People from America have great memories of watching Baseball with their Fathers. It’s about hot summer days watching the game and eating a good old fashioned Hot dog. This is a part of your life from a very early age in America. To not like a hot dog is considered un-American. One Father and son had a dream of owning their own Hot dog business. Years pass and people get older, but some things you never forget. The son never forgot the dream he and his Father shared. Fast forward to today, and picture a man in his kitchen as he is trying to make that dream a reality. For over two years, James toiled in his kitchen with a meat grinder and an idea. He wanted to give Bangkok what he couldn’t find anywhere in Asia for over 26 years. A 100 percent all beef hot dog just like you find on the streets of New York City. He never gave up on his dream, and through a dedication to his Father has made that dream come true. Launched in February 2013, the first Superbdog location is perched at the top of the Nana BTS station serving hungry commuters both day and night. There is also a second location planned to open in December 2013 at Park Venture, which will open at 7am daily, and will have a more extensive menu and counter seating available.
Where are you from? How long have you lived in Bangkok?
I am originally from Los Angeles, but spent a lot of time traveling and working in New York City. I worked in for Asian Pacific for over 26 years, and moved around a bit. My work took me overseas and I settled in Thailand 18 years ago.
How did you come up with the name Superbdog?
The name was added over a period of time after going through a focus group of friends. We had different ideas for names. Finally, I decided on a name that reflects a true New York style hot dog experience.
Tell us about the journey of Superbdog? How did your business get started?
When I was younger, I talked with my dad about starting our own business. We really wanted to create an epic Hot dog franchise. It was a dream we shared, and I was determined to make our dream come true. So after I left Sun Microsystems, I focused on making this business idea a reality. I started in 2006 by trying to import our dogs from an overseas supplier. That partnership fell apart as the supplier stopped shipping internationally. So in 2008, I decided that with the experience I gained working with others that I could make my own product. For over two years, I worked tirelessly in my kitchen with a meat grinder and an idea. I wanted only the best meats and the highest quality ingredients, and never stopped trying new combinations. All of that trial and error can really smell up your house so it was a challenging time. Finally, a recipe was created that I was truly proud of. I found a local processor in Bangkok to help, and the rest is history. We make our product locally so we know it’s fresh for the consumer. Also we only use sirloin trimmings, all natural flavorings and casings with no preservatives. That’s how you make a great 100% Beef dog.
What do you think helps set you apart from other venues?
Two things – superior food quality and we strive to give a fantastic customer experience. With that in mind, we really focus on staff training. My staff is a key part of the business. Without these two elements we are just another brand. They are our marketing, customer service, and sales staff all rolled into one. That’s what makes us Superb!
What’s your most popular selling Dog?
The best seller is the chili cheese onion dog (90 baht). Thais love putting as many toppings on their dogs as they can, and we are happy to oblige.
Where do you see Superbdog in the next few years?
We are developing four lines of business. First our company owned retail outlets, secondly we are developing our event catering business, also our wholesale distribution through Litehouse Asia servicing restaurants and bars. We will launch our Franchise model beginning 2014 which will complete our four-line business model.
What is your favorite place to eat?
Indian and Lebanese are some of my favorite foods. I like to stay local. Soi 22 has a fantastic Japanese restaurant called Anego, which has great food and drinks.
Where is your favorite place for a beer?
Probably my living room is my favorite place for a beer. I also like meeting friends at The Game because pool tables are important. You have to have something to keep you busy.
What do miss most about home?
Bakeries with NY style bagels. I miss the NY delis with the wide assortment of cold cuts and cheeses. You just can’t find that stuff here. Also, I really miss Baseball, Redwood trees, and walking around San Francisco.
What’s the consumer reaction?
We are building our local customer base mainly through word of mouth. When you have people compliment you on your product and service it really validates your business and makes you proud.