Earlier this summer, 13-year-old Jaequan Faulkner, of Minneapolis, opened up a hot dog stand with the hope of raising enough money for new school clothes. However, when someone filed a complaint with the health department, officials with the city worked with the teen to get him a food vendor permit.
Officers with "Bike Cops for Kids" made a Facebook post encouraging people to visit Mr. Faulkner's Old Fashioned Hot Dogs, and business was booming. However, someone reported that Faulkner didn’t have an official permit to serve food, according to Logan Ebeling, a health inspector with the city of Minneapolis, reported KHOU.
Instead of shutting Faulkner’s business down, groups with the city worked to make him a legitimate entrepreneur.
"They worked with a couple groups in the area, NEON I know was involved, Appetite for Change, trying to support Jaequan and what he's doing. He's a great kid," Ebeling told KHOU.
Staff from the Minneapolis Health Department, the Minneapolis Promise Zone and the Northside Economic Opportunity Network (NEON) came together to help bring Faulkner's hot dog stand up to code.
"We've been working with Jaequan on the business side of things, like basic business, finance, marketing, pricing... he's really been excited about all of it," Ann Fix, program manager for the Northside Food Business Incubaor, told KHOU.
According to Ebeling, Faulkner needed to added a tent for overhead protection, a hand washing station and the city also gave him a thermometer to check the temperatures of his sausages and hot dogs.
"I pay me and my uncle and my cousin... but before I do any of that I pay tax," Faulkner said.
Even the Health Department staff chipped in to help pay for his $87 temporary permit.
"Surprisingly, I'm like, dang the city's not the bad guys in this situation. They're actually the ones who are helping me," Faulkner told the local news station. "It makes me feel kind of—not kind of—really proud that people know what I'm doing."
Faulkner hopes to earn enough money to buy a food cart for next summer.
"So the next few weeks we're just going to get him through this short-term food journey and then school starts and he's very, very focused and excited for school to start. Then in the fall and winter we'll start really strategizing and planning out to get his food cart," Fix said.
(Photo: Cindy Ord/Getty Images for NYCWFF)