ST. LOUIS – For 26 years, Karen Boschert has been a familiar face outside the St. Louis Cardinals’ baseball stadium, serving hot dogs to the masses. Known to some locals as the “hot dog lady,” Boschert has built not just a business but a community presence.

Boschert’s journey began with a handshake deal at KC Masterpiece Barbecue and Grill in Chesterfield, where she was a manager. “A gentleman offered me a hot dog cart and loaned me some money, and that’s how it all started,” she said.

She has a stand on Walnut and Eighth Street next to the West Parking Garage and another at Eighth and Spruce, right across from the Third Base Entrance outside of Busch Stadium.

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She has had many experiences being a vendor near Busch Stadium. “I got to see the All-Star game and the parade,” she said. Her stands have become a St. Louis fixture, making her a local celebrity. “People recognize me as the hot dog lady,” she said.

Last year was tough due to low attendance. “Today’s crowd is here for a giveaway,” she said. On less busy days, she thought about shutting down one of her stands or reducing labor.

“Please come down and support our small businesses because we’re all hurting when people don’t come,” she said.

Social media has become a crucial part of her business strategy. “I have a Facebook page where I post my menu and different hot dogs,” she said.

The St. Louis dog with cheddar cheese and bacon.

Her favorite hot dog to make is the “St. Louis dog with cheddar cheese and bacon,” she said. She also mentions her Chicago dog, which reminds her of her South Side Chicago roots, featuring mustard, relish, onions, cucumbers, tomatoes, celery salt, sport peppers, and ketchup.

Outside of her hot dog business, Boschert owns a transportation company she started ten years ago after leaving restaurant management.

The hot dog scene outside the stadium has seen a significant decrease in vendors. “There used to be about 40 hot dog, peanut, and water vendors. Now it’s just my two stands on the west and Tony’s on the east, plus a few peanut and water stands,” she explained.

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