Minneapolis health dept. decided to help — not shut down — teen who needed permit for hot dog stand

Minneapolis health dept. decided to help — not shut down — teen who needed permit for hot dog stand
Minneapolis, Minnesota health department staffers helped out a teen hot dog 'businessman' who didn't have the required permit. (arinahabich/Getty Images)

Jaequan Faulkner, a 13-year-old from Minneapolis, Minnesota, had a booming hot dog stand until a complaint with the health department threatened to shut it down.

“It puts pride in me to see that I’m doing something good for the community,” the teen entrepreneur said in a report touting the success of his pop-up business called Mr. Faulkner’s Old Fashioned Hot Dogs.

Success almost turned into strife when Faulkner was told he needed a permit to run the hot dog stand outside of his home. But instead of shutting him down, Minneapolis city officials decided to help the teen get the permit he needed to run his business.

“When I realized what it was, I said, ‘No, we’re not going to just go and shut him down’ like we would an unlicensed vendor,” Minneapolis environmental health director Dan Huff reportedly said. “We can help him get the permit. Let’s make this a positive thing and help him become a business owner.”

How did they help?

In addition to getting Faulkner an $87 special event permit, health department staffers gave him some equipment to help him run his hot dog stand. That included food containers, thermometers and hand sanitizer, the Star-Tribune reported.

Earlier this week, the teen’s hot dog stand opened for business with the required permit.

“Every day I’ve been going home thinking, ‘This young man is the brightness of my day,’” Ann Fix with the Northside Economic Opportunity Network told media.

The organization is now working with Faulkner to help him learn more about running a business.

What are his future plans?

Faulkner’s plans now include buying a food cart so he can expand his business next summer.

“It’s not about the money,” he told the Star Tribune. “It’s just something I enjoy doing.”