Our passions and dreams are what make life worth living, but sometimes the things we need to do in order to live get in the way of our dreams.
A father in Oklahoma always dreamed of opening up his own restaurant and serving his food to hungry customers. However, when life kept convincing him that his dream was impossible, he nearly gave it up until a single tweet from his daughter changed everything…
A Lifelong Dream
For as long as Dewayne Callahan can remember, he has always loved cooking delicious food as well as eating it. As he was growing up in Chicago, Illinois, he always dreamed of opening up his own restaurant and spending his days in the kitchen cooking his best dishes for customers.
Sadly, however, Dewayne was forced to push that dream to the side when life got in the way. Eventually, Dewayne ended up moving away from his native Chicago to Oklahoma, where he settled down and started a family…
Supporting His Family
Dewayne didn’t have the time or money to open up his own restaurant and start his own business. Instead, he studied and trained to become a radiation therapist, which is what he still does every Monday through Friday to supports his family.
A Career Vs. A Calling
While his work as a radiation therapist is important and fulfilling, he still couldn’t forget about his real passion which is cooking and his dream to open up his own restaurant. Sadly, that dream was still unattainable as he had to work full-time…
An Unattainable Dream
However, no matter how much Dewayne tried to ignore his passion, he couldn’t stop thinking about it. For months, the Oklahoma dad tried to think up ways he could possibly afford to start his own business and open up his restaurant.
Brainstorming The Impossible
Most of the ideas he came up with simply wouldn’t work because his schedule was already too busy and because he didn’t have enough funds to start the business. Then 1 day, Dewayne thought of an idea that would allow him to follow his dreams without risking his family’s well being…
The Food Stand
Dewayne had the idea to open up a food stand at weekend events inspired by the hot dog stands he grew up seeing when he was living in Chicago. “I grew up eating Vienna beef hot dogs,” Dewayne said about his inspiration for his own hot dog stand.
Best Of Both Worlds
“Cooking and food have been my passion for a long time if you can’t tell,” said Dewayne as he gestured to his stomach. “I love to eat and I love to cook.” For Dewayne, a food stand was the best of both worlds. It still allowed him to do what he loved, but there was a much smaller financial and time investment…
Back To His Roots
However, Dewayne wanted to figure out a way to make his food different from everything else being sold in Oklahoma. Yet again, Dewayne went back to his roots. “We decided you know what, let’s just go with where we’re from,” Dewayne said about his food stand idea.
Some Chicago Flair In Oklahoma
“We’ll bring some of the Chicago flair to the OKC area,” said Dewayne, who came up with the idea to do his own version of classic Chicago hot dogs, which were impossible to get in Oklahoma. “Why not put your own spin on them,” he said. “So I came up with the mac-n-cheese dog…”
The Preparation Begins
After Dewayne purchased his own hot dog stand, he made the sign for his stand and purchased all the ingredients his recipes called for. After some time trying out several recipes, Dewayne was confident he had made the ‘perfect dog’.
The Perfect Hot Dog
“When we were doing the planning, we went with a 1/6th-pound dog or a six to one,” Dewayne said about his carefully created hot dogs. “Because I felt like I wanted to be able to offer people a little more dog, but not overwhelm them with dog…”
The Supportive Family
Even his 2 daughters and stepson agree that his food is delicious. “They are very good,” Dewayne’s 16-year-old daughter, Maddi, said. “I would say if they weren’t, trust me. I’d tell him if they were not so good.”
A Family Affair
In fact, his kids were so supportive that they even agreed to help him out on the weekends while he was out at different events trying to sell his food. Despite all the time spent planning and perfecting recipes, the hot dog stand wasn’t as successful as Dewayne had hoped…
A Struggling Dream
During 1 weekend, Maddi was out helping her dad with the food stand, which sells more than just hot dogs. She couldn’t help but notice that they hadn’t gotten many customers and her dad was worried that he couldn’t justify his passion if it wasn’t bringing any money in.
A Lifechanging Idea
“It was slow and he was kind of upset that it wasn’t going so well,” Maddi said about the afternoon that her dad started thinking about giving up his dream for good. That afternoon, however, Maddi thought of an idea that would change everything…
A Simple Idea
Maddi came up with an idea to tweet about her dad’s food stand and how passionate he was about it. Even though she only had about 200 followers on her Twitter account, she had seen other similar posts from strangers go viral and hoped hers would do the same.
“I’ve seen posts where people have like put their parents on there and business just went up,” said Maddi. “Guys, my dad literally loves cooking so much, & owning this business means the world to him. His food is seriously amazing & he makes a lot more food than just hot dogs lol, I don’t have many followers so this won’t get much exposure but if you see this plz Rt it,” she wrote on her Twitter along with a photo of her dad…
Blown Away By The Support
Maddi’s plan worked just as she had hoped. “All of a sudden my phone just starts blowing up,” she said. “And the next day it was like 50,000 and I was like whoa… this is insane,” she said. Maddi’s tweet had received hundreds of thousands of retweets and likes.
A Dream Is Restored
“It’s a good thing. It makes me happy that it brought us this close,” Maddi said. Dewayne has been blown away by the attention and the new support from people in the community and around the world. Thanks to that support, he now is determined to open up his own restaurant. “You guys are really helping us get there, thank you so much!!”’ Maddi added.