Small Business Dream

By Kaileigh Deacon


“Grampie Bill” Gibson stands in the warmth of his hot dog stand serving the loyal customers that come out despite the weather and cold temperatures. “Grampie Bill’s” is located in the IGA Parking lot on North St. (Photo by Kaileigh Deacon).

 

While weather is less than pleasant and most businesses are finding things a bit slow, small business owner Billy Gibson is happily serving his customers at his Grampie Bill’s Hot Dog Stand in the IGA parking lot. 

Gibson spent 20 years in the supermarket business before spending another 11 years as a Little Debbie distributor before moving into owning Grampie Bill’s. For the past 8 years Gibson has been selling hot dogs, French fries, philly cheesesteaks, sausages, and meeting people from all over in the IGA parking lot. “You meet some of the greatest people in the world here. I’ve met people from all 50 states, France, Germany, New Zealand,” Gibson said. 

For Gibson this was more than just a job. He said it was his dream that when he retired he would own a little hot dog stand. When he started he was “stepping out on faith with nothing,” and now he has a strong regular clientele.  One man makes the 2 hour drive from Hermon once a week in the summer to get a sausage. Because of this clientele and one customer’s insistence that if Gibson were to stay open year round, he would have a steady business. 

So January 5 three years ago, after coming back from vacation, Gibson, without telling anyone, opened up for business. And so with the exceptions of his vacations and storms, Gibson has been open year round for the last three years and maintaining steady business. Even on a cold February day, two days after a blizzard within just 15 minutes Gibson had 4 customers. 

Gibson greets you with a smile and an upbeat hello no matter the weather. While business is thriving and Gibson is open nearly everyday he maintains a pretty regular schedule. “I’m here by 10:30 or 11 everyday and by 3 I’m home with my wife,” Gibson said with a smile. Gibson says that a lot of his success is a result of his wife, without whose backing he wouldn’t be where he is. 

In 8 years Gibson has gone from being open just over 5 months out of the year selling just hot dogs to being open year round and selling a wide variety of food, including the popular summer favorite doughboys. So if you’re in the mood for a bit of summer while the snow is up past your knees or just want a bite to eat, pull up to Grampie Bill’s in the IGA parking lot off North Street.