What’s new at the market this year is Crave Cart. Jessica Hernandez has been making designer hot dogs that will surprise you with their decadent combinations and flavor. She started Crave Cart at the market this spring and has created quite a buzz.
When I asked Jessica how she got into this, she said, “I needed something besides my boring desk job,” and added that she and her husband are touted as being the cooks of the family. They were cruising Craigslist when they came across a great deal. The cart was in the Portland, Ore., area, so they drove down and brought it back.
“It was an impulsive whim and I had no experience but I needed something else in my life,” she said. “I have a predisposition to cooking and took a really fun chance.
“Before we moved here, my brother’s girlfriend, whose name happens to be Jessica, too, had bought a similar cart and I watched her do it.”
She says that when she saw her, “I didn’t think, I want to do that.” She notes that she was lucky because although she was doing it differently, she leaned on the other Jessica in the beginning. “I enjoy the freedom to meet people.”
As for the future, she says it would be nice to have a couple more carts, a Crave Fleet, as she called it. She is surprised by how quickly people are hearing about it and the cart can’t be in three places at once. Most recently she had a conversation with a Lavender Festival attendee regarding a storefront. She says that what really fired her up was the idea of a drive-through hot dog stand, much like the espresso stands you drive through. We will have to wait and see how that materializes.
What does she enjoy about the market? “I am new to the area and being a part of the market allows me to have a finger on the pulse of a place I am still getting to know and am getting more acquainted with.” She says that she learns a lot from locals and travelers about Sequim and the area. She also has learned lots about events and businesses.
“Meeting and talking to people is what I enjoy. One day Garry Flynn, another vendor, overheard me talking about our property: Now we have six swarms of bees on our property.”
“How do you make your product?” I asked her. “My hotdogs stand apart,” she said, “because I warm them in a water bath with salt, water, onions and garlic, then grill them, and the buns are grilled.” Jessica notes that hers is “a professional cart, an open air restaurant at your finger tips. Even though the process is like home-cooked, it is elevating what you would do at home.”
She goes on to tell me that the key to the dogs is spending the time to caramelize onions — “our own onions we grow on our property, which are like candy” — and choosing ingredients. It’s about how you take care of the food you are serving.
“My personal favorite is the Crave Dog, slathered in cream cheese, topped with caramelized onions and with a touch of sriracha hot sauce or if I am feeling sassy, I add bacon and that is magic.”
Jessica and her Crave Cart are at the market every Saturday; feel free to come and speak with her regarding events, weddings and parties.
“I love being at the market,” she said. “There is a great vibe, it is awesome.”
On Aug. 3, the music at the market will be Cort Armstrong and crew from 11 a.m.-2 p.m., always a great and free show. On Saturday, Aug. 10, a crew from the Old Time Fiddlers will be there — same time, same place.
Our Suzanne Arnold Community Booth will host the New Dungeness Lighthouse, the Sequim Dog Park, Sequim Rotary and Peninsula Friends of Animals on Aug. 3. On Aug. 10 it will host the Master Gardeners, Sequim Rotary and the North Olympic Council of Square Dancers.
Come and learn about these important community organizations.
See you at the market!