Making Pop Pop proud! 16-year-old owner of Pop Pop’s Dandy Dog serves up some great tasting fare in Downtown Montgomery
THE WOODLANDS, TX -- Nothing beats the love and support of family and friends. Add in some great-tasting food and the support from a local community and people like nationally recognized entertainer and former candidate for Texas governor, Chad Prather, and what you have is a recipe for major fun and success. Sixteen-year-old Jacob Irving is being introduced to business management firsthand with his new food truck company called Pop Pop’s Dandy Dog. Unlike many of his fellow Lake Creek High School student friends, Jacob has ventured into the world of self-employment, self-reliance, and community relations that many older adults have never witnessed. His story is both interesting and inspiring. We sat down with Jacob to learn more about Montgomery’s newest gourmet hot dog food truck.
Click here to view the Pop Pop’s Dandy Dog Photo Gallery
Pop Pop’s Dandy Dog is located at 404 Caroline Street in the Cozy Grape parking lot in Montgomery, on the west side of Montgomery County. It is nestled in the historic downtown area amongst other unique restaurants and eclectic stores. A perfect place for traffic and visibility, Pop Pop’s Dandy Dog is becoming a go-to place to grab a bite to eat for lunch or dinner. Jacob has been in business for only a couple of weeks, having celebrated a grand opening mere days ago. While other teenagers were looking for a summer job during their school break, Jacob was setting his sights higher and decided to step out on faith to run his own food truck business. He has always been a hard worker and started working at Chick-fil-A at the age of 14. He mentioned that he also bussed tables and washed dishes at The Carriage House, and worked at Chronic Tacos in Montgomery as well.
In the 1980s, Jacob’s grandfather, affectionally known as Pop Pop, started a standalone restaurant in Lewisville, Texas called Dandy Dog. Although Dandy Dog is no longer in existence today, Jacob’s grandfather kept much of the recipes and lessons learned that he gained while running that business. Jacob chose a food truck instead of a standalone building due to the lower upfront and ongoing costs to operate. Because Jacob is not officially an adult, he could not own the LLC when starting the company. His parents helped him setup the LLC and will transfer the company to Jacob when he turns 18. Many people might think that Jacob was given a great deal of money to start this business. Although Jacob’s parents helped him secure a food trailer, Jacob contributed to the purchase and is responsible for all other costs including rental space, permits, food, and extra help.
Every entrepreneur has had to deal with various hurdles when starting a business. It is a learning experience that helps shape the way a business is run. At 16, Jacob has already addressed important issues like securing a fixed location for his food truck and securing a permit to operate (an issue that the community has wholeheartedly stood behind him in). He has been exceptionally supported by Bill Clevenger, the owner of Texas Twist & Shakes and the proprietor of the space where he is parked. Along with Bill, Tom Cronin, owner of Cozy Grape Wine Bar & Bistro has supported Jacob with guidance and advice. These men, along with other community supporters have been instrumental in Jacob’s success so far. Along with getting a permit, he has also experienced new and unexpected competition, but even recent events has helped him get the word out about his new business and has become a net plus issue for him.
Jacob caught the attention of Chad Prather, former candidate for Texas governor, conservative political commentator, comedian, and internet personality. Prather had first seen a social media posting from popular concert promoter, Charlie Diggs about Jacob and his business. Diggs approached Jacob to assist him after seeing his business and witnessing some competitive hurdles that Jacob was addressing. Charlie Diggs is the main force behind initiating the tremendous media exposure Jacob is now receiving this week. Prather reposted Diggs’ story to his Facebook followers totaling over 1.2 million people. Once the word got out about Pop Pop Dandy Dog, Jacob was approached by various other local media as well. When we visited with Jacob, he was just opening his food truck for the day. We witnessed many people flocking to his open windows to order delicious hotdogs. We tried a hot dog called the “Ripper” along with crinkle fries. We thought that the food was delicious and his service was great.
With a community behind him and a great future in front of him, Jacob Irving is setting a standard of personal responsibility, community service, and great food. Pop Pop visited Jacob at his grand opening. I am sure that Jacob’s decision to start his new food truck has made Pop Pop proud.
Click here to learn more about Pop Pop’s Dandy Dog.
Hours of Operation:
Friday & Saturday