Minnesota helps 13-year-old boy keep his hot dog business instead of shutting him down

Friday, July 20, 2018
Teen entrepreneur opens hot dog stand
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Instead of shutting down a teen's hot dog stand, the city helped him make his business official.

MINNEAPOLIS -- A 13-year-old entrepreneur who was reported for operating a hot dog stand without a license is still in business, thanks to Minnesota officials who could have shut him down.

Jaequan Faulkner has been selling hot dogs outside of his home since 2016. He runs Mr. Faulkner's Old Fashioned Hot Dogs.

The Minnesota Department of Health received a complaint this summer about the hot dog stand, which was not permitted.

But instead of shutting down Jaequan's operation, officials worked with him to keep the stand open. Health inspectors even pitched in to pay for the $87 permit, Minnesota Public Radio reported.

"We helped Quan become permitted and went through some food safety techniques and procedures with him so he could operate legally and safely," said Minneapolis Health Department supervisor Ryan Krick.

Jaequan's stand is operating legally, and business has been good. It's so good, he's able to pay himself and multiple family members.

"I pay me and my uncle and my cousin. But before I do any of that, I pay tax. It's not about the money. It's something I enjoy doing," Faulkner told WCCO.

The teen now works four-hour days, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and spends his free time "thinking about what's next." Maybe a food cart, so he can take his operation on the road.

Jaequan said he's also thinking about donating some of earnings to charities that help people with depression.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.