Hot Dog Cart Builder Fails To Make Good.

More than a dozen consumers have been left out in the cold when they spent a few thousand dollars to order hot dog carts on eBay and got nothing in return.

The Better Business Bureau of Central Virginia says more than a dozen people have complained since August 2009 about a Barboursville company that goes by two names: “Virginia Hot Dog Cart Company” and “New World Hot Dog Cart. Co. ”
The company allegedly offered two carts on eBay for $1,500 and $4,300, but never delivered them, says Tom Gallagher, president of the local BBB.

One complaint filed this month says a buyer sent the seller money through a wire transfer and was told the cart would arrive in about a month. It never arrived, but a contract did — saying the buyer had five days after date of purchase to cancel the contract. Unfortunately, it arrived a month too late.

After almost two months of being told that the cart was lost, that there was a new delivery system, that things were crazy because of the holidays AND that the cart would arrive next week — still no cart. And the owner refuses to return the money.

Gallagher says the BBB plans to contact state and federal authorities.

If you’re planning to make a big purchase from an online auction, officials usually recommend an escrow service, particularly for items over $500. The service receives the item from the seller before sending the payment.

EBay recommends Escrow.com, and warns consumers of many fraudulent escrow companies — so if a seller suggests another company, investigate that company first.

In addition, avoid paying for online auction purchases via wire transfers, which carry few to no fraud provisions compared to credit cards.

Thanks to Walletpop for this info

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America’s Youngest Hot Dog Vendor

I remember as a kid mowing lawns, raking leaves, or shoveling snow to earn a buck. I thought that spirit had long faded away. You don’t see kids doing those kind of things for money anymore. But today I read about a 10-year-old boy who is in the process of starting his own hot dog business!

Young Parker from Virginia with the help of his dad has purchased his first hot dog-cart from money he saved up. Parker decided to go into the hot dog business as a way of paying for college. Right now he is awaiting permit approval, and will be out there selling hot dogs soon.

Peadawgs Owner

America's Youngest Hot Dog Vendor

Parker is also has a website for Peadawgs.

My hats off to Parker and his parents for instilling in him the work ethic and entrepreneurial spirit to make this happen.

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.

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.

Quick And Easy Stew

This time of year almost everyone enjoys a hearty bowl of stew. This is a quick recipe that will bring the family to the dinner table. Prepare in the morning it will take about 20 mins. then put it all in the crock pot and let it go until dinner time. Cost of this stew is about $12.00 and makes about 6 servings, so about 2 bucks per person.  Here is what you need:

2 lbs sirloin steak or stew beef cut into chunks

1 bag baby carrots

5-6 potatoes peeled (or not)

3 table spoons flour

1 pkg McCormick stew seasoning (normally I would make my own but we are talking quick)

3 cups water

optional: 1 can of sweet corn and or green beans

salt & pepper

1 or 2 cans of Pillsbury rolls

Cut up you meat into medium to small chunks, roll in the flour and put in a skillet over medium heat until brown.

Once the meat is brown add in 3 cups of water and your season mix and let it come to a boil. (about 5 mins)

Cut up the potato and carrots into med chunks. You should have about 5 1/2 cups of veggies.

Put the veggies in the crock pot first, then the meat and water, salt and pepper to your liking.

not all crock pots are the same but if its going to be 8 or more hours until dinner you can put it on low. 6 hours or under put it on high. Leave the corn and green beans until the last 15 mins. of cooking because you don’t want them to turn to mush.

15 mins before dinner follow the directions on the rolls and put in the oven. Add the corn and green beans and you will have a quick and hearty meal that will bring the whole family to the dinner table!

Stew meat

Stew meat

Veggies

Veggies

in the crock pot

in the crock pot

The Finished Product

The Finished Product

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