Mother-and-daughter team uses local ingredients to craft vegan and all-natural dogs. By Lauren Cohen | September 24, 2018, 4:06 pm
There’s nothing more American than a classic hot dog with zigzags of mustard and ketchup. But, in a time when diners are becoming more conscious about what they’re putting into their bodies, franks are losing their luster.
“Every time we ask someone why they don’t eat hot dogs, they say, ‘Because I don’t know what’s in them,’” says LaShauna Jones, owner of local hot dog pop-up The Sporty Dog. “We started thinking a lot about how to remove that. We want people to know exactly what’s in them.” In an effort to combat the hot dog stigma, Jones—along with her 25-year-old daughter, Daejonne Bennett—started their health-conscious food pop-up in the spring of 2017.
The Sporty Dog uses all-natural, locally sourced products, including beef from Liberty Delight Farms in Reisterstown, to create unique franks topped with everything from strawberries and arugula to pineapple and caramelized onions.
“Yes, we put fruit on a hot dog—that’s just my brain being over the top,” Jones says. “No one would imagine that strawberries would pair so well with beef, but it’s ridiculously good.”
Jones previously worked as a government contractor for more than 20 years. When her contract came to an end in 2017, she decided to make the leap to start the business with her daughter, who had been pursuing a career in the culinary world.
“I was like, ‘Let’s do hot dogs, that’s gotta be easy, right?’ Jones says with a laugh. “Sometimes I’m a little more ambitious than I need to be.” But the duo’s ambition turned out to be well worth it. They began selling their creations at the Greenmount West farmers’ market last season—where The Sporty Dog quickly became an anchor—and have been popping up at various community events around town ever since. Read more...
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