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Boondoggies
BRENTWOOD'S ALL-AMERICAN HOT DOG CART
BY MICHELLE LASSLE | PHOTOS BY RON ESSEX PHOTOGRAPHY

Vivian Treff has always had a heart for the food industry. After spending years in a 9-5 job, she knew that her future was elsewhere. “I felt like I was looking in one direction and walking in another,” said Vivian. “I’ve been in the restaurant business since I was 15; that’s where my heart is.” After Vivian’s supportive husband reassured her that he was bringing in enough income for her to chase her dream of having a food truck, she quit her job and did just that. “I was so excited but wasn’t sure where to start, so I began researching and discovered that having a food truck would be pretty darn expensive.” Vivian and her husband considered their options. They placed offers on a couple of brick and mortar locations, but both fell through which ended up being a blessing. “I was thankful that those options didn’t pan out; I was on a path that I wasn’t yet aware of,” said Vivian. 

Vivian’s husband was getting ready to start a hectic work schedule that would require him to work crazy hours and sometimes nights. “They bring contractors in from all over the country for these projects, so I thought I should just buy a small hotdog cart and sell the hundreds of workers hotdogs,” said Vivian. “I figured if there’s anything I can do that’s easy and allows me to make money without spending too much in the beginning it would be hotdogs.” Vivian found a hotdog cart online, drove up to Petaluma, and brought it home. “It needed a lot of work, but we eventually got it up and running. My husband worked really hard to help me get it in shape.” In the end Vivian wasn’t able to take her cart to her husband’s work due to technicalities, but that idea was the catalyst that began what is now known as Boondoggies.
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Boondoggies serves Casper dogs, Costco brand Polish dogs, and occasionally hot links. There’s an important reason why Vivian chose Casper brand dogs specifically. “My grandma grew up around here but no longer lives in California. Every time she comes to visit, she makes us take her straight to Casper to get a hotdog, so I figured there must be more like her out there that will only eat Casper dogs,” said Vivian. Due to health department requirements, Vivian is only able to offer ketchup, mustard, relish, and onions as topping options on the cart. However, if you visit Boondoggies at the Sunset Baseball Fields, they offer a much more extensive menu. “We serve nachos, Frito boats and Frito yachts, which is a big nacho bowl with three bags of Fritos, chili, cheese, and jalapenos.” There are also more hotdog toppings available, such as tomatoes, sauerkraut, and jalapenos.

“They bring contractors in from all over the country for these projects, so I thought I should just buy a small hotdog cart and sell the hundreds of workers hotdogs,” said Vivian. “I figured if there’s anything I can do that’s easy and allows me to make money without spending too much in the beginning it would be hotdogs.”

Since opening in October 2018, Vivian has grown her business to have eight employees but currently employs five. They are at the baseball fields Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from March to November, as well as Sundays during Fall Ball and sometimes Saturday tournaments. “It has become a whirlwind,” said Vivian. “I had no idea this many people in the world love hotdogs.” In addition to the Sunset Baseball Fields, Boondoggies can be found at various events around town. Their cart was at the Art, Jazz & Wine Festival, the Movies in the Park, Heritage’s homecoming event, Campos Family Vineyards Wine Down Fridays, and much more. “I’m incredibly thankful for our spot at the ball fields, but I love doing my hotdog cart events. That’s why I got into the business in the first place.” As for the future of Boondoggies, Vivian said she has some exciting upcoming ventures that can’t be shared quite yet. “We’ll just have to wait and see!”
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