‘It’s a joy to come to work’: Woman opens hot dog stand at 85 years old

Joann Dehardt is serving food hot off the grill at her new hot dog stand, J's Hot Diggity Dogs.
Published: Sep. 19, 2023 at 4:51 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS/Gray News) - An 85-year-old in South Carolina is teaching the lesson that it’s never too late to start something new.

Joann Dehardt is serving food hot off the grill at her new hot dog stand.

However, grilling hot dogs and sizzling fries is just a small part of what Dehardt, or Boss Lady Jojo, does daily at J’s Hot Diggity Dogs.

“I love people and I love helping people, and that’s what it’s all about,” she said.

In 1980, Dehardt and her husband opened Frandeena’s, one of the few restaurants serving up hot food in Prosperity.

“After my husband passed away in 2010, I volunteered at a thrift store in Chapin, Good Works,” she said. “I said ‘You know, the old restaurant is still standing, why don’t I do that?’ and one of the workers said ‘Joann, that’s a fine thing for you to do.’”

Inspired by the thrift store, Dehardt got to work. She turned the old Frandeena’s into Heart and Hands Thrift Shoppe, which serves people all throughout the community.

Even with the thrift shop, Dehardt said she still felt like something was missing.

“Nobody had anything to eat around here, so I said ya know why don’t we do a similar small hot dog stand?,” she said.

And so, J’s Hot Diggity Dogs was born. The small hot dog stand now sits right in front of Heart and Hands Thrift Shoppe.

Anyone who stops by the hot dog stand wondering what to get can get a suggestion from the boss herself.

“Get a hot dog all the way. With chili, mustard, onion, everything,” Dehardt said.

Running a thrift shop and a hot dog stand, you’d think Dehardt would have her hands full, but it turns out the only thing full is her heart.

“I just love people, and I love doing what I’m doing,” she said. “It’s a joy to come to work.”