Business inside BB&T Ballpark makes history - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Business inside BB&T Ballpark makes history

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

Many vendors have set up shop inside the new BB&T Baseball Stadium. One who set up shop has made history. 

Dave Cook is the owner of Dave and Fran's. He opened his food business when the Panthers Stadium opened up, he then set up shop at the Time Warner Cable Arena when it opened its doors and now he has a place at the new baseball stadium.

"I'm the only vendor in town," Owner Dave Cook said.  "Who has opened all three."

Cook has been in business for more than 20 years. He says he started serving dinners out the trunk of his car.  Years later he has gone from his trunk to stadiums.

"We're competitive," Cook said. "Like everybody else. Our work speaks for itself."

His business inside the baseball stadium is called Dave and Fran's Taste of the South.  He serves his famous iced teas, roasted nuts, pork rinds, and kettle corn.  His menu will soon include Turkey Legs.  Cook is the only African American owned business in the stadium.  He says it was very competitive getting in BB&T Stadium.  Hundreds applied to start a business but only a few made it.

"Most people can't get in the front door," Cook said. "Because they have no experience. If you have no experience, you can't get in the front door, so it's a vicious cycle."

Cook has been very busy. In addition to setting up shop at all of Charlotte's major sporting venues, he has also found time to partner with other events.

"I can say we have done it all," Cook said. "We have worked some of the major big sporting events, we've done three presidential inaugurations."

Cook has also served food at PGA tournaments, US Open Tennis tournaments and the Rose Parade.  He says this is it for him.  He doesn't plan on opening another business if Charlotte opens up another venue.

He wants to groom someone to take over his business and probably write a book about all his experiences.

Cook is still located at the Time Warner Cable Arena but not at Bank of America Stadium. He says he wanted to partner with other events that conflicted with football season.

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