Acts of Kindness
Angry neighbors call cops on boy selling hot dogs but plan backfires when cops arrive
This didn’t go at all according to plan.
Sasha Alonzo

Every child has a dream, a vision of what they want to achieve or become.

Some dream of becoming astronauts, some doctors, and some, entrepreneurs.

But dreams, no matter how big or small, can sometimes face hurdles.

This is the heartwarming tale of a young boy’s dream, his hot dog stand, and a community that refused to let that dream be stifled.

Meet Jaequan Faulkner, a spirited 13-year-old from Minneapolis.

While most kids his age might be content with an allowance or doing odd jobs, Jaequan had a different plan.

Instead of turning to his parents for pocket money or to buy new clothes, he took the initiative to set up a hot dog stand right outside his home.

His goal?

To earn his own money and learn the ropes of business.

Jaequan’s dedication and entrepreneurial spirit didn’t go unnoticed.

The local police officers, particularly those from the Bike Cops for Kids program, were thoroughly impressed.

Recognizing his efforts, they gave his hot dog stand a shoutout on their social media.

Almost overnight, Jaequan’s modest stand became a local sensation.

But as with any story of success, there came challenges.

Not everyone in the community was pleased with Jaequan’s newfound fame.

A complaint was lodged against him, with the main accusation being that he was operating without the necessary permit.

It seemed like Jaequan’s business dream might come to a premature end.

Enter the city officials, the unsung heroes of this tale.

Instead of taking the easy route and shutting down “Mr. Faulkner’s Old Fashioned Hotdogs,” the Minneapolis Environmental Health Director, Dan Huff, saw an opportunity.

He believed in Jaequan’s dream.

“When I realized what it was, I said, ‘No, we’re not going to just go and shut him down’ like we would an unlicensed vendor,” Huff passionately stated.

His vision was clear: “We can help him get the permit. Let’s turn this situation around and help him become a legitimate business owner.”

Kare 11 - YouTube
Kare 11 - YouTube

The support didn’t stop with just words.

The city officials went above and beyond.

They collectively funded Jaequan’s $87 10-day permit.

But they realized that for a business to thrive, it needed more than just a permit.

They provided Jaequan with essential business tools: a tent to shield him and his customers from the sun, meat thermometers to ensure each hot dog was cooked to perfection, and a handwashing station to maintain hygiene standards.

Kare 11 - YouTube
Kare 11 - YouTube

The Northside Economic Opportunity Network (NEON) also recognized Jaequan’s potential.

This nonprofit organization, dedicated to aiding “underserved entrepreneurs,” offered their expertise. They mentored Jaequan, teaching him foundational business principles like effective financing, targeted marketing, and competitive pricing.

With their guidance, Jaequan’s future looked bright.

Once his initial 10-day permit expires, he has a roadmap of locations to move his stand to, each sponsored by different community organizations.

Kare 11 - YouTube
Kare 11 - YouTube

From setting up shop at the police precinct to establishing a presence at the Urban League and then partnering with a community church, Jaequan’s entrepreneurial journey is just beginning.

When asked about what drives him, his response was heartfelt, “It’s the cooking and the people.

When I see someone passing by with a frown, and I can turn that into a smile just by selling them a hot dog, that’s my reward.”

Kare 11 - YouTube
Kare 11 - YouTube

Jaequan’s story serves as an inspiration, not just for young dreamers but for communities everywhere.

As Jaequan wisely shares, echoing the words of his auntie, “Can’t nobody stop you but you. If you say ‘I can’t do that,’ you’re setting yourself up for failure.”

With such unwavering determination and a community that stands by him, the sky’s the limit for this young entrepreneur.

Watch Jaequan in action in the video below.

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