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In 2014, Payne was serving up charcuterie and Strasbourg sausage at Parts & Labour on Queen Street West. It wasn't until he started making hot dogs and corndog batter for the staff that something triggered in his brain. He realized that he needed to make it his mission to put out the best hot dog in Toronto.
"My mind started going on thinking about how fun it would be to specialize in doing a hot dog thing, because nobody was really doing it complete justice, and I just wanted to have fun with it," says Payne.
He started off by touring around the festival circuit, setting up his pop-up at all the big events like Wayhome, and Bestival. From there, he eventually took over the shack that was posted just north of West Queen West on Ossington Avenue. After a couple of years, he then situated himself up the street on the corner of Dundas and Ossington before the pandemic hit.
Once COVID took full effect, and there was no longer a need for late-night, post-bar indulgence, Payne's energy shifted and he focused on getting his 'dawgs' into local retailers around the city. You can now grab yourself a pack of OG Recipe Hot Dawgs for your next BBQ at popular vendors like The Cheese Boutique, Bespoke Butchers, The Butcher's Son, and more!
Upon speaking on his plans for the future, Payne hopes to expand the Woofdawg empire and wants to, "promote the hot dog as a great food and elevate it from just drunken folk."
For Payne, it's all about the original recipe hot dogs. They are naturally cased and fresh tasting with a unique spice blend that truly sets them apart. All toppings are handmade by Payne, and though customization is encouraged, the recommended order is the Chicago-style Loaded Dawg––their crunchy main-stay with fennel coleslaw, spicy mayo, crispy onions, jalapenos, pickles, corn relish, and onions.
They are open for pick-up Wednesday to Sunday from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. (8 p.m. on Sundays), and available on UberEats for delivery.