After five straight days of rain, it was nice to go for a cruise with the top down! We were rolling down route 140- South Main Street- in Hopedale when we spied this sign.
We decided to take a closer look.
We had stumbled upon Hot Dog Mary’s, located at 244 South Main Street in Hopedale, right next to Milford Tire.
Hot Dog Mary’s is Hopedale’s newest (and only) Hot Dog Cart. Mary Kearnan, the proprietor, greeted us warmly. This is Mary’s first season as a Hot Dog Woman and she plans on staying open until October. She’s a fair weather vendor-Mary doesn’t venture out in the rain (or snow). She’ll open back up in the Spring when the weather clears.
Mary’s an “empty nester.” After being a “housewife” for most of her married life, she decided to go into business for herself when her kids shipped off to college. She’ll have to sell a lot of hot dogs to cover those tuition bills! Mary is a self described “people person,” and, after meeting her, I’d say she has a firm grip on her personal strengths!
Getting into the hot dog business is something she’s always thought of doing and, without any kids at home, she finally decided to put it all together last year. She liked the idea of a hot dog business because of the low cost to get started. Her business provides a nice second income for her family and provides an outlet for her hospitable nature. Mary provides fast, courteous, top-notch service. She reiterated my three most important criteria for a successful hot dog business: location, Location, LOCATION. Mary knows the folks at Milford Tire and when she approached them about locating her hot dog cart there, they said “SURE!” Route 140 is a busy road, Mary has decent parking, and there are many businesses in the area-all good things for a strong location for a hot dog cart.
Mary has other gigs too. In addition to her regular spot, Mary brings her cart to the Pop Warner fields in Bellingham, Massachusetts during the football season. You can also find Mary at Hopedale’s Oktoberfest celebration on October 3, 2010.
Mary did a lot of research before purchasing her cart from Cart Concepts International. She even went and visited their factory in Manchester, CT. Mary wanted to “go new” with her hot dog cart and she decided to purchase the tow behind Model 425 from CCI. While there is good value in a used hot dog cart, nothing beats a shiny new rig!
The cart has four sinks (a health department requirement in Massachusetts)- three for cleaning up and one for hand washing.
This rig is just gleaming and there is plenty of work space, including 5 steam wells for HIGH VOLUME.
Mary uses a hot dog cart umbrella when she doesn’t have her canopy over the operation.
She sprung for the optional Corian shelf that gives her extra room for prep work and the griddle (on the right) for when she wants to saute peppers and onions for Italian Sausages.
She has a table to store chips and some of her condiments.
Mary has regular relish, Howard’s Piccalilli, Howard’s Hot Pepper Relish and Boar’s Head Sweet Vidalia Onion Relish.
For mustard, there’s Boar’s Head Horse Radish, French’s Brown, and French’s Yellow mustard. There’s also ketchup and chopped onions.
ON TO THE HOT DOGS!
The menu is simple, Mary sells hot dogs and….hot dogs.
The dogs are dressed “all under” by Mary herself- she wants to keep this rig shining.
Little Miss got one with yellow mustard and I got the sweet vidalia onion relish with brown mustard. Mary serves up a steamed Kayem Old Time frank on a steamed bun. The hot dogs were HOT!
We sat down once the dining room had vacated…
…and CHOWED DOWN!
These were very good dogs! I like Kayems when they’re steamed up hot-they have that signature “snap” and they don’t taste waterlogged. The sweet vidalia onion relish was out of this world- I’d have it again.
Mary bribed Little Miss with a lollipop, but she didn’t have to. Little Miss liked the dogs so much, she had another! A definite TWO THUMBS UP for Hot Dog Mary’s from Little Miss.
If you’re in the Milford/Hopedale area and have a craving for a quality hot dog, stop by Hot Dog Mary’s and tell Mary “the Hotdogman sent me.”