SIEU FALLS, South Dakota (KELO) — A Sioux Falls businessman is getting ready for a second serving from his hot dog stand. When Let Me Be Frank opened its doors a year ago, there was a long line of customers who couldn’t get enough of Comet Buum’s Coney Island-style dogs. But just three months later, Buum abruptly shut down his company, citing personal health concerns. Now, as he prepares to reopen his booth, he’s opened up about the challenges he’s facing.
The familiar red and white umbrellas atop the silver carts are a sure sign that hot dog season is coming back in Sioux Falls.
“I’ve been waiting for this weather to change and hopefully we’ll see a beautiful summer, so far it’s looking great,” Comet Boom said.
Owner Comet Buum is in a good mood as he prepares to serve hot dogs at his stand called Let Me Be Frank.
“By design, this company, I wanted to keep it small and simple, and it turns out it’s going to be bigger than I thought, which is fantastic,” says Buum.
Our news cameras caught me at the opening of Frank a year ago when Buum sold our hot dogs in two hours. His business has been a huge success from the start.
“I’d say it’s down to the friendly customer service, the generous portions, and the interesting menu,” Buum said.
“The All Beef Frank is a huge hit. We have the best chili and you have to try the macaroni and cheese dogs,” says Tabetha Belyeu.
Buum’s high school friend Tabetha Belyeu also works at the hot dog stand.
“Give anyone a hot dog and it will make them smile, so just smile throughout the day,” says Belyeu.
But shortly after opening, Buum began to realize he might be eating more than he could chew.
“I found that I was running around a lot and not trying to be in any place at once to serve that many people. I had a lot more luck having a regular lunch spot,” says Buum.
The demands of running the booth became too much for Buum to bear.
“It just got to a point where I couldn’t take care of my career or my family or anything without taking care of myself first. So, I bit the bullet and stopped, and I’m thankful that at some point in my life, I could Stop everything and focus on yourself for a few months,” Buum said.
You can’t tell by looking at him now, but Buum said he was in such a dark place that he tried to take his own life.
“Well, there wasn’t much time to detach myself from the work I was putting in. Thankfully, my support system reached out at the right moment because it could have been all different for me and made me Being Frank probably won’t happen,” Buum said.
Buum’s support system includes friends like Belyeu.
“Having people close to you who help you get through your day is so important, and his support system is only going to get bigger: more people, more friends,” says Belyeu.
Buum’s thoughts now are to be with others who may be struggling with their own mental health issues.
“I strongly advocate going to a therapist. I am strongly advocating going to a psychologist. There are programs for anyone who needs help. I guarantee that if you take the time to find the help you need, you will find it,” Buum said.
Buum has spent the winter restructuring his business model and now focuses primarily on serving lunches. He said reopening his hot dog stand has been therapeutic for him and has shown how far he is from the breaking point.
“It saved my life just to stop and rethink how I approach everything and just try to take a good look at myself in the mirror and make sure I’m setting myself up for success,” Buum said.
If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts, call Lifeline 988 for help.
Let Me Be Frank will be selling hot dogs at J & L Harley Davidson on April 28th. Buum is expected to open for lunch in May.