sweet Corn Festival

If you have a business or organization you would like to see featured, please contact
us at
Adel Auto Parts Corporation
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Arganbright Construction
Arganbright's Construction
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Garden Gate Antiques Adel IA
Garden Gate Antiques
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Cafe in the Park
Cafe in the Park
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Cameo Rose Collection
Cameo Rose Collection
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Adel Public Library
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Adel Lions
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Adel Insurance - Reich & Loynachan Agency
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Reich Law Firm
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Timberpine Lodge
Timberpine Lodge
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Recipe of the Month
DDiscover Chef

Slow Cook Jambalaya

I'm a big fan of Jambalaya. I have several recipes, most are best cooked in the winter on a Sunday. But who wants to wait until winter?

I have a summer recipe that cooks well in a crock pot. Started in the morning, it makes a great supper. It's even better the next day! Cooking times may vary depending on your cooker.

1 Yellow Onion - chopped
1 Red Onion - chopped
1 Green pepper - chopped
1 Red pepper - chopped
2 Tomatoes - chopped
1 Garlic clove - crushed
1 cup Celery - chopped
2 tbs Parsley - chopped
1 tsp Oregano - chopped
1 tsp Thyme - chopped
1 oz. Liquid smoke
1/8 tsp Cayenne
1 Smoked Sausage - sliced
1 Chicken Breast - sliced
2 cup Chicken Broth
1/2 lb. Shrimp - cooked
2 cup Rice - cooked

1. Put Shrimp and Rice in refrigerator. 
2. Place everything else into crock pot.
3. Cover & cook on low 6−8 hours.
4. Turn crock pot to high.
5. Add shrimp & rice. Cover and cook 20−30 min.
6. Serves 4.

Simpson College Class at Adel Library
Simpson College Course

A Management Concepts class will be offered at the Library starting
Monday, Aug. 24.

The class is taught by a Simpson professor, and is the result of the Adel Chamber of Commerce partnership with Simpson College.

Discounts are available through the Adel Partners Chamber of Commerce. Call 993-5472 for information.
Call Amy Day at 515-223-8842
at Simpson to register.
This class may be audited or taken for college credit.
The Economic Development Committee of Adel Partners Chamber of Commerce, sponsors business classes in conjunction with Simpson to assist the area businesses.

Better educated and trained staff members help the local businesses, and their clients, as well the individuals attending.  

The Simpson "outreach" program allows community members to attend here, at an affordable price, without traveling to the Indianola or West Des Moines campuses.

See the Poster for class dates, prices and content.
Adel's Got Talent!
Adel Public Library
 On Wednesday, July 22nd about 90 children and adults witnessed some of Adel's youth as they performed a variety of talents at the Adel Public Library Talent Show.

Gwyneth Schmidt Adel Iowa
Gwynet Schmidt - Good Ship Lolly Pop

 The talent show had 11 acts and featured singing, dancing, stand up comedy, puppets, piano performances, and even a presentation about dinosaurs.

The show was held as the grand finale for this year's summer reading program.
In addition to the talent show, prizes were awarded to this years top readers of the summer reading program. 

This year there were 16 top readers. Each top reader read a total of 49 hours in June and July! Prizes were also awarded for the 7 children who read between 40 and 48 hours. 

This year's summer reading program was a wonderful success and the Adel Public Library would like to thank everyone who helped support the program including many local businesses. 

We hope to see everyone for next year's summer reading program: Make a Splash @ Your Library!

Laura Guth -
Adel Public Libarary
Adel Events in August
ADM Alumni
Golf Tournament
Aug. 7th
9 am Shotgun start River Valley...
continue reading...

30th Annual
Sweet Corn Festival
Corn Hucking
Aug. 7th
continue reading...

30th Annual Adel
Sweet Corn Festival
Aug. 8th 
continue reading...

12th Annual
All Alumni Reunion
Aug. 8th 
4-9 pm in the ADM School Commons...
continue reading...

BRA Ride
Bike Ride to Adel
Aug. 9th 
The entire courthouse block in downtown Adel will be dedicated to a great cycling destination
continue reading...

Simpson College
Course Starts
Aug. 24th 
The class will be "Management Concepts" and will run on Monday evenings
continue reading...

There's More!
New events added weekly, be sure to checkout's Calendar for more.
All NAPA Gold Filters On Sale!
Adel Auto Parts - NAPA Filter Sale

Aug. 3 - Sept. 5
Specials on Hydraulic Fluid and Ag. Belts

Adel Auto Parts Corp.
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