A Minnesota teen's hot dog venture got reported to authorities. Then it just 'took off'

  • Thirteen-year-old Jaequan Faulkner started a little business selling $2 hot dogs with $1 sodas and chips from a stand in front of his house in Minnesota.
  • But his self-made job was in jeopardy after someone sent an e-mail complaint to the Minneapolis Health Department.
  • Health inspectors decided to teach the young entrepreneur about proper food handling to assist him in getting his hot dog stand up to code.

This summer, 13-year-old Jaequan Faulkner started a little business selling $2 hot dogs with $1 sodas and chips from a stand in front of his house in Minnesota.

But his self-made job was in jeopardy after someone sent an e-mail complaint to the Minneapolis Health Department. As it turned out, Faulkner was in fact operating as an unlicensed vendor with his lunchtime endeavor.

"They had told me somebody had complained," the young entrepreneur explained to CNBC's " On The Money " in an interview.

Faulkner unwittingly became the latest case in a stream of young kids trying to make money on the side — but running afoul of suspicious or angry adults. In an incident that went viral, one woman who became infamous as "Permit Patty" called authorities on a young girl selling water.

Dan Huff, environmental health director of the Minneapolis Health Department, told CNBC that "Before responding to the complaint, what we did was put on hold our response until we could figure out how to help him."

Faulkner said that "instead of shutting me down, city members got together to talk and said, 'OK, how can we help this kid, to get him situated?'"

Impressed by the young man's drive, health inspectors had decided to teach the young entrepreneur about proper food handling to assist him in getting his hot dog stand up to code.

The teen's stand passed inspection, and it was the inspectors themselves who paid the $87 fee for his "short term food permit," which he was granted on July 16.

"It just took off. He never gave up and he kept pushing forward. And pushing me along, pulling me along with him, " said Jaequan's uncle, Jerome Faulkner.

The hot dog stand serves a lunch crowd weekdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Jerome is hands-on too. "It's not easy working for a 13-year-old," his uncle joked to CNBC. He just says "'I need this, I need that,' and I just get it for him while he controls the cash register. He knows the cash register pretty well."

Jerome estimated that together, they've been selling "between 100, 150 hot dogs a day." His nephew plans to use his money for school clothes, but in the fall, he's hoping to remain in the food business — just after class.

"What's next for me is, I'm trying to get a little spot, a restaurant or something," Faulkner told CNBC. "Right when I get out of school I can go there and start working. Somewhere permanent, but it's just small and not big."

When asked what lessons he'll take away from his success this summer, he mentioned a piece of family wisdom.

"My auntie always told me, 'Can't nobody stop you but you.' If you say 'I can't do that,' well, then you just set yourself up for failure."

On the Money airs on CNBC Saturday at 5:30 am ET, or check listings for air times in local markets.