Junior's hot dog stand caters to students
D Dogs serves specialized franks across from Stankowski Field.
Mar. 18, 2011
D Dogs, a student-run hot dog business specializing in garnishing franks with special sauces, opened Monday near Greektown.
The cart, located outside the Alpha Epsilon Pi house across from Stankowski Field, serves hotdogs, chips and soda. All the names of the sauces begin with the letter D, and coincide with the business’s slogan, “What’s Your D?”
“There’s Daring, which is a kind of heavier, thicker, delicious sauce,” founder Daniel Brick said. “Dazzle is sweet with a little bite to it. Danger is going to be spicy. And Delight – we’re still working on that one.”
Sophomore Matt Norris, who serves as the business’s head chef, created the recipes for the sauces.
“He’s been working in the food business for a while, so we’ve kind of just played with different ideas that we’ve had from other sauces,” Brick said. “We’ve created our own out of them. He’s really the brain behind the design of the sauces. It’s experimental.”
Brick was inspired to start the business as a way to raise money for his fraternity’s philanthropy and to offer MU students an alternative dining option when walking past Greektown.
Due to the snow, business was slower than expected, but Brick remains optimistic due to the positive response.
“I think it’s great,” sophomore Lisa Korte said. “It takes less time if you’re on your way to class.”
Alpha Epsilon Pi housemother Shirlee Zumwalt was the business’ first customer.
“It was delicious, like a ballpark hot dog,” she said. “If you don’t like what’s for lunch, you can go out there and get a hot dog. If he’s out there every day, I’ll eat them every day.”
Starting up a business was a greater effort than Brick initially imagined, who said the business has been in the works since December. Startup was delayed due to food handling and business permit requirements.
“I’ve had a lot of skeptics throughout this entire process, but we’ve far exceeded some people’s thoughts of where we would be,” Brick said. “I’m learning quite a lot. If this works, and I think it will, I’ve proven that all it takes is determination, because I don’t have the skill or the knowledge of business before this. But I really want to make it happen. I’ve just been pushing and pushing.”
D Dogs also has plans to launch a catering service and to work the bar scene in downtown Columbia.
“That takes different permits to finish, which we have almost completed,” Brick said. “It’s harder because in the city, you have to have a certain amount of locations. There’s more red tape. D Dogs serves on a van which needs to be registered and properly hygienically cleaned so we can serve food out of it.”
Brick said all of the profit is going to go to Alpha Epsilon Pi’s house philanthropy, Rock-A-Thon, which raises money in support of colon cancer research.
“People always need food,” Brick said. “It’s easy. It’s quick. I help Mizzou out, and I help out charities. It’s just something that I do.”
The hot dogs cost $2, or $2.25 with a sauce.
D Dogs is open on weekdays from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and will reopen from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.