Minnesota Hot Dog Stand Goes From Violation To Venture

When 13-year-old Jaequan Faulkner started a hot dog stand in front of his house in Minneapolis last summer, he never dreamed that he would become an overnight entrepreneur. His self-made job was in jeopardy after someone sent an email complaint to the Minneapolis Health Department. It turns out that Faulkner was, in fact, operating as an unlicensed vendor selling $2 hot dogs and $1 sodas and chips. Dan Huff, Environmental Health Director of the Minneapolis Health Department, said that before responding to the complaint, they tried to figure out how to help Faulkner. Impressed by the young man’s drive, health inspectors decided to teach him about proper food handling to assist him in getting his hot dog stand up to code. The stand passed inspection, and the inspectors themselves paid the $87 fee for his food permit. After that, the hot dog stand took off. Faulkner regularly sold between 100 and 150 hot dogs in a day, selling from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. He planned to use the money he made for school clothes, but his long-term goal is to open his own restaurant. According to Faulkner, his aunt gave him advice that stuck with him: “If you say you can’t do something, you just set yourself up for failure.” For sure, failure is not even in Faulkner’s vocabulary.