EAST LONGMEADOW – Jeannie Reynolds wears an enormous smile when serving prospects on a sunny afternoon at Heritage Park in East Longmeadow and palms over a fistful of napkins together with a sizzling canine, loaded with chili and onions. The Jeannie’s Weenies meals truck is a labor of affection for Reynolds, one which lets her embrace her ardour for entertaining.
“I like to cook dinner. I like to entertain,” stated Reynolds, an East Longmeadow resident.
“I received thrown into a tough scenario when [COVID-19] hit,” Reynolds defined. She was let go from the dentist’s workplace the place she had labored as a hygienist. “I used to be too younger to retire and too outdated to get one other job,” stated Reynolds, who turned 60 this yr.
Reynolds stated she and her husband had been speaking about opening the new canine truck for years. “We stated, ‘Let’s go for it,’” she associated. She stated the paperwork and authorized steps had been essentially the most annoying, however added, “The city has been fantastic.”
Though the enterprise was two years within the making, Reynolds offered her first sizzling canine this spring, after buying a second-hand meals truck and placing work into it. Reynolds had invested about $15,000 earlier than stocking the provides and the meals.
“It’s going to be a studying yr,” whereas the enterprise finds its footing, Reynolds stated. “I believe I can go all winter lengthy. I can serve sizzling soups and chili.”
Reynolds hand makes lots of the gadgets she sells, together with her cookies and all the new canine toppings. “I make my very own chili, my very own baked beans,” she stated. The cheese sauce is store-bought, however Reynold provides spices to spice up the flavour.
Jeannie’s Weenies serves low salt, no filler beef sizzling canines with numerous toppings. Reynolds stated that, regardless of not being on the menu, she will cook dinner turkey canines to order.
“Everyone has been so good,” Reynolds stated. She shared a narrative by which a pair purchased a “Plain Jane” sizzling canine to separate and returned 10 minutes later to order 5 extra. They instructed Reynolds it was one of the best sizzling canine they’d ever had.
Whereas all of Jeannie’s Weenie’s hours are climate dependent, Reynolds has a handful of areas the place the truck may be discovered frequently. She stations herself at Heritage Park in East Longmeadow Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, from 3 p.m. to eight p.m. “I’ve received one of the best view on the town from my workplace window,” she stated, referring to her meals truck.
Jeannie’s Weenies will also be discovered on the Farmer’s Market in Springfield’s Forest Park on Tuesdays. The truck will even be open for enterprise, parked in entrance of Relaxation In Peace Pest Management on Maple Avenue through the summer time live performance on July 3 and the East Longmeadow 4th of July Parade. Jeannie’s Weenies will even be serving sizzling canines on the Ludlow Summer time Live performance Sequence in Ludlow.
“I really like being at concert events, listening to music and feeding folks sizzling canines,” Reynolds stated, including that it combines her love of music together with her love of entertaining.
The truck often is just not open on weekends. That’s when Reynolds does a special type of entertaining, fronting the band 9 Volt Radio, which performs cowl songs spanning the Seventies by means of the Nineteen Nineties. She has been performing for years and met her husband and guitarist, John, by means of the band. He additionally helps with the meals truck after he finishes his day job at Springfield Technical Neighborhood School.
To this point, Reynolds is having fun with her enterprise and stated it’s far much less annoying than her former profession. She stated, “It’s been nice.”