Name of business: Spanky’s Wieners
Type of business: Food truck
Location: 2370 N. Walnut Rd., Turlock
Specialty: Hot dogs
History of business:
Frank Martinez has always found food trucks to be a cool and unique consumer experience. Considering his own love for hot dogs, it had been a dream of his for years to operate a food truck of his own. This past weekend, his dreams were finally made into a reality when he officially opened Spanky’s Wieners.
Spanky’s Wieners on 2370 N. Walnut Rd. offers over 10 hot dogs, each with a wild and unique twist. Martinez shared that the grand opening of his business on Oct. 8 was a long time coming.
“I really like the food truck idea,” Martinez said. “I’ve been talking about this idea for about the past five years now, maybe even longer. I wanted to make something happen, so I just decided to make the move. I told myself, ‘You’re not going to accomplish anything by not trying, so if I fail, at least I tried, and if I succeed, it’ll be awesome.’”
After working at Hilmar Cheese for over 15 years, Martinez left his job to focus on his business endeavors full-time, with one of the first steps taken being to build the truck itself. In February, the truck began to be custom built by Modesto’s AP Welding and was completed in June. Now having the truck secured, Martinez had to go through the process of finding a location to park it. He explained that he posted photos of the truck’s build along alongside some of the unique hot dogs to give people an idea of the vision he had for the business. Eventually, Jesse Henrich of Turlock Hydroponics approached Martinez with the opportunity of parking his truck in front of his store.
“The parking lot here is pretty spacious, so it felt like the perfect opportunity,” Martinez said. “Jesse is a big part of why I’m stationed here, so I appreciate him a lot.”
Within the parking lot, the food truck is hard to miss. A glossy, white build with the business’ own logo reading “Spanky’s Wieners” is sure to catch the attention of anybody driving or strolling by.
“Spanky has been my nickname for almost my entire life. All my family knows me as Spanky and even my bosses when I worked at Hilmar Cheese called me Spanky. Almost nobody actually calls me Frank,” Martinez explained. “I wanted a name that was going to pop. It’s kind of edgy and the whole purpose is to make people laugh and put smiles on faces, and I guess with my nickname it worked out perfectly.”
While the name is one to be remembered, Martinez hopes that the thing that stands out most are the hot dogs and their unlikely toppings. From mac and cheese to Hot Cheetos to carne asada or to peanut butter & jelly, Martinez is confident that customers won’t find a menu quite like this in the region.
According to Martinez, the most popular hot dogs on the menu thus far include the Elote Dawg, the Casper Dog, the Chili Dog and the Spanky Supreme. The Elote Dawg features corn, mayo, cotija cheese and chili powder. The Casper Dog is a popular Bay Area dog that features cheese, mustard, relish tomato and onion. The Chili Dog is another traditional dog that features chili, cheese, tomato and onion. Meanwhile, the Spanky Supreme includes carne asada, onions, bell pepper and nacho cheese.
Some of the crazier hot dogs on the menu are the K Dogg, the Mac Dogg and the Frito Boat Dog. The K Dogg includes bacon, peanut butter and strawberry jelly. The Mac Dogg has bacon, mac and cheese and hot Cheeto crumbles. The Frito Boat Dog features Frito chips, chili, nacho cheese and onions.
And for those who want to get really risky, the truck offers what they call the Mystery Mutt, which is basically whatever Martinez feels like throwing on a hot dog at that given time. Luckily, customers can also take control with the Spanky Your Way option, which allows customers to pick and choose their own toppings.
“We have our menu, but if there’s anything specific you want, we can make it for you. And you never know, some of the creations we make can make it onto the permanent menu,” Martinez said.
At the time of this publication, Martinez shared that the food truck is still working out its hours of operation.
“I have my fiancé helping me out and it’s a new experience for both of us,” he said. ‘We’re still figuring out the flow and what works for us.”
Eventually, the truck will be open for six days out of the week with hours of operation being between 10:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. For now, Martinez encourages people to follow @SpankysWieners on Instagram and Spanky’s Wieners on Facebook.
“From never working in a food trailer before and quitting my job, it was a risk, but even after three days being out here, it’s already rewarding,” Martinez said. “I’m looking forward to see where this all goes and I’m just extremely grateful.”