A GOURMET HOT DOG FOR LATE NIGHT NASHVILLE
NASHVILLE SINCE 2015
Seattle native Sean “Big Daddy” Porter knows how to make a great hot dog. His hot dog carts across town and brick and mortar location in the Nations are bringing his fresh, gourmet creations to the all-day and late-night Nashville crowds.
“Big Daddy,” as he’s known on the road, began his career in music. “I was in the music businesses for about a decade,” he says. He spent much of the time on the road, touring with acts including Cage the Elephant, Mat Kearney, Elle King, and Kris Allen.
Two and a half years ago, he set his sights on Nashville. “I broke my leg, and was off the road for about nine months,” he says. “Coming back, it was just really hard for me to get back in the groove of touring. I thought that coming here would kind of spark that and help me find that passion.”
Daddy’s Dogs isn’t Sean’s first foray into entrepreneurship. In Seattle, he had a van business, where he rented tour vans to bands and artists. “I’m always trying to find different outlets and different things that I can do,” he says.
The three carts and one physical location offer a variety of juicy, gourmet hot dogs, made with fresh ingredients. “Not only is it the best hot dog you’ll probably ever have, we get our buns delivered every day from Provence Bakery here in town, we dice our own onions every day, make our own coleslaw for our sides, and all that kind of stuff,” he says. “We just kind of up the level. It blows people’s minds even more, like this is from a street cart, this is crazy, these giant juicy awesome hot dogs.”
Though it’s a concept that’s long connected with fans of the fun, edgy brand, it didn’t start out that way. “We started trying to do lunches,” Sean recalls of the plan upon launch. “It was starting to get cold, and we’re out there, and we were selling one or two hot dogs a day in a four or five hour shift. It was just me an my business partner, we were like, ‘Dude, what are we doing?’ It just wasn’t working.”
“We starting shifting gears and trying to do late night stuff, and that kind of started hitting, doing really well,” he continues. “I think we were trying to go in the line of like, this is what every hot dog stand does, instead of being like, this is what we are gonna do, blazing our own path. We were trying to follow someone else. Once we kind of were able to start our own, I think that’s when it fell into place.”
They boil the hot dogs in their own spice blend, and then finish them on the grill. Varieties include Music City, topped with bacon, cheddar cheese, onion, and bbq sauce, and Big Daddy, topped with cream cheese, bacon, pickle, grilled onion, jalapeño and Daddy’s Secret Sauwce.
Their brick and mortar store in the Nations is newly opened. “Now it’s at the next level, where I’m still kind of blown away, like oh man, we’re here,” Sean says. He’s focusing on making it the strongest it can be in Nashville, but expanding to other cities is a possibility in the future. “I hope that is forever the question mark that I’m asking myself,” Sean says of the ever-present “what next?” “It means that I still have more to do.”