DIGITAL EXCLUSIVE: National Hot Day

Digital Exclusive

Happy National Hot Dog Day! Well, we’re a day late, but hey, Erie still has the hot dogs in the world thanks to Smith’s..

Whether you like them plain, with relish, a chili dog, with, no matter what, you have to celebrate today with a Smith’s hot dog.

“We are a fourth-generation family-owned and operated business. We have been making hot dogs and other meats since 1927, so for 93 years now,” said Sara Kallner, vice president of sales and marketing at Smith’s Provision.

Smith’s is a staple of Erie and supplies many local restaurants with their hot dogs.

“We have such a good relationship with Smith’s Provision. Hot dogs are one of the things people think of. We char-grill our dogs, so it’s one of our biggest selling items,” said Sean Candela, owner of Sara’s Restaurant.

“I mean, very rarely does a restaurant get to work directly with a manufacturer,” said Katie Schmid, owner of Lucky Louie’s Beer and Wieners.

Smith’s produces a lot and even more now since it’s the summer and people are eating more at home due to COVID-19.

“Roughly 20 million hot dogs a year. This is the busiest time of year. Not only is it a busy time for hot dog and sausage production, in particular, we have seen unprecedented sales in that arena since the pandemic started,” said Kallner.

COVID’s changed the number of hot dogs Lucky Louie’s offers.

“Under normal circumstances we have around 30, but since COVID has hit, we’ve adjusted our menu. We’ve probably subtracted about 6,” said Schmid.

They’ve added some other things to the menu like fries and desserts.

Sara’s is operating as a drive-thru.

“Say a chili foot-long is probably the number one selling,” said Candella.

Smith’s is proud to be based and serving locally.

“So to be able to support other local businesses who are doing the same thing, this is what keeps Erie going. This is why Erie is in the middle of transformative change here. We all need to support each other and continue to work together. And it gives us great pride and pleasure to do that,” said Kallner.

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