JoJo’s Grill-a-Dog opens in Visalia

JoJo’s Grill-a-Dog celebrates grand opening with community members from around the Valley with signature free shaved ice, KJUG and the community

VISALIA- One thing the Valley didn’t know they were missing was gourmet hot dogs, until JoJo’s Grill-a-dog set up shop in Visalia.

The gourmet hot dog shop celebrated with a grand opening and ribbon cutting event on Saturday, Sept. 24. Customers were greeted by KJUG radio and had the opportunity to receive free specialty shaved ice with the purchase of a meal.  JoJo’s Grill-a-Dog has a lot to offer the community, has something for everyone and it all starts with the dog. Franchise owner Shelly Ryland takes pride in her store providing the best customer service and is pleasantly surprised with the feedback and success their business has already received from the community. 

“We want to be really involved, that’s one of the big things for us and our customers that come in,” Shelly said. “Quality food and customer service, that’s what Brad and I focus on.”

The Visalia location is located at 1501 W. Walnut Ave., and is the second JoJo’s Grill-a-Dog to open, the first is in Redlands, CA. Shelly and her husband Brad Ryland were looking for a new adventure and a business opportunity when they came across JoJo’s Grill-a-Dog. They knew it was the perfect addition to the Valley and decided to pursue the franchise. The store held a soft opening on Aug. 16 and the following day they opened to the public. Shelly said they have been working hard to iron out all the kinks and is grateful to the community for the support. 

“Now I understand why people do a grand opening a month after [they open], because you want to get everything prepared and ready and staff trained and that kind of stuff,” Shelly said. “I have a great staff, so [we are] super excited about that”

JoJo’s Grill-a-Dog sells a variety of different dogs. The menu includes house specialties and as well as a build your own option. Customers have several different dogs to choose from, ranging from an all beef quarter pound dog to a veggie dog for the non-meat eaters. The hot dog buns are baked fresh each day.

Shelly said their corn dogs are definitely the number one seller as of now. Each corn dog is hand dipped and made fresh for each customer. For the vegetarians, there is a fried cheese stick or veggie dog corn dog option as well. 

The Visalia location also sells beer, funnel cakes and shaved ice. Shelly said something else they are proud of, is their ability to offer gluten free products. They have separate fryers for the corndogs and funnel cakes, leaving the potato chips and fries to their own fryer and completely gluten free. 

Customers can participate in a rewards program that gives them one point per dollar spent. Once 50 points are acquired, it equals $5 off a purchase. They also offer military, first responder, healthcare and senior discounts.

Shelly said her and her husband’s main focus is making sure customers are happy. She said she takes the time to respond to all reviews, and once she even personally delivered two corn dogs that were missing from a take-away order. Visalia seems a prime location and has exceeded the Rylansd’s expectations. 

“Our partners gave us a goal for the month and we met it in week three,” Shelly said.

Shelly said she and her husband would eventually like to open additional JoJo’s Grill-a-Dog’s through the central valley as well as a food truck of their own, allowing for expansion to catering. The Redlands location does quite a bit of catering through their food truck according to Shelly. 

The original store began as a college project for now chief executive officer Ryan Molnar, according to Shelly. The gourmet hot dog restaurant was a project for a business class at University of California Redlands. She said his best friend Jason Tang, who is now the chief financial officer, encouraged the start and the rest is history. The two are now looking for further expansion.

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