By Jeff Sullivan | Norton Patch
Butch Rich and Jim Brown started their Hot Dogs and More stand in Norton over 30 years ago, and now they’re still going strong.
“We started in 1978 coming right out of the blizzard,” Brown said.
“That was so much fun; it was the best thing that ever happened to this town,” Rich said, laughing.
Rich said Brown was his nephew, and Rich’s sister (Brown’s mother) helped them get the business off the ground.
“The stand was about half the size and it was right in the center of town where the Walgreens is now,” Rich said.
The pair started the food stand when no one else was really operating food trucks.
“Years ago, families used to go to the 50’s diners, and now they go to food trucks,” Brown said. “We never really gave it much thought, but as it turns out we were the first truck around and now it’s one of the biggest booms in the area.”
Brown and Rich said they originally catered to truckers before Route 495 went in.
“When they had the dump in that era over in Attleboro right over the line, we’d see 200 to 300 trash trucks a day,” Brown said. “There were a lot of truck drivers when we started. The truck drivers were the driving force behind our business.”
The pair is gearing towards families now, since the truck traffic has died down. The space they are at now allows them to have more kid friendly surroundings.
“We try to have more for the kids to do and play here,” Brown said. “We’re adding more this year. We’ll have seesaws, more playground stuff, all kinds of things for kids to do. That way they can bring the whole family here, the kids can play and everybody can eat.”
Rich added they are due for more recreational items this week.
“Nowadays it’s way more family oriented,” Rich said. “Get everybody out together.”
The pair has added Del’s Frozen Lemonade this year and will soon be adding an ice cream truck.
“It’s going to be out front all the time,” Rich said. “It’s like the old fashioned novelties ice creams.”
Brown and Rich have both lived here their entire lives and have also served on the Board of Selectmen.
“The stand is kind of a fixture here in town,” Brown said. “It’s been here longer than most people.”
The pair sponsors youth sports teams most years, and donate to many civic organizations in town.
They agreed, however, that it’s not exactly charity, as it’s now mostly the town that supports the Hot Dogs and More Stand.
“We want to thank the people for supporting us over the years,” Rich said. “We appreciate the business and in return we try to give them a good product.”
Hot Dogs and More is located on 73 West Main St. and is open Mon-Fri, 10:30am-7pm; Sat, 10:30am-4pm.