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Necessity inspires single mom to start Marietta hot dog stand

By Brad Bauer

April 6, 2011
The Marietta Times

Although the hot dog cart dates back more than 140 years, until recently Marietta's parks and street corners have been void of the American staples.

Prior to opening up her own hot dog stand in February, Becca Worstell, 38, of Marietta, had been filling various office positions while working for a temp agency.

"I'm a single mom of two wonderful kids but I was having trouble with my job because I was missing work for doctor's appointments or because my kids were sick," she said. "I like (the hot dog stand) because I set my own hours and I can work around my kids' schedule ... And there really seemed to be a void for this in this area."

On Sunday, Worstell was selling her all-beef hot dogs, chips and soda near the intersection of Pike and Seventh streets.

Although she hopes to find a steady location that supports her venture, because the business is truly a mobile one, Worstell said she is able to cater to crowds or special events by appointment.

"A Marietta College group invited me to cater one of their upcoming events," she said.

Worstell said she buys all of her supplies locally and that she doesn't skimp on the chili, slaw or relish - unless it's by request.

"You've just got to try one to know how good they are," she said.

Worstell said she has about $10,000 invested in the business venture, a small price compared to the costs associated with other ideas she considered.

Worstell said she's developing special combo meals and prices that may change over time. She anticipates the "Marietta Monster Dog" - a quarter-pound all-beef dog she added to the menu this week will become her top seller.

"It's a meal in itself," she said.

According to "What's Cooking America," Charles Feltman, a German butcher, opened up the first Coney Island hot dog stand in Brooklyn, New York, in 1867.

The cooking network credits Feltman with selling more than 3,600 hot dogs in his first year of business. The network claims Feltman had owned a pie wagon that he used to deliver goods to taverns that lined Coney Island but decided his clients may want hot sandwiches, too. He consulted with a wheel-right who re-engineered his cart and fitted it with a grill to keep the rolls warm and steam the dogs.

At the time of his death in 1910, "What's Cooking America" claims Feltman's business was worth over $1 million.



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