Teen Opens Hot Dog Stand to Help Disabled Parents & Town Shuts It Down (VIDEO)

nathan duszynskiNot all teenagers are concerned solely with texting and chatting and whatever-ing. Some teenagers actually do things -- amazing things! Like Nathan Duszynski, 13, who raised enough money to buy a hot dog stand; who researched the necessary permits for opening up a hot dog stand; and who opened up a hot dog stand in his hometown of Holland, Michigan, so he could help bring in money for his disabled parents. Yeah, some teens are that kind of amazing.

But wait! This amazing teenager -- this teenager who is doing something really good -- had the wind sucked out of his sails when the town forced him to close down his stand because of "zoning laws that do not allow food carts to compete with downtown restaurants."

Geez, what's next? A lemonade stand. Oh, wait ...

Ten minutes after opening up his cart, a zoning officer from the city approached Nathan and told him he had to close up shop. Nate and his mother, Lynette Johnson, were under the assumption that they had everything taken care of. They said they cleared everything with City Hall and were told they didn't need a business permit. So much for that.

Nathan and his parents don't have it easy. In addition to struggling financially, his mom suffers from epilepsy and his father has multiple sclerosis. Nathan was just trying to help out. He told Mackinac Media: "I'm just trying to bring in some money for them and the household when they're struggling." So he opened up a food cart ... only to have it shut down.

I know that there are laws and rules for a reason, but you know what? When it's a situation like this -- a situation where a 13-year-old kid is just trying to do the right thing -- who cares? Let him have the hot dog stand, for crying out loud.

Nathan recently sold his stand for $2,500, and with the money, he plans on starting a petition that, hopefully, will change the law that shut him down in the first place. I don't think he'll have too much trouble getting signatures.

Check him out:

How cool is Nathan?


Image via Mackinac Center for Public Policy/YouTube


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Sierr... SierraLynn

That sucks. Especially if he went through everything they thought they had to at city hall.

My sister in law lives in Holland, MI and is a teacher. She of all people k.led how difficult that city can be. Hope he gets some.closure with his petition.

Sierr... SierraLynn

Knows how difficult?

nonmember avatar kaerae

Local small eateries aren't exactly thriving right now either, and you don't know what they need the money for. It's not big business, it's local mom and pop restaurants in a shitty economy. They're supporting people as well. Rules are rules.

aReal... aRealteenMother

This kid went through all the correct procedures and STILL got shut down? That's terrible. Couldn't City Hall have let him know that vendors weren't allowed downtown?

Sierr... SierraLynn

Holland actually has a pretty good tourism thing going for it. They are not a struggling community.


I hate to come down on a little kid with a heart of gold, because his heart is in the right place but, there are laws like this for a reason. He'd be better off going and finding out what he has to to do reopen it. I know I sure wouldn't want a hot dog stand like that in front of my house or my restaurant if I had one. There has to be a logical answer for this. What about in a park or not in a restaurant or housing zone?

He sounds like a wonderful little boy and I'm betting on him to get it done right. The petition is the way to go and he has smart parents who taught him about rules because instead of whining about it, he's trying to change it. I admire him and his parents.

kisse... kisses5050

Food laws are the way they are for some pretty good reasons.. . this kid wasn't trying to sell lemon aid on a summer day... sorry..He needs to do what needs to be done... My kid is 12 and runs her own catering company.. and yes it is cute and all but she had to go through everything the big folks do... for her protection and her customers... last month she donated almost 2000 dollars to the local food bank...

Lisa Stitzel Brown

Shame on the restaurants that are worried about a little bit of competition.  They should donate proceeds as a fund raiser to help this boy's family out since they don't want any competition from a little hot dog stand.

Tanya Frey

Post the Petition on here if he gets it going. I WILL SIGN IT. They even did footwork to see if it was OK. Sharpen the shot of that card, I wanna write some letters.

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