Saturday, October 2, 2010

Where did you go?

Had a lot of people ask what has been going on with us.  Here is the official word from me:

Back in March, we were working on getting the Austin locations up and going.  I went to see my grandmother for Easter and found out that she has cancer.  When we came back, I had to work on the van that we were going to haul the cart with.  That ended up taking a lot more time than it should, but working on vans is really a pain.  During that time, I was pretty upset about my grandmother.  She means the world to me and I had a hard time dealing with all that was going on.

Once I got the van done, it was already towards the middle of May.  I knew that school was ending soon, so our Austin locations could wait.  I continue to operate the Bastrop location on the weekends, since during the week was pretty much a bust. 

At the end of May, I got really sick and had to be taken to the hospital.  Of course, the doctors had ZERO idea what was wrong and tried to tell me it was all kinds of things.  I just figured it was food poisoning (from a local place, not from my hot dogs!) and it would go away.  Well, it didn't.

Still feeling ill, we closed the Bastrop location until I could get back on my feet.  Did a catering job in June, worked the July 3rd event in Bastrop, and opening one Saturday in August. 

In August is when I finally was given the go ahead to see a GI specialist.  I had seen my regular doctor and was referred over to the GI doctor in Austin.  The doctor went over all my test results and diagnosed me with a form of IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)/ Spastic Colon.  Basically, my stomach muscles/intestines cramp up like when you get a cramp in your leg.  I also get varying degrees of nausea.  So the doctor puts me on medicine to help my symptoms.  Unfortunately, the medicine has a bad side effect/warning......causes dry mouth / if you get overheated, it will cause severe dehydration.  That means, no standing by a hot dog cart for 4+ hours a day or risk going back to the hospital.

So after this, I really started wondering if this was worth it or not.  Do I continue and take a chance or just sell it all and find something else to do?  Well, I did one and not the other.  No, I didn't sell my business but I did find something else.  That something else won't interfere with the hot dog business and allows me to have another income stream.  That something else is doing Skip Tracing and Process Serving for civil accounts (i.e. Doctors, Lawyers, and etc).  I can do these during the mornings and evenings and it won't interfere with the hot dogs.

I sat down and decided that the hot dogs must come back.  But this time, we are taking it slow and not rushing into anything.  I feel like there was too much pressure on me the first time and then everything kind of fell apart.  I am dedicated to making this work and making a living doing it.  I really wanted to make everything work the first time, but had spread my self way too thin.  I was so worried about making everyone happy and I wasn't really having fun anymore.

So, we are coming back on October 9th.  I will only have the Downtown Bastrop location open on Saturdays for the time being.  Since the weather is much cooler, I don't run as much risk in getting sick.  I am working on a second location in Bastrop that will run during the week.  We are also going to try and do some other special events in the area. 

I am also working on changing up the menu.  It will probably be the same for now, but should be fixed up by Halloween.  I am going to do something other than hot dogs and I think people will like it.  It gives customers another option and will hopefully boost our income.

We are also announcing that a deal was setup with Square ( and we will be taking credit cards.  Yes, we will be taking credit cards....all four types.  Now, the menu prices will be different for credit cards.  We will give a discount for cash customers and credit card customers will pay the normal price.  Would love to let everyone pay the same, but it is easier to deal with cash than credit cards.

Oh yeah, my grandmother is still taking her chemo and is doing much better.  We are planning another trip to see her and can't wait to spend time with her.

I also need to address the flower/antique shop questions.  We closed the flower shop for day to day operations because the economy.  People aren't spending the money on flowers anymore.  We can still do special events, but that is all.  The antiques are eventually leaving the building.  That is another business that pretty much gets killed during bad economic times.  I don't know when this is going to happen.  Sorry.

So now the big question.....what are you doing with the building?  Nothing for right now.  We have some options that are being explored, but nothing I can talk don't ask!  When the time is right, then everyone will know.

So that, in a nutshell, is what has been going on.  I am feeling better most days, but still have off days.  I hope to have Bastrop going strong soon and then slowly expand into Austin.  We will have to wait and see.

A special thank you to my family and friends.  They have been by my side during all of this and have encouraged me to get back to sell those delicious Vienna Beef hot dogs.  Without their help, not sure that any of this would ever be possible.  Thank you!

And I expect to see everyone on Halloween.  We will be open on the 31st from 5pm to 10pm.  Make sure you come by and visit us, even if you don't buy a hot dog!

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