For two years, Jaequan Faulkner of north Minneapolis has been running ‘Mr. Faulkner’s Old-Fashioned Hot Dogs.’
There, the 13-year-old serves up hot dogs, sausages, chips and drinks outside his home, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.
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Faulkner tends it five days a week, four hours a day, sometimes serving as many as 20 customers in a single day.
“I like having my own business,” Faulkner told the Tribune. “I like letting people know just because I’m young doesn’t mean I can’t do” anything.
His business has grown very popular with the community.
Everything was going great until someone complained about it to the Minneapolis Health Department weeks ago.
Faulkner’s story could have become another in a growing series of accounts about black kids whose entrepreneurial spirit is squashed by complaints.
Last month, a woman who has been nicknamed “Permit Patty” threatened to call police on a black girl who was selling water bottles so that she could pay for a trip to Disneyland.
Then, earlier this month, a woman called police on a 12-year-old boy who was running his own lawn cutting service.
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Matters didn’t unfold that way for Faulkner.
Instead of shutting him down, the City of Minneapolis right away started taking action to keep his business going, CNN reported.
Health inspectors worked to issue him a permit. He was trained on how to take the hot dogs’ temperature properly; he was also provided with a handwashing station and thermometer, the network added.
Help came from the health department, the Northside Economic Opportunity Network (NEON) and the Minneapolis Promise Zone.
Staff with the health department helped pay for the $87 permit, NBC affiliate KARE 11 reported.
“They’re actually the ones who are helping me.”
Faulkner hopes to save enough cash to buy a hot dog cart.
And his business is moving beyond the front yard of his home.
From July 30 to Aug. 3, he’ll be cooking up hot dogs at the Minneapolis Police 4th Precinct; he’ll do it there again from Aug. 6 to 10.