In the few years that Doan’s Bones Barbecue has been at the Centre County Grange Encampment and Fair, it has become a fair food staple.
Founded in 2002, Doan’s Bones started as a small roadside barbecue, with a pit made of cinder blocks and a 10-by-10 tent. Since then the business has expanded into two locations and a well-known catering business. Owners Brandon and Anita Corvin started their barbecue business across from the Whipple Dam Store in Petersburg in Huntingdon County. Last year, they opened a new Doan’s restaurant in downtown State College.
The Corvins had been trying for a few years to get involved in the Grange Fair and had an opportunity when a barbecue location decided not to return. Their first year at the fair was 2012, and with two buildings, the Corvins set up their usual Doan’s Bones Barbecue and branched out with Doan’s Fish and Chips.
“The Grange Fair board thought that we would fit in there,” Brandon Corvin said. “Since we have two locations, we turned the one into a larger-than-the-bun, larger-than-the-plate fish restaurant.”
To prepare for the fair for the coming year, the Corvins start talking about it the day after Grange Fair ends. They begin by making changes to the menu and working on how they can make things better.
“We love the fair, work really hard to keep our quality great, and also the appearance of the building is very important to us,” Brandon Corvin said. “The first two years there we won the award for beautification.”
Barbecue is one of the most popular fair food items, and Doan’s aims to provide the very best to fair-goers — both local and out of town.
“We think barbecue is so popular because most people don’t make their own ribs, brisket and pulled pork,” Corvin said. “Our pulled pork steams for about 13 hours, and our brisket is in the smoker for about 6 to 7 hours. Every piece of meat that comes out of Doan’s is to perfection. It is not done until it’s ‘doan.’ ”
Their new items for the fair restaurants this year include Doan’s mac ’n’ cheese. There will also be a crab cake sandwich on the Doan’s Fish and Chips menu.
“The reason we are using one of the buildings for seafood is that there is not really a place to get good seafood,” Brandon Corvin said. “We have lots of options and are also hoping to add peel and eat jumbo shrimp.”
As their successful business continues to grow in the area and flourish at the Grange Fair, the Corvins said they are always working hard to find ways to improve and expand on what they have built for themselves, for barbecue lovers in the State College area and Grange Fair visitors.
“Having two locations certainly keeps us busy,” Brandon Corvin said. “We keep saying that two is enough, but who knows? If something great comes along we will add a third.”
The Grange Fair begins Friday.