“Well, to start off, I am a 47 year old single father of 2 boys, 17 and 11. We moved to Asheville in 2005 and moved to DC in 2010 after I was separated from my wife. Asheville remained in our blood through those 2 years and decided to move back about a month and a half ago to raise my boys in the epitome of vacation spots.
I have been in the restaurant business for a few years, dabbled in sales for a while, suffered through the seemingly unglorious retail management for years… all to realize that I haven’t made much money, have had no time for myself or my sons, and found one thing that I truly despise… WALLS.
Last March, my mother passed away from complications with Parkinsons. She had that dreaded disease for about 25 years, but she was my inspiration in life and always told me to keep my dreams alive. She and I were the “food lovers” in the house and always loved to try new things and were always suckers for an amazing smelling bakery. After she passed away, of course there was a void in my life, but I remember her words of living my dream. Although many may believe that a hot dog business may not be a “dream” job… for me, it fits that definition to a “T.”
A few dollars were left to me and I used that money to purchase my cart from Dreammaker Hot Dog Carts in Tampa. My boys and myself took a trip down there to pick up the cart. A mini vacation is what we called it.
I chose the name “Cate’s” to honor my mother. The red and white umbrella is for Nebraska… where I was raised. And the different “dogs of the week” is to mix it up a bit and be creative with the customers… let them have some input for a change. (last week I introduced a Buffalo dog that had wing sauce, Ranch or Blue Cheese and a slice of celery… next week a Mexi dog… on a tortilla)
I encourage my customers to be creative with the condiments and give me suggestions on what they would like me to carry in the future. I will have contests for the customers to put their name and number on a sheet of paper along with their favorite condiments and put all the cards in a fishbowl (minus the water and fish), select one lucky customer each week and they will receive a free hot dog each day of the following week.
As you can see, I am very interactive with the customers… even with the ones just walking by. I love my location… under the trees, across from Scully’s… heck, just being in Asheville… and better yet, NO walls!!!!!
On a side note, I was doing the marathon hours until 2am, but the City of Asheville came down on me and is now shutting me down at 11pm each night. I feel that I was doing a service to the city by staying open till then, but they have it in their ordinance Section 16 – 144. I would love to have a petition to hand to the City Council and have those hours extended.”
***While speaking to Victor on the phone, he mentioned that about 1/2 of the family’s income is gained after Midnight, so being forced to shut down early is now hurting his new business greatly.*