News for those who live, work and play in the Santiam Canyon

Howlin’ Mad Dogs open for business

Contributing writer for The Canyon Weekly

Folks are getting bitten by the new mad dog that’s roaming the Canyon! 

After a soft opening Sept. 16, Howlin’ Mad Dogs Grill & Catering is officially open for business, selling what some are calling the best hot dogs around. 

Owned by Laura and Jason Bradshaw, the food cart was in full-grill mode at their grand opening on Oct. 7 in front of Poppa Al’s in Mill City. 

“We aren’t going to be at the same place every day, and we’re still setting up a consistent schedule,” said Laura Bradshaw, inviting hotdog lovers to try their fare. “Please keep up with our Facebook page and look for announcements. We will post the day before where will be the next day and what time.”

Married almost three years, Laura Bradshaw said she and her husband still consider themselves newlyweds. 

“We lived in Southern California where Jason was an over the road trucker, working weeks at a time,” she said. “I was at home running a business shipping on eBay. We worked well over full time and eventually got tired of the hustle and bustle trying to make ends meet, and never having quality time together.”     

“So, we packed up our RV and started a new life in Oregon. 

“Gates was our first stop, and we loved it so much, we never left,” she added. “It became home, and starting a business here felt right. We both are foodies and love cooking, so we knew a food cart would suit us best.”

After the 2020 wildfire’s affect on the community, the couple saw that a lot of businesses did not reopen, motivating them to consider what might be a good fit for the Santiam Canyon. 

“We wanted to bring something fun and enjoyable to the canyon, and hot dogs bring back good memories, whether it’s of childhood or a backyard barbecue,” Laura Bradshaw said. “We were not here when the fire happened, but we’ve gotten to know so many who were and heard their stories. We want to bring something good to the area, and when we say we’re going to be serving hot dogs, everyone lights up and gets so excited. It’s wonderful to see.”

Bradshaw and her hubby began to “dream, plan and establish” the food cart last June, before officially opening this month.

“It’s been a tough journey getting it started,” she said. “With the help, love and support of the many friends, we have made it up here. They’ve made it possible for us to open the doors to our business. We are so thankful to all of them.”

Howlin’ Mad Dogs opened serving the couple’s specialty chili cheese dogs and Chicago-style dogs, both featuring 1/4-pound, all-beef hotdogs. 

“The Chicago was extremely popular with seven different toppings,” Bradshaw said. “We have our own special recipe called ‘carnival onions’ as a topping, and it’s been a hit as well.” 

The feedback for the food cart has been “awesome,” according to Bradshaw.

“Some customers came back afterwards just to rave,” she said of the grand opening. “They were amazed and did not expect a hot dog to taste that good! When we started this, we did not want to serve ‘just’ hot dogs. We wanted them to be tasty and memorable.

“We still have menu items not yet released,” she added. “We’re excited to try doing breakfast. We’ll be opening very early, and it will not be hot dogs. We’re very excited to try different things, especially for the holidays.”

The couple looks forward to serving communities in the Santiam Canyon. 

“It has become home to us, and we love seeing the familiar faces of friends who come out to support us,” Bradshaw said. “We’re happy to be offering another food option to the area, and we thank everyone from the bottom of our hearts for welcoming us.”

For more information, call 503-877-4482 or visit Howlin’ Mad Dogs Grill & Catering on Facebook.

 

“We are both foodies and love cooking, so we knew a food cart would suit us best.”

– Laura Bradshaw, co-owner of Howlin’s Mad Dogs Grill & Catering

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