National Hot Dog Month 2012 was a HUGE SUCCESS. Over 31 days, I visited 29 hot dog establishments (there were two cookouts courtesy of Pearl Franks in there too) from a trailer that had been open for two weeks to a place that has been in business since 1890 and just about everything in between.
This is/was a very fun project, but it is only just beginning. Drew Bennett, who accompanied me on more than half of my visits as tour photographer, and I still have much work to do. We are working on two projects: a documentary on Casey's Diner, which is the oldest continually run family diner in the nation, and a documentary about hot dogs and hot dog vendors. While I enjoyed the month IMMENSELY, it was a lot of work; 12-18 hour days, every day for a month. We collected hundreds of hours of footage that we need to sort through for the two documentary projects; there is still a LOT of work to be done.
A project of this magnitude couldn't get done without the help of a lot of good people, so barring the sentimental speeches, I would like to thank the following people:
First and foremost, I need to mention the good people at Pearl Franks. Pearl was the "Official Hot Dog" of the National Hot Dog Month 2012 Tour. They let us film the hot dogs and franks being made and they provided us with franks to hand out to every vendor we visited. They also provisioned my two barbecues. I happen to enjoy their products and I would like to thank them for their involvement.
Joel and Reed at DreamMaker Hot Dog Carts also deserve a lot of thanks. Not only did they give me the grand tour of their facility, they funded the first round of Official Tour Tee Shirts. I gave out 120 tee shirts and I still have to get more to distribute! I couldn't have had ANY without DreamMaker. If you need a new hot dog cart, these are THE folks to talk to. Their carts are MADE IN THE USA too- a distinction not shared by most other so-called "cart manufacturers." Reed at DreamMaker will also help with permitting and licensing in the state of Florida.
Nick Loeb and the folks at Onion Crunch gave us a ton of product and promotional items. The condiment was a HUGE hit on the tour. Some vendors were already using it. Onion Crunch is available in grocery stores nationwide and they sell food service sized containers too. I will be dining on "street meat" with Nick in New York City in a few weeks- stay tuned!
The good people at Kodak gave us a bunch of cameras and equipment. I have no idea WHO to thank for that since our contact has left the company, but THANKS KODAK!
I would also like to thank Carl Johnson, owner of the Sunset House B'n'B in Gouldsboro, Maine and the Fisherman's Inn in Winter Harbor, Maine. Carl is a fan of Hot Dog Stories and he also runs a hot dog cart in Winter Harbor in the summer. You will be seeing and hearing a lot more about Carl in the weeks to come as we will be visiting the Inn for a few days while we go Hot Doggin' in Maine later this month. Carl is putting Mrs. HDM and I up at the Sunset House B'n'B for a few nights and his varied businesses will be featured here, on Eat West, and on Hot Dog Stories.
Shelly Ehler from The Shark Tank and Show No Towels has been a BIG help with National Hot Dog Month and on my Shark Tank Blog. She helped fund the cause and she was a big part in building the credibility of our blog's brand just by sharing her story with me. She is a source of inspiration to entrepreneurs everywhere.
Shawn Collins, co-founder of Affiliate Summit has been a source of information and a ketchup hating fan of Hot Dog Stories for a few years now. His website, AffiliateTip has been a great guide to publishing and monetizing my websites. Thank You Shawn.
Jim Kukral has been another source of information for me over the years. As a Stadium Mustard guy who hates ketchup, Jim has been a fan of Hot Dog Stories for a while. He's been an online mentor to me since I got started writing about hot dogs online nearly 6 years ago. Thanks and go eat a @#%$&* hot dog already, Jim.
Jared Joyce is another Shark Tank entrepreneur who contributed to the cause. It takes ten years to be an overnight success, Jared is in year eight! Thanks for everything, Jared!
Mark Gallant, owner of The Dogfather, Worcester's ONLY extreme hot dog truck has welcomed me to his business and his chili dog eating contest for a few years now. I always enjoy my visits there and he obviously does too! Thanks, Mark.
I'd also like to thank Daniel M. Clark of QAQN and George Yankowski of Yank's Franks.
Without the financial support of these folks, National Hot Dog Month couldn't have happened. THANK YOU EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU!
I would also like to thank all the vendors/business owners we visited all month. Allowing me to disrupt your business while filming isn't always easy. Thanks to all of you!
Drew Bennett took a lot of great pictures which are featured on the Hot Dog Stories Facebook Page. Drew spent quite a few days as tour photographer, second pair of hands, additional cameraman, and occasional comic foil. Thank you, Drew. I look forward to working together with you in the future.
Last but not least, I would like to thank my lovely wife, AKA Mrs. Hotdogman. Dealing with the day to day of this project is not always easy and she had to put up with a lot of it. Not only did she accompany me on several stories, she faced the entire project with grace, humor, and love. Without her support, none of this could ever happen. Thank you and I love you Chantel!
The Hotdogman on TV
Here' the Hotdogman on Roadside Stories
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