Holy Hot Dog Gives Back to Valley Nonprofits

WARREN, Ohio — “What brings people together more than a hot dog?”
The answer to Jeff Canzonetta’s question appeared to be “Not much” as people streamed into the World Famous Holy Hot Dog Shop where he is general manager.

Cazonetta and others came together Monday to cut the ribbon at the entrance to the restaurant, 1913 Niles-Cortland Road, which had its soft opening in December.

Store offerings, which include a peanut butter-and- jelly hot dog — this week’s hot dog of the week — set Holy Hot Dog apart, Canzonetta said.

“We experiment with hot dogs,” he emphasized.

The restaurant has featured a Brier Hill hot dog and a Taste of Italy dog, the latter featuring fresh Italian greens. Sauces with names such as “Heavenly” and “Sinful” can be ordered as toppers.

“If you have an idea, let us know, Canzonetta said. “We like to get creative.”

Added Vice President Mark Holmes, “We have some really good hamburgers. All of our stuff is made fresh. When you come through our drive-thru window, you might have to wait a little bit longer than at regular drive-thrus, because everything is made to order.”

The genesis of Holy Hot Dog began with the owner (a former Niles native who wishes to remain anonymous) and his belief that going out to eat should “pay back” the local community from the profits the restaurant earns. His Christian faith inspired both the store’s name and its commitment to the community.

“”We’re part of the community,” Canzonetta said. “We want to give back, and we want people to be happy.”

Holy Hot Dog donates “Give Back” cards to participating nonprofits, which include Inspiring Minds, Habitat for Humanity Trumbull County, Making Kids Count and Rescue Mission of the Mahoning Valley.

Management mails out the cards to the organizations, which then distribute them, Holmes said.

“Whenever a patron comes in, the card is swiped into our system, and 10% of their meal is put into a separate fund. At the end of the year we have a big party. We bring in the groups, the churches, the youth league, and we start handing them their checks,” he said.

“We start them out with 50 to 100 cards,” Canzonetta added.
“Anyone that has a 501(c)3 or a church organization is more than welcome to come down, and we can get them signed up to start using our Give Back cards,” Holmes said.
Crystal Eckman, a representative of Rescue Mission of the Mahoning Valley, is particularly excited about being apart of the Give Back program.

“They make the cards for us, which is nice,” she said. “Some places we do fundraisers with like this, they’re wonderful, but we have to make our own. So this is really a good thing.”

Pictured:  Mark Holmes, vice president of Holy Hot Dog, and Jeff Canzonetta, general manager.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.