First downtown food cart exceeds expectations | Business
JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - Fred Garrott started selling "Fred’s Franks" in Smith Park three weeks ago and has sold out each day since.
Some people have stopped by every day, and most bring a friend back after their first visit.
“I’ve had so many repeat customers and people who bring someone back,” he said. “That just blows my mind.”
Garrott is selling twice as many hotdogs as he expected – but not as many as he needs to, he said.
See, while Garrott is an entrepreneur, he is also an activist. Fred’s Franks’ slogan sums up Garrott’s cause best -- “Second best dog in town. The best dog is a rescued dog.”
Garrott is a lifelong animal lover and is raising money and awareness one hotdog at a time for animal rescue efforts. Garrott enjoys spreading his message and just interacting with his customers.
“That’s the fun part – talking with people,” Garrott said Thursday afternoon as he packed up his cart, occasionally telling customers who walked up he was sold out but will see them next week.
Fred’s Franks is the talk of the downtown lunch crowd right now, but what many may not know is this operation didn’t pop up over night.
“I woke up one morning and told my wife I was going to put a hotdog stand up in Downtown Jackson,” Garrott said.
That was several years ago.
In the last few years, Garrott talked to several cities in the Metro area, including Ridgeland and Pearl, about opening a food cart, but they didn’t take him seriously and each said it wasn’t possible, Garrott said.
One of the cities even said they had just turned down another person with the same request.
Then he went to the City of Jackson planning department where they said he’d have to get an ordinance passed.
“Everybody I talked to said it was a great idea, but we couldn’t do it,” Garrott said.
But, with the help of Jackson City Councilmen Quentin Whitwell and Kenneth Stokes the wheels started rolling to draft the ordinance. It eventually passed.
Garrott now has permission to set up shop in Smith Park at the corner of Amite and N. West streets.
You can find Garrott at his spot in Smith Park from Tuesday-Thursday starting at 11 a.m. until he sells out.
For more information on Garrott's cause, visit his website.
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