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The original cheese curd stand heir isn't giving up the fight

Tom Mueller says he wants to find a solution with the Minnesota State Fair.
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The son who expected to inherit the Original Deep Fried Cheese Stand from his retiring parents is threatening the Minnesota State Fair with legal action for stopping him.

A legal letter sent to the State Fair was shared by Tom Mueller on Facebook Tuesday. It seeks a resolution to the controversy bubbling since the fair said it would be looking for fresh blood to replace the stand that has stood on Dan Patch Avenue since 1975.

The decision has spawned a petition, an open letter aimed at pressuring fair organizers, and the hashtag #SaveTheCurds, as Mueller fights to keep the State Fair staple alive.

The letter accuses State Fair officials of "deliberately obscuring" the option to transfer a business from one member of a family to another, and "unlawfully interfering" with the continuation of the cheese curd stand.

"In simplest terms, we would like to sit down with Fair officials and find a mutually-agreeable solution before we are forced to take the official step of commencing a lawsuit," Mueller said in the post.

The stand has been operated by Mueller's parents, Dick and Donna Mueller, as well as the Skarda family for 42 years, but the owners announced their intention to step down last month.

State Fair General Manager Jerry Hammer told GoMN recently that it's common for retiring vendors to pass a booth on to a family member. All they have to do is apply to have the license transferred.

Mueller claimed his family turned in one of those applications more than a year ago, but Hammer said all they received was a letter from his father saying he and his partners were retiring and ready to sell their cheese curd stand to the fair.

The fair agreed and bought it for $67,000 after having the booth and its equipment appraised.

Applications from both the Mueller and Skarda families to keep the stand going followed shortly after. But now they're considered to be outside the circle of State Fair vendors and have to compete with 500 other applicants wanting a spot on the grounds.

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