by Jessie Ammons
photograph by Travis Long
“I have four teenage boys, so the State Fair is a big event for us. My family just walks around testing the food for the most part. We go in a big circle.” –Debra Capps, owner and CEO, Capps Construction and Plumbing
Debra Capps claims she’s one of the luckiest ladies around. “I get to walk around with five good-looking men all the time,” she says of her husband, Todd Capps, and their sons, Jake, 16, Ethan, 15, Griffin, 13, and Owen, 11.
Male company is familiar territory for Capps, and not just at home: The construction and plumbing company she owns and runs is a rare woman-owned entity in a man-dominated industry. Capps bought the business from her father almost three decades ago and has been forging her own path ever since.
On her radar this month is the annual N.C. State Fair, that smorgasboard of rides, agricultural displays, and, of course, carnival food. Capps’ favorite? “I have to have the corn. And there’s one (truck) called Al’s Fries – he’s got really good fries.” For her men, it’s just another post-sports-practice meal, but for her it’s an indulgence. “I’m a healthy eater, so that’s a stretch for me. But you can’t not! Fall means it’s time for the fair.”
Join Debra Capps at the N.C. State Fair October 15 – 25. Gate hours vary by day, but tend to be 8 a.m. – 11 p.m. on weekdays and 8 a.m. – 12 midnight on weekends; $10, $5 ages 6 – 12, free for ages 5 and under; 1025 Blue Ridge Blvd.; ncstatefair.org