Or, The Journey of Wassup Dog Gourmet Hotdogs.
Words by: Zac Duggan
My journey started with a Best Dog shoved into my mouth after a long night at Mojo’s. Even with the lack of tastebuds, it was still one of the most delicious things I’ve tasted in a long time.
Later, in Leederville, I pedal down Newcastle street, the sky is still glowing pink on the clouds as the sun finally begins the day and I break just about every law a cyclist can, breathing in the winter morning. Dogs, coffee, tobacco, engines, trees, paint and opening cafes. Somewhere within me is a morning person, but not today.
I was shockingly late to the interview with Jules Aknin; owner, manager and sausage extraordinaire of Wassup Dog.
Over delicious coffee, I slowly woke up as Jules eagerly recounted his journey from Marseille, where at 18 he was told to:
“…Go to Australia, learn how to speak English and pay your own bills”.
Gathering inspiration from his family, two years later he started Wassup dog in King’s Square, Fremantle, with a cart he bought from New York.
After a few good weekends, he said that hot dogs became an art form: changing sauces, sausages, buns and fillings until he had a store outside The Bird and Mojo’s every week, giving revelers the only thing better than a kebab after 9pm: organic beef hot dogs.
Jules described that after two years of being outside Mojo’s, and after recently hiring new marketing manager Kevin, that “it just keeps getting better and better”.
Additionally, Wassup Dog is now involved with Skateboarding WA; has its very own convertible VW beetle, and also have just included a new line of 100% Margaret River organic beef sausages to their name, which from this week will be sold at IGA’s around Perth.
Jules has been working long nights growing the business and experimenting to make the perfect sausage.
“Every time I thought of stopping, I would call my Mum or Dad and they would keep me going, he said.
Jules was happy to share his story and hoped it would inspire other young Perth entrepreneurs.
“Anybody can do it. If your passionate, if you love what your doing, you can do it!”
When our conversation moves to the future of Wassup Dog, the biggest smile in Foam lights up and you can hear:
“I can see Wassup Dog being huge, I want to be the next Red Bull”.
Wassup Dog now has 3 carts and can be found at Freo markets, outside Mojo’s and a host of other locations around Perth. The last question I asked in our interview was: What’s the funniest thing that you have seen at your stands?
Jules: “Well I’ve only seen one fight, but a few times drunk girls will come through and I’m not sure if they want a hot dog or … I don’t take phone numbers at work”.
Hot dogs aren’t only for the icy cold corners of New York’s smoky streets anymore, burnt with the whirr of crowds never-ending. Just look out around town for the line up out side Mojo’s to get what you need.