BENNINGTON -- The latest lunch spot on Main Street offers all-beef hot dogs, chili-dogs and sausage grinders seven days a week.
The snowy weather didn't stop Gabrielle Carle and Fernando Oyola from opening their hot dog stand "Catamount Dogs" on Tuesday, but the wind may keep them from offering their fare again until Friday.
After a busier-than-expected start they plan to be open daily from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., selling lunches from the cart they built themselves.
"We've been dreaming of doing this for a long time," said Carle.
After completing construction of the cart three months ago Carle said they are excited to have finished the paperwork process and have received a vendor license from the town.
Using an online video tutorial that explained the building process step-by-step, the cart is now complete with a sink and water system and can be towed in nice weather or, more likely during the winter, transported by trailer.
"It's taken us a while to get everything done, but we've always really liked Vermont and it seems like a better place to raise a family," said Carle.
The couple moved to Bennington a year ago from Greenwood, Mass., and have three children together, ages 8, 2, and 6 months.
"Being here in the community and being able to serve the community is what we're really looking forward to," said Carle. "It will also give us more time to spend with our kids."
Serving 100 percent-beef products from Henry's Market, along with potato chips and beverages, Carle and Oyola plan to start with the basics before eventually adding to the menu.
"We plan on adding more but we want to start slowly to get the hang of it and add on as we go," said Carle, noting that they are already set up to accept credit card payments as well as cash.
Of their first day, Carle said the turnout was promising.
"It was snowing a lot more than we expected, but it was good for a snow day," said Carle. "I met a lot of nice people, and I was pretty surprised how many people came out."
Licensed in the state of Vermont, the couple has currently registered for a local vendor permit only in Bennington, but are not ruling out the possibility of expanding their territory in the future.
Already preparing for summer, Carle and Oyola are considering adding to the menu by offering fruit smoothies and possibly ice cream.
"I know my daughter wants to help out in the summer and do lemonade," said Carle, of her oldest child, who is currently in the third grade.
"We're going to experiment with it."
For up-to-date weather announcements follow @CatamountDogs on Twitter or find them on Facebook.
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