Offbeat
6:13 pm
Thu August 23, 2012

How hard is it to sell hot dogs? 13-year old didn’t think it would be “such a big deal”

A 13-year-old entrepreneur from Holland finally opened what’s become a controversial hot dog stand Thursday after several weeks of going through red tape.

Nathan Duszynski wanted to make some money. So he bought a hot dog cart and set it up in downtown Holland. But he didn’t realize the cart it went against zoning laws that restrict where and when food vendors can operate.

“I didn’t think the hot dog cart would be such a big deal,” Duszynski said.

Holland city officials shut the cart down.

There are many cities in Michigan with similar regulations. But his case caused public outrage. People from across the country wrote letters, chiding Holland’s city government. Duszynski says he’s talked to news reporters in Colorado, Chicago, Oklahoma and Ohio since he was shut down.

The city has since offered to work with the 8th grader, granting him a temporary permit to sell hot dogs.

jim Chiodo, head of the Ottawa County Tea Party Patriots brought his signature yellow
Credit Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

And on Thursday some customers drove from miles away to buy Duszynski’s hot dogs on his first day in business. People affiliated with the Ottawa County Tea Party Patriots, the Mackinac Center, even Amway heir Dick DeVos came out to buy hot dogs.

The lesson learned?

“When I first got shut down I thought the lesson was not to go out and do things on your own but now I learned that you need to. Don’t be shy to go out and do things on your own…cause you can really change things like I did,” Duszynski said.

I must say, there is a lot of backstory that got Duszynski to this happy ending. The Grand Rapids Press and Mlive.com details it very well here.