Renee Butler and her son Nicholas Maresh serve great food and always with a smile. This dynamic duo has been a force behind many catered events and well beyond the service line. As the fair strives to return to the tradition of fair days, Renée and Nicholas are entrenched in being a part of the fair. As a family, they are a hidden treasure among the many supporters of the Fort Bend County Fair. Their work spans decades of restoring fairground functions, creating elaborate feasts and, more importantly, nurturing the fair’s extended family on countless occasions. “Being named Fair Honoree is like winning the lottery; we are so honored, ”said Butler.
Renee is the owner / operator of Another Time Soda Fountain and Café. Nicholas is a chef with a passion for pastry creations. “I grew up here in Fort Bend County. So the fair was an important thing for me, “shares Butler, who started coming to the fair at its original location in Rosenberg near Highway 90.” We had a day off from school. . My mom would also take a day off and take us to where my dad worked, which was just along the parade route. So every year we would go to the parade, and then we would go to the fair that first night, we would see the fireworks display and it was free. Everyone under the sun was there. Renée remembers that she and her brother would get new outfits, and some years, new cowboy hats, just for the fair days. These early memories evolved over the years as Renée grew up going to the Fair each year and taking her own family.
Renee has prepared, set up and served hot meals for guests ranging from 30 to over 200, from chicken fried steak to smothered pork chops. Its premium taste and large portions of service are always presented with a welcome and a smile as you work your way through the service line. Renee says her commitment to the Fair runs deep: “It’s because of the friendships I have made with the Fair family, and it’s because of what the Fair represents. These kids are doing the right thing; they are positive; every child, whether a winner or a participant, has a sense of accomplishment. If the children arrive at the Fair, they are already the winners.
Mother and son’s commitment to events, fairground activities and committees such as the anticipated rodeo, a rodeo for children living with physical and intellectual disabilities, is more than appreciated. “I love the Fair. The Exceptional Rodeo, you can really see the good; joy in these children is what it is about. The people, the children, everything is fine and it makes you want to be a part of it, ”explains Nicholas, who has been offering breakfast delicacies at Rodeo Exceptionnel since its inception. “I’m committed and I’m even taking a day off this year to help. I am excited.”
As winners of the show, the culinary duo will be in the spotlight throughout the show. There is no slowdown as they will continue to offer sponsorship dinners at receptions. In addition, Nicholas, his wife Michelle and his big sister Avery are awaiting the arrival of a baby girl in October. As for the new baby’s participation in the Fair, Grandma Renee said, “I’m ready to ride the Ferris wheel with her. But, of course, dad thinks she’s ready for Mutton Bustin; we will have the forms filled out just in case!
Renee has been an author and advocate for the preservation of history in the Fort Bend County area. “It all started with my father. My dad would walk into the restaurant standing with his arms crossed, ‘you got a good crowd here today, Renee’, and I would say it was like that, it was here, and they were telling me a story like this. and so-and-so and my father would tell me to write it down. For Renee and a few other historians, this is precisely what they did and published a book, Images of American Historic Downtown Rosenberg. “Keep the city center of a small town, no matter how small. Keeping those roots in the hometown which is Fort Bend County is the fair, you still have that feeling because of the fair. Roots of the hometown. Everyone cares about everyone, ”says Butler.
Going to the fair is something Renee and Nicholas do every year. As for Renee’s favorite part of the Fair, she says, “My favorite part of the Fair is something different every year, but the families, the family atmosphere always makes me back down. It doesn’t matter if I was 7 or if I was now taking my 80 year old mother, this is the “family” of the Fair that you are a part of every year. I took mum to John Conlee, and it was so simple; she was able to meet him and listen to him. She took me when I was little, and now I take her to the Fair and I walk with her. It’s the family atmosphere. “
As for this year’s Fair, Renée and Nicholas look forward to it as they do every year. “We are the County of Fort Bend, we are still the County of Fort Bend, we will always be the County of Fort Bend,” says Renee. But, she adds, “we’re still at home. No matter how much Fort Bend County has grown, we are always at home. You still have children who are raising animals; we have beautiful queens, it is hominess, and his house. The Fair is our home. The Fort Bend County Fair will run from September 24 to October 3. See you at the fair!