Ever since she was a little girl, Karynthia Story has loved cooking. Wanting to use her talent in the kitchen, she decided to venture into the world of food professionally. Karynthia said she was blessed to grow up in a home where her mother cooked fresh food from scratch. In fact, she had never even tried ramen noodles until she was in her twenties.
But she was introduced to a whole different world at Vista Maria where she worked in juvenile lockup. Cooking for the girls there, she found she could educate them about fresh food as well as experiment in the kitchen herself. She realized she had a gift for cooking and wanted to pursue her passion.
GETTING VALUABLE TRAINING AT GRAND RIVER WORKPLACE
To make her dreams a reality, she turned to ProsperUs Detroit, which offers an Entrepreneurship Training Program hosted by GRDC’s Grand River WorkPlace that teaches hopeful entrepreneurs how to build their businesses. Karynthia graduated from the training program with a business plan.
When she was left Vista Maria, Karynthia decided it was time to commit to making her dream to be a small business owner a reality. She began saving money to start her business, Hot Dog-N-It, a traveling hot dog cart. For four months, Karynthia juggled three jobs, all in hospitals as a psychiatric tech. Eventually she was able to purchase her hot dog cart and pay for all of her licensing fees without having to take out any loans.
Karynthia likes to say that she didn’t pick hot dogs, hot dogs picked her. The cart allows for mobility, and it’s cheaper to run than a food truck or restaurant. And hot dogs actually do provide her with an opportunity to be creative in the kitchen. At Karynthia’s cart, people have the choice of beef, vegetarian or vegan hot dogs. She has various toppings such as onions, relish, jalapeños and homemade corn salsa. Her corn salsa comes from her love of experimentation in the kitchen. She loves to cook everything from Southern to Mediterranean cuisine and any fusion in between. Born and raised in Detroit, Karynthia likes to embrace local connections. She had a Detroit Day where she sold Faygo pop and Better Maid chips with the hot dogs. Having a small business herself, she tries to buy her products locally when possible.
CHOOSING THE NORTHWEST DETROIT FARMERS’ MARKET
This is Karynthia’s first year coming to the Northwest Detroit Farmers’ Market. She enjoys it because the Market is “right in the center of the neighborhood.” Karynthia likes to make connections in the community and have “conversations with new people every week.”
Karynthia also sells her hot dogs at the Dequindre Cut and is available for private events such as birthday parties. In the future, she hopes to expand her business, with the goal of opening a small restaurant or food truck. For now, Karynthia works full time at Sinai-Grace Hospital, taking Thursdays off to be at the Farmers’ Market. She manages all aspects of Hot Dog-N-It herself, holding every title. Karynthia works around the clock keeping books, handling social media and, of course, cooking. While she definitely has a full schedule, she said she would not change a thing. Her love in life is cooking and serving people.
To reach out to Karynthia for event needs, contact her at HotdogNitup@gmail.com or call 313-799-3056. The Northwest Detroit Farmers’ Market happens every Thursday from 3 – 7 pm through Oct. 10 3 – 7 pm at the North Rosedale Park Community House, 18445 Scarsdale.