August 7th, 2008Look Who’s Talking
Doug Talbot started in the food industry in the mid-1960s with an Orange Julius kiosk at Lakeside Shopping Center.
“From Orange Julius, I realized I wasn’t made for a partnership,” Talbot said.
So in 1969, he bought Lucky Dogs Inc. for less than $100,000.
“I’m still amazed that it draws the attention it does,” he said. “I just wanted to be my own my own boss. Never worked a cart. Always had a lot of vendors.”
Talbot bought the company when the carts were without hand-washing facilities, sneeze guards and refrigeration.
“They violated just about every health code at the time,” he said. “I thought it was the craziest thing I had ever done and it took about 10 years to get the carts right.”
With Lucky Dog vendors relying heavily on tourists, how has business been post-Katrina?
It’s coming back. It’s not here but it’s coming back. The problem is as it comes back, insurance rates go up. We are probably within 20 percent of what we were pre-Katrina. We need to get 20 percent more because of the insurance. I think everybody buys a hot dog at some point, whether you’re a tourist, a contractor in town or a carpenter. If you go in the Quarter, you’re probably going to buy a dog at some point or another.
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