ATLANTA (FOX 5 Atlanta) - Mason Wright knows how to stack a hot dog – and not just with the toppings you'd expect.
"We've got ketchup and mustard and onions, but my top seller is the pepperoni pizza dog, and I also have a chopped steak dog," Mason said.
He's 13 now, but Mason was just 10 years old when his family bought his first hot dog stand after he saw hot dog sales in every direction on a trip to New York City. He launched Mason's Super Dogs, and his second stand is even bigger and better than the last.
"I told myself, I can take this business concept back to Atlanta, and I did. And here I am, three years later," he said.
The Lithonia native was motivated by a desire to make some extra cash – not to buy video games or shoes, but robotics kits that can cost a couple of hundred dollars apiece, so his parents told him he had to get a job.
"I started walking and washing cars and I realized that was too much labor," he said, laughing.
Mason, who's entering eighth grade this fall, has learned lots of valuable business lessons since the launch of his company.
"Counting money. I love counting the money," he said. "The hardest part is booking gigs because sometimes you would get one gig and they would say 'Sorry, we can't do this gig today.' So you have to push back the gig and try again, so you got to plan it."
Customers at his uncle’s shipping company in Atlanta look forward to seeing Mason, his mother Kathi, and those loaded beef and vegan hot dogs.
"It’s growing, he's prospering and he is very personable and I think he is doing a wonderful job," said Deborah Braswell, a frequent Mason's Super Dog customer.
Many customers are inspired to see such a young man working so hard at his own business.
"You’re taking the energy and putting it into opening your own business and hustling and doing things when he could really be playing video games," Wright's uncle Robert McKie told FOX 5.
His mother says the young entrepreneur takes the lessons from school and puts them to practice in the field.
"I’m so very happy about the fact that he's learning to be an entrepreneur – especially since that runs in our family. But I am most proud that he has helped other young people start their businesses,"
"I want other kids to know school is important because you have to do math in contracts and know a lot of other things, know your contracts you make. You got to know how to read the contracts, and make sure everything is OK before you sign," he said.
Mason can now buy his own robotics kits and regularly invests in his Morehouse College savings fund. The young men who have mentored him over the years are Morehouse business majors. Since Mason is homeschooled, he has the flexibility to operate his stand every Wednesday on the college campus during the school year.