Special to Emmaus Patch By Chrissy Cilento, Emmaus High School Senior
251 Main St.
Owner: Kirby Traub
Hours: Monday - Friday 11-8; Saturday 11-6
What you sell?
We sell hot dogs, hamburgers, sausage sandwiches, barbecues, and Malone’s pizza. I don’t have a frier, so I don’t sell any fries, but I do have potato and macaroni salads and chips.
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What inspired you to start your business?
Well, we had a grocery store in South Allentown and we had a snack bar there -- and when we closed it in 1989, people kept asking us where they can get the hot dogs at, so that’s really the main reason why I started this. [Also,] I didn’t like working for other people. I worked for Laneco for a while, then I worked for Newhard Foods as a salesman -- and I just didn’t like to work for somebody else.
Why did you choose to locate your business in Emmaus?
I liked Emmaus! I drove through Emmaus a lot (my family has a place in Macungie) and going through we always liked Emmaus. Also a lot of people that shopped in our [grocery] store were from Emmaus and I have relatives out here. It’s a nice, small town -- very laid back and relaxed.
How long have you been in business?
Well, the old grocery store was a family business that my grandfather started in 1922 -- and it just grew and grew from there. But I’ve been at this location for 16 years.
What makes your business different from the competition?
Well, I use a bigger hot dog than they do, and I use a Malone’s Italian style bun. I have my own hot dog sauce that I developed at the grocery store. And we’re just local guys, which gives it a friendlier environment.
What is the most rewarding part of your business?
Talking with the customers. And I just like having my own business.
What’s the hardest part of your business?
Running a business nowadays is just plain tough -- there’s always something. [For me], it seems to be getting tougher all the time with more rules and regulations to follow.
Where do you hope to see your business in the future?
This is about it! I’m 65 now. If I was 35, I’d plan on having 20 of these -- but I’m not, unfortunately. It’s getting late, so I’m just taking care of what I’ve got here!
What advice would you give to someone thinking about entering this business and why?
It’s not as easy as it looks -- that’s all I can tell you. And everyone in business is not a millionaire. If you’re going to open your own business, be prepared to spend a lot of time. A lot of people don’t realize how much time it takes.
Do you have a role model or mentor for what you do?
My father was my role model. He was in the grocery business for years. He just had a business savvy that was uncanny, and I learned a lot from him.
What do you do when you aren't working?
I have approximately 11 acres of grass that I take care of! I also like to hunt, and fish but that’s about it.
Chrissy Cilento, a senior at , plans to study journalism in college. She is a periodic contributor to Patch.