Red Hot!

I scream, you scream, we all scream for . . . ice cream hot dogs? How one entrepreneur came up with a cool twist on a ballpark favorite

What: Hot dog-shaped ice cream treats
Who: Peter and Tara Franklin of Cool Dogs Inc.
Where: Boston
When: Started in 1999

The idea for cool dogs-ice cream molded into the shape of a hot dog and encased in a bun-shaped cake-came to Peter Franklin as he prepared a hot dog for lunch one day. With his wife, Tara, 43, helping with the marketing, Peter set to work developing the idea.

After he patented his concept, Franklin attended the National Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions convention in fall 2000, where Cool Dogs were an immediate hit.

Soon, Franklin had landed accounts with Dick's Last Resort in Boston and grocery stores in the local area. In addition, they are now sold at Six Flags in New England and New York's Shea Stadium. Cool Dogs will also be appearing at Giants Stadium in New Jersey sometime in August. Sales are expected to reach $2.5 million this year.

"When I left [my high-tech job], everybody thought I was out of my mind. High-tech was booming and I had to sell my stocks to invest in this business," says Franklin, 51, a former marketing director. But, judging from his product's popularity, it seems Franklin has come out as top dog.

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This article was originally published in the August 2002 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Red Hot!.

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