A Happy Ending for For Freds Franks

 

freds-franks

A couple of months ago I wrote of a guy who had his Hot Dog Cart stolen, Frank Martucci owner of Fred’s Franks in Orangeburg, N.Y. Thugs stole his only means of supporting his family; his hot dog-cart. In the update  Mr. Martucci received a loaner cart from a business owner in his local community.

Today Fred Martucci celebrates the grand reopening of Fred’s Franks on Route 303, and the community who supported him through the last few difficult months.  Fred’s insurance company replaced his stolen trailer with a new one. 

“The trailer really is beautiful,” he said. “I was very blessed to find it, but I was also blessed to have all of this support from the people.”

Fred’s first hot dog-cart was  10 foot by 7 foot. His new trailer is 2 foot longer and has an extra umbrella to shield customers from the elements. The new shade of yellow makes him visible from a few hundred feet in any direction.

“People tell me it just pops out at them from a distance,” Martucci said.

Fred’s Franks has never had a grand opening so today is his grand re-opening.

Police are still looking for the criminals who stole the original Fred Franks hot dog-cart back in september, but at least Fred is back to his location and selling hot dogs. What a great ending and just in time for Christmas.

We do Hot dog Catering  in Southern California. Look us up sometime.

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A $50.00 Hot Dog???

teddys haute-dog

 

Well just when you think you have heard it all… out of New York comes the $50.00 hot dog!  If you want to go try it bring your curiosity and wallet to the Roosevelt hotel’s Vander Bar and order the Teddy’s Haute Dog. Made from Kobe beef and is topped with foie gras shavings, balsamic onions  “accessorized” with black truffle fries and caviar aioli. If you go and eat a Teddy the hotel will donate 10% of the proceeds to City Harvest  a local charity in NYC.

$50.00 for a hot dog is crazy but not the world record. The current record holder of Guinness Book Of World Records and the globe’s most outrageously priced hot dog goes to  Serendipity 3  in NYC. The price of their hot dog? $69.00. Sigh! you can watch the video

The Hot Dog Cart: Bringing Back The American Entrepreneur

With all the news about America in the middle of an economic crisis, unemployment currently at about 9.8% and our government trying to get it together. Out comes story after story of Americans who instead of giving up or taking a hand out from the government are starting small businesses. The business that seems to get the most news is the hot dog-cart. Most of the new hot dog-cart vendors are either casualties of downsizing, laid off blue-collar workers, or just plain lost their job.

There are stories of people like Budd and Grae Lewis in the state of Washington who took the last of Budds 401k savings and invested in a hot dog-cart. Two brothers J.T and Scott McDuffy from Maryville Tn. J.T. was laid off from his job as a butcher, both decided to get into the hot dog business. Then there is Brad Kossover from Conway AR. who has come up with the solar hot dog-cart!

My story is similar; after working in the automotive business for almost 20 years, I lost my job in January of 2010. My wife and I had our hot dog-cart as a part-time business but now we are full-time and keeping busy. Actually I have not looked back.

The hot dog-cart business is a great venture if you take the time to research and plan ahead. There are may pit falls as most of the people above have found out. There is an overload of information on the net; mostly from guys who claim to be an “expert” in the field of hot dog-cart ownership. The fact of the matter is most of these guys wanting you to by their E-books have never sold a single hot dog!  I speak from experience, I have purchased some of these books when I first started my business 6 years ago.

If you are thinking of starting a hot dog-cart business, talk to your local city and health deptartment first. Make sure you follow those guidelines to the letter. If you would like further information you can contact me.  I will also continue on this subject.

The Utimate Comfort Food: Mac & Cheese

This has nothing to do with hot dogs, but for Thanksgiving my wife made the ultimate in comfort food: Mac & Cheese of course it was the Bombdiggity! I may just have to add this to our menu!  But until then here is the recipe for a smaller serving: I would say about 10

Macaroni & Cheese

THe Ultimate Comfort Food

 

Here’s what you need:

1 pound elbow macaroni pasta
1 cup whole milk
Two 12-ounce cans evaporated milk
3 eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
2 sticks butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 pound Colby cheese, shredded
1/2 pound Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
1/2 pound sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
1 pound Velveeta cheese, cut into small chunks
Salt, to taste
1 tablespoon white pepper
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup shredded American or mild Cheddar cheese

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, at the same time Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and transfer the pasta to a 9-by-13-inch casserole dish. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the whole milk, evaporated milk, sour cream, and eggs. Mix with a fork until thoroughly combined.

Add the butter and Colby, Monterey Jack, sharp Cheddar and Velveeta cheeses to the pasta.

Pour the milk and egg mixture over the pasta. Season with salt, pepper and sugar and toss. Sprinkle the top of the pasta with the remaining cup of American or Cheddar cheese.

Bake for 30 to 45 minutes, or until the top is lightly browned.

Selling Hot Dogs Not As Easy As You Would Think

Kathy Sullivan would love to set up a hotdog stand but says she’s faced nothing but red tape and a huge brick wall in her hot dog venture.

Sullivan, 51, moved to Burnaby after spending several years working as a medic in the isolated oil patches of northern B.C. and Alberta. She’s been unable to find work since and thought she’d start her own business, running a hotdog cart.

Years before Sullivan worked in the hospitality industry and wanted something where she could have interaction with people again, after those years of being out in the bush.

“People are never angry at a hot dog person,” Sullivan said with a laugh. “They always seem to be in a good mood with them. I just thought it would be a neat way to earn a living.”

She says she did her research and learned that street vendors aren’t allowed on public property according to Burnaby (Canada) bylaws and those in most other municipalities in the region.

Vancouver allows them but the limited number of spots are allocated with an annual lottery system which is problematic because she wouldn’t know whether she’d have a place to operate from one year to the next, she said.

Instead, she realized she’d have to find a local business or property owner who could provide a letter giving permission for her to set up her cart there.

Without an actual cart, she found the businesses she approached didn’t take her seriously. So she invested $6,000 to buy the cart in July, only to still be met with all the catch 22’s.

Sullivan said shopping malls don’t want her to compete with their food court inside. Other large retailers already have agreements with fast-food franchises to operate on their premises. Still others just didn’t want the bother.

Meanwhile, her belief is that sidewalks are where people want to see hotdog vendors. “It kind of lends a human touch to the streets,” she said.

From a crime prevention perspective, “It’s another pair of eyes on the street.”

And there’s a demand. She collected 97 signatures on an informal petition calling for city hall to allow hotdog carts on city property, something that only took her two hours.

Sullivan said at one point she was so discouraged, she considered giving up her dream of self-employment and selling the cart. Instead, she decided to bring the bylaws to the attention of city council, to which she made a presentation on Monday.

It appears they were receptive.

“None of us were aware what some of the problems were” for people wanting to set up such businesses, said Councilman Paul McDonell, the acting mayor, in an interview.

Council has asked staff to look into the bylaws, and report back explaining what the rules are and whether any changes can be made.

In the meantime, Sullivan waits.

There are a lot of people in this country and I guess Canada who faced with unemployment want to start a small business. Local governments should be open to the idea of increased tax revenue.

My story is similar, not wanting to be unemployed I started my hot dog biz. I ran into the same road blocks as Ms. Sullivan. If you are thinking of a hot dog business, you can learn a lot from others who went down this road before you. If interested go to my hot dog website  and contact me for info.

Thanks to Burnaby news.com

Couple Operate A Hot Dog Cart To Avoid Being Homeless

Here is a true story about a couple who live in Oregon, working their hot dog cart, not taking government help, just trying to get through the ressesion.

Budd and Grae Lewis, 62 and 50 years old, wake up every morning and set up their hot dog cart out onto the streets of Portland, Oregon. Since they both lost their jobs in 2008 — his as an animator and hers as a semi-conductor designer for Intel — Budd says they can’t afford one of the fancy enclosed food trucks that would allow them to work in inclement weather, so on many nights they go home with nothing but a pile of rain-drenched buns.

“We’ve spent days and days like little kids sitting glumly at a lemonade stand watching the cars go by, in the rain, huddled under our trailer’s umbrella, trying to keep our hands warm over a little grill, Some days we’d sell two or three sandwiches. Some days it wasn’t as good.”

Lewis said the idea for his Japanese-fusion hot dog business, Domo Dogs, came from a successful Japanese hot dog stand the couple came across while Grae was pursuing a graduate degree in Canada.

When the couple could no longer afford Grae’s tuition on their dwindling savings, they moved back to the U.S., invested the last of their 401(k) money into a hot dog cart, plastered handmade signs onto it, paid for permits and pushed off into the streets. When Portland’s rainy season finally ended and the clouds broke around July 4 of this year, Lewis said, Domo Dogs finally started to take off.

“We’re getting pretty well known.  If we had a place to set up permanently, they’d be lining up around the block.”

Lewis said he and his wife can’t afford a permanent “food pod” in Portland, which typically runs between $500 and $800 a month, so they often set up at craft fairs and holiday bazaars at schools, grange halls and churches. This month, they managed to earn about $3,000 from hot dog sales, but he said they are putting most of that money toward repairs on the trailer. In the meantime, they’re living for free in a friend’s guest bedroom, but they might be homeless soon since his friend’s house is in the process of foreclosure.

So if you make to Portland pay a visit to Domo Dogs and get a great hot dog and you will be helping out some real people.

In California?  check out Bombdiggity Hot Dogs

thanks to Huffington post for this story

“Hot Dog King” Files Bankruptcy

Self-proclaimed “hot dog king” Louie Di Raimondo has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy both personal and for his Miami-based retail business, All American Hot Dog Carts.

Raimondo was featured on Joan Rivers “How’d You Get So Rich?” TV show in May 2010 and has filed bankruptcy petitions Tuesday in Miami. Di Raimondo lists $5.5 million in debt and $1.1 million in assets, with between 100 and 200 creditors.

His business declared $1.97 million in debt and $200,599 in assets, with fewer than 49 creditors.

Di Raimondo’s rags-to-riches business story has been told and retold in newspaper articles and books, including “I’m On A Roll: America’s Celebrity Hot Dog King, Louie Di Raimondo,” which he co-authored.

According to the bankruptcy petition, Di Raimondo’s owes $1.7 million to Chase Home Finance on a home in Miami Beach, along with a couple of other mortgages in Miami.

He also declared ownership of a 2008 Ford Ranger and a 28-foot Sea Ray boat. His personal bankruptcy petition says he has a monthly income of $18,500 and it includes 27 pages listing credit card account debts.

Wait…… a 2008 Ford Ranger??? did you see the video of his claim to fame on his web site??

All I can say is business is awesome at the Bombdiggity! And we don’t own any of the “Kings”Carts, just honest hot dog sales here folks.

Thanks to the South Florida Business Journal for the info.

Community Supports Man Who Had His Hot Dog Cart Stolen

A couple of weeks ago in another post, I told you about a small business man who had his hot dog cart stolen. I have  an update:

Fred’s Franks was back at its usual spot along Route 303 on Wednesday, as Fred Martucci re-opened the business that had disappeared when his hot-dog trailer was stolen two weeks ago.

Police have not yet found the 10-foot-long, 7-foot-wide stainless steel trailer that once was his business, Martucci was able to open temporarily, using a pushcart, like what you see in NYC.

Donations from a couple touched by his misfortune which left Martucci, 54, of Emerson, N.J., with no income and no means to support his family. His situation was dire to the point that he borrowed money recently just to make his mortgage payment, he said last week.

After reports of the missing trailer appeared through out the internet this month, concerned people from as far away as Dallas called in with trailer spottings and offers to help Martucci get back on his feet.

“I was amazed and overwhelmed by the support of so many people calling in,” Martucci said. “They offered everything from pushcarts to building space.”.

Martucci said he received about a dozen offers from local residents willing to help but finally settled on an offer from Stephen and Tina Coutsourakis, a New Rochelle couple who distribute Sabrett hot-dog products in Westchester and Putnam counties through their company, Stina Provisions Inc.

Stephen Coutsourakis supplied Martucci with the pushcart, then contacted the Sabrett company, which agreed to provide hot dogs, buns and many of the other condiments needed to run a hot-dog stand.

“It wasn’t like his car got stolen. He lost his whole business,” Stephen Coutsourakis said. “I had the resources to do something, and that’s why I did it. I would hope that if it happened to me one day, someone would help me out.”

Martucci said he’s been in talks with his insurance company about filing a claim for the trailer, valued around $25,000, but was unsure of how long the process might take.

He said he would likely use the Coutsourakis family’s pushcart for two to four weeks. Martucci said he was excited to be back on the street. “It’s just really amazing,” he said. “This is my spot. This is where I want to be.”

 Thanks to lohud.com for the info.

Hot Dog Condiments That Can Be Healthy

Chicago Hot Dog

Loaded With Condiments: The Chicago Hot Dog

Condiments, the ingredients that give a flavor boost to your hot dog, may also give your body a boost.

When you think health, you probably never think up images of French fries or hot dogs. But even those guilty pleasures can come with a surprising health benefit — the toppings.

In ketchup, for example, lycopene is the antioxidant compound that gives tomatoes their bright red color. It’s also considered an anti-cancer agent, and Guards against aging of the skin. Organic ketchup can contain up to three times the lycopene of conventional ketchup.

Mustard also packs a great nutritional punch. That’s because mustard contains mustard seeds, which are in the same family of foods as broccoli and cabbage. The seeds are a strong anti-cancer agent and may also help reduce symptoms of asthma and arthritis.

Top your hot dog with sauerkraut. The fermented cabbage is low in calories and loaded with helpful bacteria for your digestion

Next time put a little heat on your hot dog by trying some hot sauce. That same thing that makes you sweat also increases your metabolic rate slightly.

Stop by your local hot dog cart, pile on the condiments and enjoy the health benefits!