Jenny Crippen 2004 Frontier Community College Alumni Living Her Dream with Carny Food Wagon
Jenny (Richards) Crippen of Fairfield graduated from Frontier Community College (FCC) in May 2004 with an Associate in Science Degree. During her time at FCC, she was active in FCC’s SIFE team (Students In Free Enterprise). SIFE offers college students the opportunity to solve real world problems through community projects and partnerships with businesses. Jenny worked part-time in FCC’s Financial Aid Office with the late Carroll Hilliard and Freda Musgrave through the work study program. One day on a lunch break, she picked up a magazine in the Student Services Building that greatly influenced her life and planted a seed of entrepreneurship. She cut that article out and carried it with her for the next several years.
Jenny continued her education at SIU-Carbondale where she graduated in May 2006 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Food and Nutrition with a specialization in Hospitality and Tourism.
In 2007, Jenny began working at the WFIW Radio Station as the Website Administrator. She remained in that position until March 2013 when she joined the LeMond Chevrolet Chrysler team as the Website Administrator/Social Networker, where she is still employed.
Many people in the community know Jenny. Not just for her friendly smile or the positive customer service she provides at LeMond Chevrolet Chrysler, but more importantly they know her for the bright yellow and pink food wagon – Jenny’s Concessions.
You see, the article she read back in 2003 told the story of two brothers who were medical professionals and left their private medical practice to pursue the food wagon industry. The article told how much fun and success they had with their “Carny Wagon Careers.” This was the spark to Jenny’s dream of one day owning her own.
Jenny’s dream came to fruition in the summer of 2009 when she had the opportunity to buy a carny food wagon that put her education (Food & Nutrition/Hospitality & Tourism Degree) to use! She has attended 40 plus festivals and fairs around Southern Illinois and has just kicked off another full season for 2014. Her menu includes specialties such as pumpkin funnel cake, giant tenderloins, ribbon curly fries, and many deep fried veggies and sweets.
Giving back to the community is important to Jenny. She is currently donating proceeds to the Megan Nichols Search Efforts. Others have included Jonah Goodman, ARF, Carmi Lions, Carmi Kiwanis, and Kenny Garrett Fundraiser.
Jenny loves her job at LeMond Chevrolet Chrysler, but her true passion is the food wagon, which she calls Jenny’s Concessions. Jenny credits Frontier Community College for leading her down the education path as well as the experience she gained in the work study program. Without Frontier Community College and discovering that particular article during a lunch break, Jenny might still be searching for that dream job! Follow Jenny’s Concession Wagon Journey via Facebook.