LITTLE RIVER, SC – Each week, Mike Mathis hauls his silver hot dog cart to the parking lot of Bell and Bell’s dealership on S.C. 9.
His business, Buster Brown Hot Dogs, offers sausage and hot dogs, barbecue sandwiches, chips and drinks.
The setup is also basic: the cart, a picnic table with a red and yellow Nathan’s umbrella and Mathis waiting for customers in the cab of his green Ford Ranger.
“The simpler the better,” the 66-year-old said.
There was a time when Mathis mulled buying a full-service food truck. But the $50,000 price tag, the need for employees and the amount of business required to turn a profit discouraged him.
“This is all I want,” he said of his stand. “This is my little world out here.”
Right now, Mathis’ hot dog cart represents the only mobile food vending operation in the county that’s not an ice cream truck. Six months after county officials cleared the way for food trucks to operate, not a single one is rolling.
“We really don’t know