MOUNT VERNON, WA – Fred Barnum, the owner of Mount Vernon’s only food cart, is looking to build camaraderie in the city’s downtown area.

Big Daddy’s Hot Dogs, named after a nickname given to Barnum by his children, opened in November in Skagit Riverwalk Park and is the most recent stop in Barnum’s long and varied career.

Barnum served in the Navy, worked in the restaurant business and worked for Skagit Valley College.

But after macular degeneration started to affect his vision, Barnum said he needed to find a way he and his wife, Ginny Barnum, could make a living.

“I could do this for another 20 years,” he said of running his cart. “I love this.”

The Barnums love being out in the city, meeting new people and talking with customers. In hopes of building camaraderie with other businesses, Fred Barnum said he refers his customers to nearby stores.

As part of his community-building effort, Fred Barnum said he is donating 10 percent of sales to Neighbors in Need Food Bank.

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