The aroma that wafts through the halls at UVU every Wednesday at noon puts that of pathetic weenie roasts to shame. The best part is that it is local and cheap. That’s right, it is none other than Provo’s delicious J Dawgs.
J Dawgs was founded in June 2004 by owner Jayson Edwards. Edwards was attending BYU and he found that he was left craving the good hot dogs he had enjoyed while serving as an LDS missionary in Toronto, Canada.
“Jayson just realized that there weren’t any good street vendors in Utah Valley,” said Justin Stubbs, the J Dawgs store manager and long-time friend of Edwards. “Contrary to popular belief that J Dawgs was started as a school project, Jayson just wanted some good food and got the idea from his mission.”
Edwards was walking home from class one day in Provo, spotted an old shack and decided that it was perfect for his business. Thus, J Dawgs was born.
“It exploded almost from day one,” Stubbs said. “Jayson was running it by himself while he was going to school, but he just got way busy and ended up having to drop out. Then when he got married his wife ran it and he finished up school at BYU.”
With business booming, Edwards had to relocate to a larger building next door, but he kept the shack as a memorial of his beginnings and rents it out occasionally. J Dawgs now employs 15 workers, mostly college students, and he caters to different businesses. Edwards asked Stubbs to come help manage the Provo store in 2009 and plans to branch out and open a second store in Orem behind Noodles & Co. and Rumbi Island Grill.
However, Edwards would like to keep the business small and local, at least for now.
“We get a call every week with offers to start a franchise,” Stubbs said. “We want to make sure the quality stays the same and great everywhere, and until we can guarantee that each store will be equal, we won’t franchise.”
Because of the great flavor and amazing prices, J Dawgs is a hit with the younger crowd, which is exactly why they target Utah Valley colleges. Check them out at their location or UVU’s Wolverine Wednesday.