by BOTWC Staff
Such an amazing accomplishment!
A 14-year-old Georgia teen just made history as the youngest restaurant owner in the state, CBS News reports.
Mason Wright is the owner of Mason’s Super Dogs, a carryout restaurant in Stonecrest, Georgia. Mason first had the idea for his shop when he was just 9-years-old, spotting a hot dog cart in New York City that he wanted to bring to the South. He didn’t want to depend on his allowance for money. “I knew I could take the business concept and improve it,” Mason told CBS News.
After exploring several business ventures, including walking dogs, cutting grass, washing cars, and selling snacks, Mason eventually convinced his parents and grandparents to buy him a hot dog cart. He promised that he would keep his grades up and bring home straight A’s, bringing his dad his report card every six weeks.
In 2018, Mason entered into a business competition at Morehouse College. Although he lost, he convinced president David Thomas to let him sell his hot dogs on campus. He made a lot of money and realized he loved doing the work. Mason developed his business plan at the Russell Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, catering the incubator’s movie nights on weekends.
“He said as long as I have straight A’s then I could sell hot dogs on-campus,” Mason told reporters. “I had a lot of good foot traffic from students at all of the colleges in the Atlanta University Center and that was really fun.”
Mason’s initial goal was to turn his hot dog cart into a food truck, but the COVID-19 pandemic delayed the plans and held up the process of receiving permits, business licensing, and health inspections. Eventually, the teen came across a vacant property for lease and used his own money to rent it and fixing it up with the help of his family. This past October, Mason’s Super Dogs opened, with the young restaurateur making history as the youngest restaurant owner in the state of Georgia.
The 200-square-foot restaurant serves over 400 customized hot dogs, including vegan dogs and fresh and innovative concept dogs like the Firestorm, a chopped chicken dog with buffalo sauce, and Professor Dilly, a hot dog served inside a jumbo pickle. On opening day, lines formed around the parking lot in support, just like the ones he saw in New York that inspired him years ago.
Mason runs his restaurant full time, arriving at 7 am to homeschool for 3 hours and prep for one hour before opening at 11 am. He and another employee prepare the food and manage the kitchen while his sister, mother, and aunt help operate sales and hand out the food to customers. His restaurant is open Tuesday through Saturday until closing at 6 pm.
“I’m usually doing most of the work, but we’re having fun doing it. My customers are really friendly and nice…homeschooling is really fun. My teachers understand that I have a business, so if I’m super busy with the restaurant, they’ll get with me if I miss anything,” Mason said.
Jerome Wright, the teen’s dad, handles all the shipping. He said he always knew his son was different and is just very proud of him.
“Mason’s Super Dogs is the one project he started and stayed with it. Mason eats, sleeps, and lives that hot dog stand. That’s all he talks about. He makes sure everything is on point because his name is on this. [On opening day,] I told him chaos means he’s making money and doing something good. If he could get people to stand in line for an hour, that means something. I still can’t believe he pulled it off,” Wright said.
PETA has acknowledged Mason for having some of the best vegan dogs in the country. He eventually wants to franchise his business and hopes to attend Morehouse college in the future. The advice he has for other young budding entrepreneurs, “Do what you love so you’ll never work a day in your life. Don’t wait to start your business. Just do it.”
Photo Courtesy of Mason’s Super Dogs/CBS News