Mr. Faulkner’s Old Fashioned Hot Dogs pops up on the streets of northern Minneapolis, and by all accounts is doing fine business.
Mr. Jaequan Faulkner is all of thirteen years old, and thereby hangs a tale:
He operates Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., serving about 20 customers a day. He likes the sense of accomplishment and enjoys projecting a positive image of black youth in his community, something he’s aware isn’t always shown.
The business started in 2016 when Faulkner saw an old hot dog grill at his uncle’s house. After two years of starts and stops, Faulkner stuck with it this summer.
Then he hit a snag: The Minneapolis Health Department called. Someone had complained to the city about the hot dog stand.
But instead of shutting Faulkner down, the Health Department decided to help him meet its standards.
Health Department staff made sure he had the necessary equipment — thermometers, food containers, hand sanitizer and utensil-cleaning stations — as well as knowledge about proper food handling. Once he passed his health inspection, inspectors paid the $87 for the special event food permit, and the city-sanctioned stand opened for business.
Eventually, Mr. Faulkner would like to own his own food truck. And props to Minneapolis city government for not doing what every other city would almost certainly have done.