|Jeff Snyder and his wife Jessica Clark, who live in Camp Verde with their three children, recently decided to go into the hot dog business, buying a hot dog cart they call the Wienie Wagon. VVN/Bill Helm|
CAMP VERDE - Jeff Snyder decided that he was done with working in Phoenix.
Snyder also decided that he wanted to be his own boss.
So Snyder and wife Jessica Clark, who live in Camp Verde with their three children, decided to go into the hot dog business, buying a hot dog cart they call the Wienie Wagon.
Three weeks after starting the family's business venture, Snyder is pleased with the family's decision.
"I wanted to be self-employed and in food service," he said. "This is a good start. We will try to build it up. This gives us the freedom to do what we want, when we want."
Snyder and Clark saved their money to buy the cart. Eventually, Snyder said, they want to own their own restaurant. In five years, Snyder wants to be established "in an actual restaurant-style location, serving the community. We want to be independent and on our own, to have a decent spot for people to enjoy. We enjoy making, hot, fresh food."
"Even in this tough economy, we live in a strong community," Clark said. "I think this is a great business that we can do as a family."
By parking in the middle of downtown, Snyder and Clark hope to provide a quick and affordable lunch to people who drive through town, as well as people walking from place to place.
The Wienie Wagon, said Sheila Stubler, Park Manger at Fort Verde State Historic Park, is "good for the town. In the 10 years I've been here, I've seen nothing like it. Hopefully, more people will meander around the downtown. It's good, it's fast and it's service with a smile."
Each day, with a regular menu as well as specials, Snyder and Clark generally park Wienie Wagon across the street from the Camp Verde Historic District. On Wednesday afternoons, Wienie Wagon can be found at the Beaver Creek Farmers' Market. According to Snyder, Wienie Wagon looks to offer its customers "something good, quick, easy and affordable."
With frankfurters ranging from $2 to $5, the daily menu at Wienie Wagon includes a traditional hot dog, dubbed Your Dog, as well as chili cheese, bacon cheddar and quarter-pound Chicago-style dogs. Rotating specials include a stadium brat, Polish sausage, hot link, spicy Italian, Linguisa, chicken spinach, as well as gluten-free Asiago and chicken fajita franks.
While stopping for a chili cheese dog recently, Mike Marshall, Parks and Recreation Coordinator for Camp Verde, said he has liked eating at hot dog carts since he lived on the east coast.
"I like them when you go to events and festivals," he said, "so there are more options for people who want food."
Drinks and chips are also available on the Wienie Wagon, as are cookies, brownies, cake and fruit pies known as Jess's Sweet Treats, made from scratch by Clark.
"Hopefully, people will catch onto that as well," Clark said."