"Dawgs for Dogs" Young hot dog vendor earns cash for college

SUMMER JOB –Mike Emser, who will soon be starting his sophomore year at The Ohio State University, helped finance his college education by working behind this hot dog cart near the Euclid Public Library. (Photo by Stan Ubic.)

College students typically hold down all sorts of summer jobs to earn money to help pay expenses once they return to campus. In Mike Emser’s case, that has meant hawking hot dogs from a cart parked near the Euclid Public Library.

Mike, who will be returning to The Ohio State University on Sept. 20 to begin his sophomore year, can thank his father, Jim Emser, for lining up his summer stint. Jim established a relationship with Cleveland Classic Dogs & Catering, an entrepreneurial business that operates two carts in Euclid, in order to make sure that his son would have a summer job. From time to time, Jim has worked alongside Mike during busy parts of the day to ensure that customers would be well served.

Jim, a 1969 graduate of St. Joseph High and a former lead chemical operator at Lubrizol Corp., was a Euclid resident for more than 20 years. He no longer lives in this community, but he thought it would be nice to come back to Euclid and do something to benefit his former home town. He also thought it would be a neat idea to donate a portion of the proceeds from the hot dog operation to the Euclid Animal Shelter.

“Euclid is a nice community,” he says. “We wanted to give something back, and the animal shelter seemed like a really good cause.” A sign on the front of the cart bears a slogan promoting the tie-in: “Dawgs for Dogs.”

Mike, a Mentor high graduate, is in an honors engineering program at Ohio State. Last year, he was part of a three-man team that built a self-guiding robot as part of an annual OSU competition. The team earned an “A” for the project.

The Emsers sell all-beef hot dogs and Polish boys—with chili, sautéed onions and sauerkraut as optional toppings. Hot dogs are $1.75, chili dogs $2.25. “You can get a whole meal here—a regular hot dog, chips, and a drink—for three bucks,” Jim points out. He plans to continue operating the hot dog stand even after Mike returns to college, and will continue to serve customers “as long as the weather holds out.”

So if you happen to be in the vicinity of the Euclid Public Library and feel a craving for a quick bite to eat, just look for the cart with the “Dawgs for Dogs” sign on the front. Jim and Mike will thank you, and so will the furry critters at the Euclid Animal Shelter.

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Volume 1, Issue 6, Posted 7:25 AM, 09.17.2010