Weenie Wagon rides again as 911 Grub
SNOHOMISH — A familiar Lions’ fundraising fixture is back in business, fulfilling the decades-long dream of its new owner.
Tracy Stultz bought the Weenie Wagon from the Lions Club in April. After a top to bottom polishing and making room for some new menu items, 911 Grub was born.
The storied hot dog stand served the Lions well for 15 years. They raised money and name recognition at community fairs, games and parades under the leadership of Lion Sue Sullivan who passed away in December 2016.
When operating the labor-intensive trailer no longer made sense for the Lions, they couldn’t have guessed that the perfect buyer was so close to home.
Tracy Stulz remembered always wanting to get into the business, “whether a diner or a concession … I always wanted to be a foodie.”
Photo courtesy Tracy Stultz
Owner Tracy Stultz (right) and friend Shari Camacho
at the newly christened 911 Grub.
She started small, working a full time day job and entering chili competitions with her brother Chad Thomson, who also passed away in December 2016.
His sudden loss held a message for Stultz: “I’m not promised tomorrow, I can’t wait to live my dream.”
Stultz had expanded on her sparse knowledge of the food business by volunteering to manage concessions at the North Snohomish Little League. After quadrupling profits in her first year, she felt more confident about customers’ tastes.
She began a search for a mobile kitchen that stretched to New York but ended in town with the shiny silver trailer.
After a long hunt, her husband, firefighter Darrenn Stultz, was helping her look online from the station when the Lions listing popped up.
Tracy Stultz was the first to show up to see the Weenie Wagon and before long, it was hers. After passing her first, nerve-wracking permit inspection, 911 Grub was officially in business.
The name is not only a nod to emergency responders like her husband but to the numbers 911 that kept popping up everywhere she looked.
“We have an unwritten policy that any police, firefighter, first responder or military who ‘shows me their coin’ gets their meals half off at any event,” Stultz said.
She is keeping tradition alive with classic hot dogs and the Lions logo remains in her window. But she’s not above a little innovation: experiments include a salmon dog and a vegan salad. Favorites include her signature cheeseburger with special sauce, and cotton candy.
“We are thrilled she is carrying on the tradition,” said Snohomish Lions president Mike Edwards.
The Lions earned three times their annual service budget on the sale, Edwards said, which gives them “some wiggle room to start a new annual fundraiser … probably (in) 2020.”
Edwards had mostly praise for Stultz’s venture, but couldn’t resist a little constructive criticism: “I don’t like those little ketchup and mustard packets, I can never get them open and end up squirting them all over myself!”
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