Michigan Teen Opens Hot Dog Stand to Help Disabled Parents – City Shuts Him Down

In Holland, Michigan, a 13-year-old entrepreneur thought he would be able to sell hot dogs and financially help his disabled parents with the purchase of a food cart. Unfortunately, city zoning officials have shut down his business, based on an ordinance that prohibits competition to brick-and-mortar restaurants from mobile food vendors.

Nathan Duszynski wanted to help out his family and raise money for college. His mother has epilepsy and his father has multiple sclerosis. He had been a vendor during Tulip Time and was setting up his hot dog stand on a privately owned parking lot at Reliable Sports on River Avenue. (MI Live)

Nathan bought the cart with $1,200 he saved from mowing lawns and shoveling snow. He thought he had jumped properly through all the licensing and permitting hoops. But the city shut him down. The hot dog stand violated a city ordinance.
Michigan Capitol Confidential reported:

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  • Flintstone F.

    Off the top of my head here, it seems that we live in a world where the federal government is trying to behave like a local government and the local government is trying to behave like a (democrat) federal government.

    A hot dog vendor is not going to take business away from other restaurants, it will attract people to them. Variety is the name of the game, but the smell of the hot dog might be what induces the hunger grumble to occur in passers by.

    “Oh man I’m hungry, look at that hot dog. Let’s go in here and get a sandwich…”

    Isn’t there a twelve year old girl selling lemonade somewhere they can hassle and leave this guy alone?

    Easy fix: Get a permit for some other location?

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  • RB

    Hey, Nate…haven’t you heard??? YOU DIDN’T BUILD THAT!!! The nanny state marches on.

  • Flintstone F.

    Worse than I thought.

    Apparently, since the restaurants pay for their building leases which includes the heated sidewalks etc. it’s unfair for the hot dog vendor to potentially “take” business away from them.

    Key point is that the hot dog vendor and his customers are using the public sidewalk (heated or not) lawfully in all manner, except where a local ordinance interfere’s with free commerce.

    I don’t recall hot dog vendor’s getting a lot of drive up and park business.

  • Sherry Hollenbeck

    If the kid told the city he was an Occupy Wall Street participant, he would be welcomed with open arms.

  • dnb

    I know conventional wisdom says bad government in this forum, but what if there’s a hot dog restaurant a block away or across the street. That operation would have built their business, maybe have an employee or two, and also need the money to function. They might be operating on a shoestring in this economy and need every sale they can make. Plus, just how much does a food cart cost? Quick google search: The four main types of carts are hot dog, kebab, coffee (“processing”), and fruit (“nonprocessing”). Processing carts cost between $15,000 and $30,000. A basic fruit cart costs about $1,000. I think there’s more to this story. Just saying …

  • tennismom

    Would this have happened if the kid were nonwhite?

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  • Limousine Barry

    Gad, I love to kill jobs! It’s the one thing I am good at. I especially like to kill little businesses run by little people. It makes me feel Big!

    Besides, that kid did not lose his business on his own. He had help. He had help in the form of Government Red Tape. And, Red Tape is one thing I am sure the Government built!

    If you like the will I kill jobs then vote for me. Send me $35,800 before midnight. We are having another fund raiser in California and Barney Frank will have his butt in the air. Make a donation… before my crappy campaign runs out of money. Good day.

  • bg



    no lemonade for you!!

    i tried, i warned, crickets..

    bits more here & here & here in connecting
    links & scroll posts/threads for much more..


  • Flintstone F.

    #6 dnb

    Are you advocating against choice and competition?

    Starbucks across the street from Daz Bog. Safeway (super market) next door to King Soopers (super market).

    A restaurant provides a much different experience than a cart. They don’t use the property in the same way. The hot dog cart doesn’t use the water, doesn’t use the sewage, doesn’t have trucks making deliveries.

  • Now this might ( using the word Might loosely ) be a job that Obama could handle.

    And he could make Moochie the wiener czar…

  • Fuquay Steve

    Heil Hitler!

  • bg


    Flintstone F. #11 July 25, 2012 at 10:56 am

    hmm, it’s not the hot dogs, it’s the law..

    they aren’t saying he can’t sell hot dogs, they’re saying
    there’s a zoning issue where he wants to sell them..

    they have to follow the law, or change it.. i mean, what if several
    more kids get a bright idea and decide to open their own hot dog
    or (fitb) stands, to provide “competition”..


  • Patty
  • Patty

    Saving downtown businesses
    Food vendors are not allowed in downtown Holland outside of Tulip Time, said Phil Meyer, director of the city’s Community and Neighborhood Services Department.

    The original story has sparked debate on hollandsentinel.com and Facebook about the downtown zoning, many voicing opinions that vendors should be allowed. A hollandsentinel.com poll showed more than 60 percent in favor.

    Other commenters, though, took the side of downtown businesses, citing the taxes those businesses pay, the fees for being part of the city’s snow melt district and participation in the city’s Downtown Development Authority and Principle Shopping District.

    “I don’t understand it really,” Johnson said, adding that if vendors are allowed at Tulip Time, why not the rest of the year? “They’re really taking away from someone trying to make a living.”


  • Big government is now your mother and father they will make all your choices for you……….http://www.theblaze.com/stories/christian-man-fined-sentenced-over-az-home-bible-studies-allegedly-told-to-report-to-jail-this-morning/

  • Sam

    America is going downhill fast. Being destroyed from within. Common sense is gone, regulations are out of control and our spirits are depressed. I hope my kids don’t have kids because this country is going to be a socialist misery if Obummer is re-elected. Half of us already support the other half. Founding fathers are rolling in their graves.

  • Texas_Treeroach

    All you need to do is read the first word in the headline to know that what follows is bad news.

  • Patty

    Our kids who are being shut down for their little businesses? Think about that and I can only hope that these enterprising kids will grown up to be among the 1% who created jobs and grow thriving businesses and then shove hit to the man.

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  • bg


    Patty #15 July 25, 2012 at 11:10 am

    it is a nice looking hot dog stand..


  • Patty

    #22 July 25, 2012 at 11:34 am
    bg commented:


    Patty #15 July 25, 2012 at 11:10 am

    it is a nice looking hot dog stand..


    It really is and they are cheap. I suppose renting them would be possible but this young man had to save up to buy this. I am as livid as the rest of us, here. What this nation fines people for and the only way to make a difference is run for city council yourself or vote in competent and or conservatives.

  • bill

    Are they trying to turn Holland into a little Detoilet.

  • Patty

    The look on this young man’s face is priceless. I do believe he is going places and he will eventually become a big success in life. And then watch out maybe take over the White House. He started a business where as Obama puts a kabosh on them.

  • Patty


    sort of:

    Invitation to Chick-fil-A Event Disappears
    by Karla Dial

    On Monday, CitizenLink reported that former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee is organizing Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day on Aug. 1 as a way to counteract the boycott being organized by same-sex marriage activists.

    After posting about the event on his official Facebook page, Huckabee created a public Facebook invitation, letting people know they could participate either by showing up at a local Chick-fil-A franchise or participating online. By midday today, the page had received approximately 100,000 “likes.”

    Shortly after that, however, the invitation disappeared. A CitizenLink search for “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day” on the site turned up only a franchise’s “Cow Appreciation Day at Chick-fil-A Savannah Mall,” held July 13. However, a page calling for a “same-sex kiss-in” at Chick-fil-A on Aug. 3 remains.

    “A number of you are asking questions about the Chick-Fil-A event,” Huckabee posted just after 4 p.m. ET. “The event disappeared from my page this morning and we have asked Facebook to look into this. I will update you as soon as I know more. The event is still on and the info should be back up soon.”[……….] more on site


  • donh

    I repost yesterday’s Elton John thread song ” King Levon ” for Nathan …> http://youtu.be/mire1WJKdR8

  • chronon

    Brick and mortar restaurants are trying the same chit in my town too.

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  • democraps suck

    Yet it’s OK for all the illegal mooslums to suck the tax payer dollars from the state…welcome to the new America under ozero

  • liberalsRstupid

    “They” just want to get their “Beaks Wet” after all. After all, if “they” dont get involved he might sell a Hot Dog from a “GASP” unlicensed vendor… What “they” dont mention is that all of the “licenses” have been bought by “their” rleatives and friends and you too can have one, if you give the “owner” some money…

  • Diane Valencen

    It seems many of you are missing some facts. The city where this kid is being denied a chance to be a small business man isn’t some liberal urban area it is in rural Ottawa County which is and has been for quite awhile a Republican stronghold within the state of Michigan. Rep. Pete Hoekstra R-2 is from Holland, MI. Just last summer, a local pastor wanted gender identification and sexual orientation added to the city’s non-discrimination policy. The measure went before the City Council and was struck down 5-4. But that wasn’t enough for conservatives in Ottawa County, or for the American family Association who campaigned heavily against the three council members who ran for re election. They went after the four who voted to allow the measure in an effort to run them So this has nothing to do with Progressives or progressive values. Holland, MI has a per houshold averahe income of $81,111. So this case has more to do with has to do with affluent white exurbanites not wanting a kid to horn in on their buddies wife who has a restaurant nearby. The blame for this lies with Fricano’s Too and the Parrot Lounge not with the government in Washington or Progrssive political ideology.

  • Tamminator

    Michigan is a dump. I worked in 5 different cities a few years ago, and 3 of those cities, (including Battlecreek, home of Kelloggs) had boarded up mainstreets.
    Democrats have run that State into the ground, and this story is just a sampling of how they do it. When are the people of Michigan going to wise up and vote out these idiots?

  • HLW

    Like the beat of a butterfly’s wing causing a hurricane, this young man could sell one spoiled hot dog, cause an epidemic of E. Coli, put hot dog manufacturers out of business, create a shortage of antibiotics, overwhelm our healthcare system, cause panic worse than Orson Welles, bring all armed forces to a high state of alert, frighten the Chinese and Russians so badly that they start WWIII…

    Send him money and let him try again.

  • bg


    Diane Valencen #32 July 25, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    Democrats wake up to being the party of the rich (#54)

    [Democrats beat the market by 73 basis points per month,
    compared to 18 for Republicans. That’s a rout anyway you
    look at it. Senators fare even better than house members.

    more here (#3)..


  • bg


    oh btw..

    Diane Valencen #32 July 25, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    re: [So this case has more to do with has to do with affluent white
    exurbanites not wanting a kid to horn in on their buddies wife who
    has a restaurant nearby]

    that’s nothing but audacious opinionated bs and you know it..


  • Diane Valencen

    @ bg #35 What does that have to do with the kid in Holland, MI?

  • Diane Valencen

    @ bg #36 It appears to be true after talking to the folks at several restaurants along South River Avenue most of whom said their revenue stream is finite and they cannot deal with competition from vendors selling, “lower priced fare.”

  • Diane Valencen

    Median household income in 2010 nationwide $49, 445; median income in Holland, MI $81, 111. I’d call those people affluent compared to the average. And Holland, MI is exurbian almost by definition as it is a small city in the midst of a rural area far away from any largely populated urban center. So this has nothing to do with Obama or Democrats these are business owners and a conservative dominated city council who did this to a kid.

  • david

    The only thing more stupid than the story are the comments on this site from moronic republican yahoos blaming “liberals” for shutting down the kid’s business. Who do you think got the ordinance written in such a way to “protect” brick and mortar restaurants? BUSINESS.

    The way you people think – or pretend to – is just sad.

  • Diane Valencen

    It’s going to get worse David by October Romney will be running ads that just show Obama’s face and the caption, “N-word.” If that doesn’t bring the conservatives to the polls it’s a lost cause.

  • Taxpayer

    I used to live in Holland. It used to be the bastion of capitalism in Michigan. No more, I see. How f’in low can you go?

  • Mannie

    Holland is just up the road from me. Another place to not shop. Not that they’ll notice.

  • Flintstone F.


    I understand it’s the law. It’s also unfair discrimination. Their reasoning regarding property taxes (lease) doesn’t take into account the temporary nature of the stand and the lack of use beyond occupying public space. And actually it was on private property and is an imposition to another legitimate business owner, in favor of a few restaurants.

    Change the law. Issue a number of permits in areas used as food service and retail zones. Or maybe he could get a donkey to pull his cart and he could just keep circling the block.

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  • Taqiyyotomist

    Diane V.

    In case you hadn’t noticed, the Republicans — yes, those dreaded “conservatives” — are no longer, by and large, “conservative”, but instead are just slightly less “progressive” than Democrats.

    So, yeah, despite this neighborhood being a Republican “stronghold” — actions speak louder than labels.

  • Jet Jaguar

    If he was selling halal foods, he wouldn’t be bothered.

  • Sarah

    This is heartbreaking. It is so emblematic of our Obama world. This young man is what is right about America and the government just stepped in and shut it down. It’s sickening. This boy has energy, spirit, drive, and compassion. O would prefer her have none of it and that he and his family look to the government as a fix to their challenges.

  • crackermike

    #40 David. Nice to see a Democrat moron like you actually embrace the concept of: obey the law. Nathans problem is that he isn’t an illegal alien just over the border looking for all the welfare you idiots and willing to give him. Hard work must not be accepted or allowed huh David? God forbid an exception be made in an extraordinary circumstance. Much better to flay the kids initiative and teach him to become a begger instead. Then he’ll be a good little welfare addict for life, voting Democrat/Socialist, “secure” in the knowledge that Gov’t will prevent him from succeeding in life. By the way David, exactly how much is your monthly welfare fix costing the taxpayers?

  • bg


    Flintstone F. #44 July 25, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    re: [Change the law.]

    thank you..

    and i agree, i mean, that’s what i said.. 😉

    and all these oh i’m so smart bigoted
    racist remarks only prove one thing..

    too many Republican posers post in here, this
    is more like DK through the looking glass.. 😡

    what happened to all the “rational thinking” conservatives who were
    proud to be playing an intellectually honest game outside the fiberal
    sandbox?? *sigh*


  • couldn’t the politicans figure out a way to tax him?

  • bg


    i’d like to know what happened between City Hall giving him the okay..
    and him trying to set up in a spot where carts were banned, all he had
    to do was move to a zone that allowed carts.

    parents are doing the right thing, they are
    going to try and change the law v break it..


  • Diane Valencen

    @ bg they all read the nonsense books you write and decided to become Libertarians?

  • bg


    Diane Valencen #41 July 25, 2012 at 1:15 pm

    re: [Romney will be running ads that just show
    Obama’s face and the caption, “N-word.”]

    you pathetic Democratic mascot you..


  • Ed

    8 of every 10 businesses fail, but Obama will never take credit for that. Its Bushs’ fault. The silver lining here is that this kid will never have to suffer being told, “You didn’t build that. Someone else did.”

  • dunce

    The kid has already earned more than 1200 bucks in order to save that much. His work ethic will pay off and there is hope for our country. We will have another Steve Jobs, Bill Gates Or Mitt Romney in a matter of time. You can bet he learned something from this failure unlike our president that keeps flogging the same failed programs over and over.

  • Ben

    According to the U.S. Constitution, specifically the Bill of Rights in which encompasses the Right To Work, this would be a violation of this young man’s rights. Similar cases have been won against municipalities whom are either ignorant or outright bigoted towards certain businesses.

    See the Institute for Justice for case law and precedence set regarding violations of your rights.

  • averagemelon

    Seems to me, the city ripped this kid off. You DON’T issue permits (at a cost to the kid) to allow him to do something and then shut him down…unless he forgot to grease the palms of the right people. (Then all this would make sense.) I know. I live in the left armpit of America: New York.

  • bg


    imho closing down kids corner lemonade stands
    is what we should all really be worried about.. 🙁

    more (#10)


  • bg




  • sandy

    Sounds like more of the same — if you want to work you get punished for it. If an illegal had that hot dog stand would he have been shut down? Come on Mr. Obama explain to us how you love small business. Perhaps the problem is that this kid opened his business without having to wait for the govt to build bridges.

  • RokShox

    Reliable Sports should apply for a restaurant license. Then he’d be “connected” to a brick&mortar “reataurant”.

  • Larry A. Singleton

    He should have worn a hijab or put a Koran in a prominent place. They wouldn’t have touched him. Not in Michigan.

  • TJexcite

    The lawsuits from food poison are already written, they just need to fill in the person who made it and city official who allowed the food to be served.

    If they are going to sue the makers of a movie because its violence caused a mass murder, someone would not hesitate to sue if they get the trotts from a hot dog, no matter who sold it and what the money was going to. Even faster if the food was purchased at a unlicensed and uninspected stand.

  • Chris

    If he would have been feeding illegal Mexican drug gangs and selling automatic weapons to them, you know, as a buy one get one free deal, they would have left him alone.

  • MT

    Sounds like the kid didn’t bribe the right people.

  • Recklessprocess

    This is typical of totalitarian democrat fascists. If they are not paid off they shut you down. There is no liberty under democrats

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  • Bob

    This is what happens when you let stupid narrow-visioned naggers run politics.

  • Stan

    How many Muslims live in Holland? If the population is sufficient, maybe the real issue is the hot dogs themselves, and it’s being disguised as a zoning conflict.

  • well at least if he joins a street gang they can use some federal money
    to re-rehabilitate him and in the process steal as much money as they
    can in the process for themselves


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  • Concerned Mom of 5

    So the state set him up and help him up. They accepted his permit payments and tax installments, and then zinged him when it was time to open his business. Holland officials are no better that conniving thieves… wait… the ARE worse… in taking advantage of a young child. There should be a public lynching of all involved.

  • RufusVonDufus

    Muslim, huh! Was probably going to send the money to help fund Al Quaeda in Pakistan!

  • RufusVonDufus

    @Diane, #41

    You’re right, Diane, it is going to get worse especially with brain dead dolts like you who are going to once again vote for the black community organizer who would not even know how to go about starting up a hot dog stand. You have a great leader there, kiddo! Get a brain scan as I think you have lost yours.

  • Kissmygrits

    Did they tell him he could get food stamps?

  • Doug Armojr

    Proof that government is the problem not the solution My donation is on the way

  • Doug Armour

    If you want to sell food in Mi you have to accept Bridge Cards

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  • Since when has it been the Local Governments job to insure business’s have no competition?, since when did Local government decide it is better to protect one business at the expense of others ?, they sure dont do that when they tear up miles of streets and close business because patrons cant reach them, what in GODS Name is going on with these elected officials ?, where do they come up with such crap, and why dont some of the Ambulance chaser Atty’s step up, make a NAME for themselves, and defend this kid ?……

  • Pingback: 13 Year Old Sets Up Hot Dog Stand, City Shuts Him Down (In 10 Minutes) to Protect Local Restaurants « RubinoWorld()

  • Bill Sneed

    This is a good example of how the government helps you build a business. NOT

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