Santa Maria Sun / Biz Brief
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 13, Issue 16
Spotlight on: Hotdog on a StickJeanette Rocha, manager
BY JASON BANANIA
The local Hot Dog on a Stick is this week’s Biz Spotlight because, as perhaps the brightest food vendor in Santa Maria, it puts itself in its own spotlight daily.
“The reason our lights are bright is because we put on a show,” said Crystal Moreno, a Hot Dog on a Stick employee. “Everything we do is a show. Stomping lemonades is a show. Putting the batter on the sticks is a show. We’re performers.”
On this day, under the vibrant lights, a family of three squinted up at the well-lit menu and weighed their options. After running through a few food-and-drink combinations, they settled on the combo: three hot dogs on a stick and three lemonades.
Moreno grabbed a hot dog by its signature stick and dipped it into a creamy cornbread batter before immersing it into a deep fryer. She waited for it to turn golden brown and crispy.
Meanwhile, behind the hot dog frying ritual, a steady rhythm could be heard and felt, as manager Jeanette Rocha smashed a bucket full of fresh lemons, demonstrating the official Hot Dog on a Stick technique. With her feet shoulder-width apart and her knees bent, she stomped in a heartbeat rhythm. Minutes after serving the finished product, employee Beatriz Meraz came on the scene to replace the batter with a fresh batch.
“Batter up!” Meraz loudly announced toward the dining area of the food court.
The show’s been taking place in Santa Maria for the last 35 years, and soon, Hot Dog on a Stick will be celebrating its 36th anniversary in town. The company’s Town Center mall location is the seventh oldest out of the 96 in operation, according to a statement from the company.
To celebrate its longstanding presence in Santa Maria, Hot Dog on a Stick will be selling its hot dogs for $2 each on July 1.
“We are ecstatic to have reached this milestone at Santa Maria Town Center,” Hot Dog on a Stick spokeswoman Kathleen Johnson said in a statement. “Providing a special discount of $2 Hot Dogs on a Stick during our anniversary weekend celebration is our way of saying thank you to our loyal Santa Maria customers and welcoming new customers into our family.”
Hot Dog on a Stick is in the Santa Maria Town Center mall. For more information, visit hotdogonastick.com.
• The Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce welcomed a new Santa Maria printing company, Print Support Solutions, with a ribbon cutting at the chamber offices.
The company is owned by Robert Lucero and specializes in various print jobs for businesses and consumers. They specialize in full-color digital printing and provide free delivery within Santa Maria city limits.
Print Support Solutions is at 840 W. Cook St. For more information, visit printsupportsolutions.com or call 347-1210.
• Santa Barbara County’s average unemployment rate fell for the third consecutive month in May, the California Employment Development Department recently announced.
The county added 3,700 more jobs from April to May—dropping the overall unemployment to 7.4 percent. Most of the job gains came in leisure and hospitality, agriculture, and business and professional services sectors. The figures are a whole percentage point lower than at the same point in 2011, when the rate was 8.4 percent.
The data for the county also compares favorably to the statewide unemployment rate, which rose for the first time in a year, to 8.2 percent, the EDD said. Santa Barbara County’s unemployment rate is tied for third lowest in the state, along with San Francisco County. The North County is seeing a job rebound over the past three months, with Lompoc dropping from 15.5 to 13.1 percent; Guadalupe from 15.1 to 12.7 percent; and Santa Maria from 13.8 to 11.6 percent.
For more information and detailed statistics, visit edd.ca.gov.
Intern Jason Banania wrote this week’s Biz Spotlight. Biz Highlights were compiled by Staff Writer Jeremy Thomas. Information should be sent to the Sun via fax, e-mail, or mail.
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