Former Colorado State professors wheel out Duff’s Old Town Sausage Cart
A new food cart has gone from dream to wheeled reality in Fort Collins.
Duff’s Old Town Sausage cart opened Sept. 1, serving up hot dogs, vegan dogs and a rotating slate of wild game and inventive sausage options.
The cart’s founders, Fort Collins friends and former Colorado State University hospitality professors Josh Olson and Garrett Overlee, said they’d always wanted to have something of their own after working for years at various Fort Collins bars and restaurants.
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The two met while attending CSU and ended up working at the since-shuttered Stonehouse Grille together. Eventually, they ended up back at CSU teaching in its hospitality management department. While there, Overlee, now 40, worked as the chef instructor at CSU’s student-operated Aspen Grille and University Club. Olson, 39, would later manage the university restaurants.
By early 2020, Overlee was working as a project manager for food and beverage technology at Topgolf in Texas, and Olson was employed at Berthoud golf course TPC Colorado.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Overlee and Olson were soon laid off and looking for their next opportunities.
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Overlee and his fiancee moved back to Fort Collins, where he now works as the day manager at Old Town’s Steak-Out Saloon. While back in town and walking through Old Town, Overlee said he and Olson both noticed the massive increase of outdoor dining thanks to the pandemic. They also noticed a lack of regular hot dog carts in the area, Olson said.
“We’d always wanted to do our own thing, and we just saw a need,” Olson explained. “It was like, ‘Well, if not now, when are we going to do this?'”
The duo got to work creating the concept of Duff’s Old Town Sausage cart. They ultimately decided to name it after Overlee’s late Old English bulldog, Duff, who at one point lived with Olson and Overlee when they were roommates in Fort Collins.
“He used to think he was the mayor of Old Town, just strutting around,” Overlee said. “And the guy loved sausages.”
Appropriately, the cart’s logo features a drawing of Duff in sunglasses with linked sausages dangling from his mouth.
Overlee and Olson debuted their battery and solar-powered cart in Old Town on Sept. 1 but are still looking for a more permanent perch. They have also set up shop at Canvas Stadium’s alumni tailgate before each of CSU’s home football games this season.
“For just kind of quietly starting, it’s been well received,” Olson said, adding that CSU students have been particularly thankful to find the cart on late nights in Old Town.
Duff’s Old Town Sausage Cart boasts a fixed menu of $5 Colorado beef hot dogs and $7 vegan hot dogs, as well as rotating specials that include wild game sausage and creations like a jack rabbit sausage, which is made of rabbit, cherry and antelope, and a macaroni-and-cheese-stuffed hot dog topped with macaroni and cheese sauce.
For updates on the cart’s location, customers can check in with the Duff’s Old Town Sausage Cart Facebook page or www.duffsfoco.com.
Erin Udell reports on news, culture, history and more for the Coloradoan. Contact her at ErinUdell@coloradoan.com. The only way she can keep doing what she does is with your support. If you subscribe, thank you. If not, sign up for a digital subscription to the Coloradoan today.
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