Well, this is just the heartwarming story we needed this summer! A Minnesota teenager decided to start his own business in order to raise money to buy himself some new clothes for school. Jaequan Faulkner, 13-years-old, opened up a hot dog stand in front of his home, just like he did in 2016. But this summer, a complaint to the health department nearly derailed his entrepreneurial plans. That is until the Minnesota Health Department stepped in, and helped this budding young business owner.
Jaequan's hot dog business is called Mr. Faulkner's Old-Fashioned Hot Dogs. He started the business to raise funds for back-to-school clothes. But someone reported him this summer for selling food without a permit. Luckily, Minneapolis environmental health director Dan Huff decided that the best way to help him was to, you know, help him! Rather than shut down his operation, Huff and the staff at the health department all pitched in to raise the $87 required to secure a 10-day permit. They also got him a tent, some meat thermometers, hand sanitizer and a hand-washing station, and other things he'd need to prepare the food according to food-handling safety regulations.
The Northside Economic Opportunity Network (NEON) also stepped in to help educate Jaequan on running his own (legally permitted!) business. The businesskid got a huge boost when his stand was endorsed by police officers with Bike Cops for Kids on Facebook and Twitter!
Have you heard about the 13-year-old the City cleared to sell hot dogs? Jaequan Faulkner’s stand at 1510 Penn Ave N is officially permitted. He plans to take his food stand on the road to serve customers at places like the 4th Precinct. Our cops stopped by to support the cause. pic.twitter.com/S6ePP6VRlZ— Minneapolis Police (@MinneapolisPD) July 18, 2018
Mr. Faulkner's Old-Fashioned Hot Dogs is now open for business! He operates the stand Monday - Friday from 11 a.m. till 3 p.m., and serves about 20 customers a day. After his 10-day permit expires, Jaequan will be moving locations. He's going to set-up shop outside of the Minneapolis police precinct, which sponsored his next permit. After that, members from the Urban League and a local church will donate funds for his next permit, which should keep Jaequan in operation until he goes back to school. Jaequan says he doesn't do it for the money. For him, it's more about the sense of community and being able to cook for the people! Great job, Mr. Faulkner! We can't wait to see where you go next.
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