Minnesota Legend – The Inspector That Saved A Kid’s Hot Dog Stand

This is the second in a series of events to cover Minnesota Legends. The outstanding Minnesotans we can be proud of. Today a food inspector who not closed a teenage hot dog stand when a neighbor wanted it.

(Photo by Joe Raedle / Getty Images)

A thirteen-year-old Minnesotan, Jaequan Faulkner, wanted to make a little more money in July 2018. So he opened his first shop; a hot dog stand selling hot dogs, sodas, and chips in front of his Minneapolis home. Two dollars for a dog, one dollar for the sodas and chips.

“My aunt always said to me: ‘Nobody can stop you, except you.’

Every good story has a hero, a villain who makes the hero necessary, and a person who could be trampled under the steel boots of the government. And that’s a good story.


  • Jaequan Faulkner – Young businessman in danger of being crushed by The Man.
  • Anonymous – The villain (aka the person who emailed a complaint)
  • “Huff” Dan. The Hero (aka – The Minnesota Legend, Environmental Health Director for the Minneapolis Department of Health.)

On CNBC (yes, the story went national in August 2018!) Jaequan said, “… someone complained,” so the Minneapolis Health Department representative stood before him.

You may remember 2018 as the year we apparently heard many stories about children arrested for acting as unlicensed salespeople. The shameful lemonade stand had to be stamped out for our health.

That was probably Jaequan Faulkner’s mind when Dan Huff stood before him and said there had been a complaint. What he didn’t know at that moment was that Huff wasn’t the bad guy. He was the hero, a legend in the making.

Jaequan and his uncle Jerome Faulkner. (CNBC screenshot)

Instead of closing Faulkner’s business, the environmental health director found a way to help him. In fact, there had been a meeting about it before he went to check out the dangerous and deadly hot dog stand.

On CNBC, Huff said, “Before we responded to the complaint, we put our response on hold until we could figure out how to help him.” Impressed by the energy of the young man, the health inspectors decided to teach the young entrepreneur how to handle food properly in order to help him get his hot dog on the code.

So up to the code was it, and the short-term food permit? Well, the $ 87 for this came from the group of inspectors who brainstormed to turn this into a win, not a loss.

The teen’s booth passed the inspection, and it was the inspectors themselves who paid the $ 87 fee for his “short-term food permit” he received on July 16, and when CNBC published the story they were selling about a day 150 hot dogs.

One final note … Faulkner told the news team …

“My aunt always said to me: ‘Nobody can stop you, except you.’ If you say, ‘I can’t,’ well, you’re just preparing for failure. “

PERSONAL NOTE: Obviously everyone involved in this story is great (minus the complainant). I do give the food inspector extra credit, however, because common sense and kindness seem to have left too many government agencies, and Dan Huff is a Minnesota legend for moving up instead of moving up.

2021 Twin Cities Summer Jam

As always, if you have a comment, complaint, or concern about anything I’ve posted, please let me know: james.rabe@townsquaremedia.com

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List of events and fun in Rochester on July 4, 2021

Bring your lounge chairs, blankets, snacks, and drinks and celebrate July 4th at 4th Fest, a free event held at Soldier’s Field Park in Rochester, Minnesota. According to the City of Rochester, here are the events scheduled for the day and evening.

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