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Corner Brook street vendor determined to get back in business after losing food cart

D.J. Pike of Mount Moriah poses for a photo next to his extensively damaged food cart, which he hopes to replace so he can get back in business.
D.J. Pike of Mount Moriah poses for a photo next to his extensively damaged food cart, which he hopes to replace so he can get back in business.

D.J. Pike’s business came to crashing halt recently, just as he thought it was about to boom.

Most people would probably give up on peddling hot dogs and sausages from a food cart in downtown Corner Brook after what he’s been through, but Pike is determined to get back at it.

The Mount Moriah resident just toughed out a long, cold winter setting up at his Main Street location nearly every day. Despite the harsh conditions and slow business, he had built up a bit of a regular clientele and was hoping sales would heat up as the temperature rose.

Things were indeed looking better up until two weeks ago. Pike had stopped to allow a cyclist to pass before entering the Home Design parking lot when a motorist rear-ended him.

The collision drove the hot dog cart Pike was towing into the back of his car. The car sustained only minor damage but the food cart was a write-off.

The impact bent up the sheet metal on all four side of the cart and compromised the chassis underneath the rig.

In an interview Monday, Pike said he hopes to have reached a settlement with the driver who hit him, which should cover the cost to replace the cart.

That won’t replace the lost revenue he could have been making in the first two weeks of summer or for the next while to come.

“I’m going to go back at it again,” he said. “I was just starting to get on my feet when this happened.”

Pike is not sure when he will be able to start up again. If he orders a new cart that’s already built, it might take a couple of weeks before it arrives.

It could take as long as six weeks if he has to have one custom built.

The longer the wait means missing out on more of the prime vending season. It will also likely mean Pike will be back on the street again next winter.

He was hoping to make enough money this summer to not have to set up shop during the coldest months.

“I’ll do it, though, if I have to,” he said. “I’ve been doing this for awhile now and I do actually enjoy it.”
In the meantime, someone set up a Go Fund Me page Monday to help Pike pay for the damaged cart. He didn’t know about it until after it had been set up and said that generosity might help him deal with his lost wages since he hopes to have the cart replacement costs covered.

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