A teen, a hot dog stand and a big dream

Published 7:27 am Saturday, July 21, 2018

By Gabriel Kwan

MPR News/90.1 FM

On the front porch of 1510 Penn Ave. N., Mr. Faulkner’s Old-Fashioned Hot Dogs was preparing to open at 11 a.m. For the owner, 13-year-old Jaequan Faulkner, it was a big day.

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He’d been grilling dogs without a permit all summer, risking a shutdown by health inspectors.

Monday was his first day operating with a license.

Deandre Harrison, of St. Cloud, stopped by out of curiosity. After tasting one of the teenager’s hot dogs, he said that he was impressed.

“He has a cash register, he’s got receipts. He seems like a very intelligent kid with a bright future ahead of him,” he said. “You don’t see many of him at 13 years old with that mindset.”

Jaequan actually started his business with his uncle two years ago, but business was slow and he soon lost interest.

“Well I started and I just didn’t do nothing with it. I just took it, and that’s it, I was just like ‘Nah, this is kinda boring, so I don’t wanna work it no more,’” he recalled.

Jaequan’s uncle, Jerome Faulkner, remembered as much.

“I bought the stuff, we stayed open for two days. And he gave up,” he said. “[He has] to be dedicated to do this.”

So when Jaequan asked him again, next year, he said no.

“We’re not gonna do it, because you’re not ready,” he said. “He asked me for the entire summer.”