COLORADO, USA — Two friends and former colleagues, unemployed at the same time decide to open a hot dog cart during the pandemic.
"Last time I got lucky, I just fat fingered something and it just worked," Garrett Overlee said. His buddy Josh Olson sat next to him and let out a laugh.
Overlee was on his laptop trying to pull up a photo taken about seven years ago.
"This is the best picture because of how cool we look. This is our coolest picture," he said as he finally pulled up the image of a group in sunglasses at a CSU game.
Through the years, Josh and Garrett have taken very few photos but have had a plethora of memories. The duo worked together on and off at various Fort Collins bars and restaurants for roughly a decade. They even lived together for a year with their roommate, Duff, an English bulldog that hated snow but loved hotdogs.
"He knew right away we were going to be great friends," Garrett said as he stared at a photo of Duff sunbathing on a deck.
A few years ago, Garrett and Josh got an opportunity at Colorado State University.
"I was hired as an adjunct professor. I taught the Aspen Grill where students run the restaurant," Garrett explained.
"It just came together where the Aspen Grill needed a front of the house instructor and I kind of met the qualifications," Josh added.
For years, the two ran courses at CSU and earned the title adjunct professor. Both eventually left the university, spent a couple of years working other jobs, creating families, losing their dog, Duff, before losing their jobs to the pandemic.
"Unemployed at the same time," Josh and Garrett said repeatedly. "Which was good."
Instead of dwelling on unemployment, the duo decided to take their years of restaurant experience and wheel it out onto Old Town Square.
"We feel that Old Town just needed a place where you can grab and go and I don't know we're serving a great product so we're really proud of that," Garrett said.
The team opened a stand in Fort Collins named Duff's Old Town Sausage, named after their late pet. From mac and cheese topped franks to vegan-friendly links, the two offer a variety for their customers, some of whom they taught.
"Yes I have ran into students," Josh said with a laugh. "Especially at night."
While Josh and Garrett have other jobs, they hope this operation can be their full-time gig one day. They credit the pandemic for forcing them to follow a dream they never knew they had.
"I love being outside. I love hot dogs I love Josh," Garrett said while Josh laughed next to him.
"It sounds corny but it's just working for yourself starting something on your own that you're responsible for everything, it's scary but it's also the best part about it," Josh added.
Currently, the stand operates three days a week for lunch and the late-night crowd. When winter arrives, they may scale back hours. You can follow when and where they'll be on their Facebook page.
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