Gabrielle Carle, owner of Catamount Dogs on Main Street in Bennington, serves up some hot dogs on Thursday afternoon.
Gabrielle Carle, owner of Catamount Dogs on Main Street in Bennington, serves up some hot dogs on Thursday afternoon. (Holly Pelczynski/Bennington Banner/photos.benningtonbanner.com )

BENNINGTON -- Learning that her job at Plasan Carbon Composites would be ending was the nudge a local woman needed to open her own food cart on Main Street.

Gabrielle Carle, owner of Catamount Dogs, said she moved to Vermont two years ago and got a job at Plasan Carbon Composites. She took some time off to have a third child, then returned to work only to be told the plant would be moving operations to Michigan this summer.

Carle was previously from Greenfield, Mass., where she worked in various places as a nurse. Unfortunately, she became homeless, and came to Vermont with her boyfriend with the intention of camping on National Forest land. Both of them found work and things improved.

They chose to stay in Vermont because they say there are more job opportunities here, and the people are friendlier.

"Our car was breaking down all the time, there was always some issue," Carle said. "And every time, someone would stop to help us. And that would never happen in Mass., ever. People would just keep driving by. People around here care more than in Mass."

"It's been really good"

The idea to do a food cart came from her boyfriend, Fernando Oyola, Carle said. He built the cart using an online guide.

"It's been really good, actually," Carle said. "A lot of people are excited to have us here."

The cart opened briefly in the winter, but the weather made it somewhat of a cold start. Carle said she hopes to have an enclosed trailer ready for the coming winter months.

Catamount Dogs, which is normally set up in the 400 block of Main Street, offers all-beef hot dogs, sausage grinders with meat from Henry's Market, and pulled pork, along with chips, sodas, and freshly squeezed lemonade, which comes in different flavors.

Carle said she accepts credit cards in addition to cash, and every Tuesday is "Show Me Your Badge" day where police officers and firefighters get a dollar off their orders.

She plans to be out every day from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. On days she is not out, usually because the weather is bad, she plans to notify customers through the business' Facebook page and its Twitter account, @catamountdogs.

Catamount Dogs also does special events. Carle said people interested in that service may call 802-430-4578.

Contact Keith Whitcomb Jr. at kwhitcomb@benningtonbanner.com or follow him on Twitter @KWhitcombjr.