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Snacks! bodega to open on Ballard Ave.

Posted by Geeky Swedes on June 8th, 2009

Down at the end of the parking lot just outside King’s Hardware on Ballard Ave. sits a new little market called Snacks!

Snacks! is the brainchild of Ballard’s hot dog king, Dante Rivera. He says to think of this as a high-end 7-11. He’s planning to sell grocery staples, he’ll give vendors from the Farmers Market a space to sell their wares and of course he’ll be selling his famous hot dogs.

Dante has some fun new ideas for the dogs. He’s going to ship chili in from his home town of Detroit for the Coney dog and he’s created a “Chilly Dog” that is a hot dog bun with soft serve ice cream, his idea of an ice cream sandwich (served with a spork.) He tells us that a portion of all the proceeds will go to a non-profit here in Ballard, “When you’re making a purchase here you’re supporting your community.” The grand opening for Snacks! is next Monday, June 15th. The hours will be Monday – Thursday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Not to worry, his hot dog carts aren’t going anywhere. (Disclosure: Dante advertises on MyBallard.)

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46 reader comments so far ↓

  • 1 azbat5 // Jun 8, 2009 at 8:15 pm

    Can you believe it, I've been living in Ballard for about 5 years now and I still haven't had a Dante Dog. I'm so ashamed.

  • 2 ballardgirl // Jun 8, 2009 at 8:18 pm

    that is so amazing, I'm from detroit originally and I love the coney dogs :) yum, that is definitely what is needed here!!!

  • 3 jm // Jun 8, 2009 at 8:36 pm

    I think King's sells burger food – not hardware.

  • 4 angelatini // Jun 8, 2009 at 8:58 pm

    True, now they do, but it used to be King's Hardware store before it became a bar and restaurant. :)

  • 5 angelatini // Jun 8, 2009 at 8:59 pm

    Dante serves the best dogs in town! He not only serves regular hot dogs and veggie dogs, but he also serves chicken and Italian sausages made by CasCioppo Brothers.

    He's the sweetest guy you'll ever meet. Definitely support him, because he's the bee's knees!!! :)

  • 6 Trix // Jun 8, 2009 at 9:18 pm

    Me either, and I've been here for 8. Something to add to the list! :-)

  • 7 Archibald // Jun 8, 2009 at 9:22 pm

    They must have had a sneek peak during the bike races on Saturday, because I stopped in and bought a cold drink.

    Glad to know Dante is from Detroit. Can't wait to try his coney…did that sound weird?

  • 8 SeaSpider // Jun 8, 2009 at 9:32 pm

    It's a very cool concept and it's great that he's giving back some of his money. That said, the store looks pretty spartan. That minimalist look can work when you're selling iPods or designer clothes but grocers/convenience stores operate on razor thin margins, usually 1-5%. There's a reason why places like Ballard Market, QFC, 7-Eleven, etc., are all packed to the gills with product. On top of that he doesn't appear to be selling alcohol or tobacco which make up 40% of most convenience store sales.

    If he wants to really embrace the bodega concept he should add a well-stocked magazine stand (maybe take some cues from Fog City News in SF) and a nice selection of baked goods.

    Also not sure of the store placement. Successful bodega's are usually located on corners near large apartment buildings with convenience being the primary selling point. This store is located in a shopping district that's at least a block from any large condo/apartment buildings.

    Again, I really do hope he succeeds though he seems to be going very much against the proven model.

  • 9 Fauxnothing // Jun 8, 2009 at 9:51 pm

    Selling magazines is definitely not a profitable venture. And, I'm sure he will never sell alcohol and almost as sure he'll never sell tobacco. If a store can succeed on personality and hot dogs, Dante's certainly will, but I definitely agree that baked goods won't hurt. The idea of adding wares from the Sunday Ballard Market that will be available during the week (think nonperishables) is pretty smart.

  • 10 Grubby Ballard // Jun 8, 2009 at 10:26 pm

    High end 7/11? I guess that means no coke and a Twinkie for a working stiff like myself.

    How about opening up more low end stuff?

  • 11 gmer // Jun 8, 2009 at 10:43 pm

    No you are both wrong, it was Ballard Hardware which was a hardware store. King's Hardware is the current name of the bar.

  • 12 Trix // Jun 8, 2009 at 10:44 pm

    There are two 7 11 's within walking distance of each other (Market & 24th). You can also get your Twinkies at Tobacco Plus on 60th & 15th, two blocks from an AM/PM.
    The working stiffs will be just fine.

  • 13 angelatini // Jun 8, 2009 at 11:41 pm

    I mis-typed as I have been working for two today. Whoops. My point still remains intact…it used to be a hardware store. :)

  • 14 angelatini // Jun 8, 2009 at 11:43 pm


    And I don't think Dante is by any means trying to be upscale, just wants to serve better food than a 7-11.

  • 15 Ballardmom // Jun 9, 2009 at 12:41 am

    I haven't seen his hot dog stand since I had a booth at the farmer's market 7 years ago. I apparently don't get out much. I hope he succeeds and I'll go spend money there to back that up :)

  • 16 Julianna Hoover // Jun 9, 2009 at 1:22 am

    This is so exciting! I complained early of not having a place on Ballard Ave. to go get snacks during work breaks and now here it is, the answer to my prayers! I'm so happy.

  • 17 workethic // Jun 9, 2009 at 5:47 am

    Dante is the fucking man. Much anticipated Ballard Ave. bodega experience..

  • 18 Born right the first time // Jun 9, 2009 at 2:46 pm

    tsk, tsk, you don't know what your missing..

  • 19 chopper_74 // Jun 9, 2009 at 2:47 pm

    You had me at Coney dog…I can't wait.

  • 20 Born right the first time // Jun 9, 2009 at 2:49 pm

    You can go to the 89er baseball championship game at Gilman field (sort of behind McDonalds) and get a Dante Dog tonight after 6pm!

  • 21 jules // Jun 9, 2009 at 4:21 pm

    Good work, Dante. I look forward to supporting you like i have all these years with your dogs! They rock and so do you my friend:)

    the ice cream dogs sound kinda cool.

  • 22 gurple // Jun 9, 2009 at 5:13 pm

    This is great — another place to stop in and get a few things, right on my bike commute home. I hope he stocks a lot of Farmer's Market stuff and some baked goods!

  • 23 milo dakkat // Jun 9, 2009 at 7:33 pm

    Sounds like a good idea but I just hope there is a bathroom available to customers. When I'm out on a long walk thru the 'hood, a food venue with a no-hassle bathroom determines where I stop for a break. Btw, I hate hot dogs but bagel chips and seltzer are always a nice little snack.

  • 24 Trix // Jun 9, 2009 at 8:58 pm

    Hattie's Hat and the People's Pub are both hassle free bathroom experiences. And they both have pretty good lunch menus. Though, I think People's Pub doesn't open before 3:00.
    But I echo your concern. My bladder is squished into a 4'10 frame so I had to become an expert in public restrooms. If Dante has any compassion he'll have a customer access restroom.

  • 25 eej // Jun 9, 2009 at 11:14 pm

    Yay for Coney Dogs says a fellow Michigander! I can't wait!

  • 26 david t. // Jun 10, 2009 at 12:38 am

    I guess it's just me, but the dogs are flavorless, especially the brats.

  • 27 milo dakkat // Jun 10, 2009 at 1:44 am

    Yup. Nice, clean, no vibe bathrooms and I'll almost always buy something on my way out.

  • 28 angelatini // Jun 10, 2009 at 6:46 pm

    You think the Cas Cioppo Brothers sausages are flavorless? In fairness, I only get the chicken one and it's really spicy and delicious.
    What sausages do you think taste good? Just curious.

  • 29 Joan Woodhead, Pentwater MI // Jun 11, 2009 at 12:28 pm

    Congratulations Dante, best wishes for your success at Snacks!

  • 30 J Woodhead, Pentwater MI // Jun 11, 2009 at 12:29 pm

    Congratulations Dante and best wishes for Snacks! success.

  • 31 Mary M Byl-Rivera // Jun 11, 2009 at 2:02 pm

    Way to go Bud! If anyone can do eeetttt, you can! Mom

  • 32 Aunt Wendy // Jun 11, 2009 at 2:14 pm

    Dante is the coolest and I can say this as someone who has known him forever!!!
    We're so proud of him and wish him more success at this new venture then even he can imagine!
    God bless you BIG!
    Aunt Wendy and Uncle Glenn

  • 33 Kimmers // Jun 11, 2009 at 9:47 pm

    Great job Dant!!! Looks awesome from the 1st time I saw it when it was just a dream and now it is a reality!!!
    luv, kimmers

  • 34 The Motcheckes // Jun 12, 2009 at 7:16 pm

    As fellow business owners we know how much hard work has went into this! Good for you! We are praying for your success and wish you all the best. Sorry we can't be there to see the grand opening, but you can bet the next time we come to Seattle, we will be hunting down your stripped umbrella at 2am just like we did last time.
    Sending you lots of love from Shelby Michigan

    Mike and Sherry Motcheck

  • 35 fred // Jun 14, 2009 at 2:49 am

    I love Dante as well. Detroit is amazing for not so many reasons. Why not use Mike's Chili? He's local and Dante always seems to support local. Why not this time? Can't say I'm happy about that.

  • 36 fred // Jun 14, 2009 at 3:01 am

    I love Dante as well. Detroit is amazing for not so many reasons. Why not use Mike's Chili? He's local and Dante always seems to support local. Why not this time? Can't say I'm happy about that.

  • 37 Jamie Rivera // Jun 15, 2009 at 4:07 am

    Way to go Stinks and Diane MaCrae for finally getting SNACKS open,never thought the day would come!

  • 38 KB // Jun 16, 2009 at 5:15 pm

    if you want low end go to 7-11 or the dollar store on Market, duh

  • 39 gurple // Jun 17, 2009 at 6:43 pm

    I stopped in here last night. Super friendly, super convenient — he's got some metal railing out front and he doesn't mind if you lock your bike up to it (though he warns that that could be a bad idea at night on the weekends). I can't wait to see the stock that he settles on!

  • 40 elise81 // Jul 2, 2009 at 9:36 pm

    Um, Detroit Coney's? I am in.

  • 41 elise81 // Jul 2, 2009 at 9:38 pm

    Um, have you had a National or Lafayette Coney Dog? Once you do, you will realize why he uses Detroit Style chili (with no beans!).

    So glad to have Coney Dog's in Seattle!!!! I crave them constantly.

  • 42 Greta Gustafson // Jul 22, 2009 at 6:31 pm

    Snacks! is HOT!

    This we know! We recognize that it is super hot inside Ballard's new bodega, that's why we'd like to offer you a *COOL TREAT* while you shop at Snacks!

    We have tasty Otter Pops and Soft Serve cones to offer you (yes, FREE!) while we work to get the store cooled down. We appreciate everyone's patience with the heat in our store. Please know that we're doing everything we're able to cool it down in there to make shopping at Snacks! more comfortable.

  • 43 Melissa Jilk // Jul 25, 2009 at 11:38 pm

    has anyone had The Chilly Dog (the ice cream on a hot dog bun) yet??

    it sounds interesting… I really wanna try it, just curious if anyone on here has yet.

  • 44 tobyfrink // Aug 5, 2009 at 10:11 pm

    They have coke AND twinkies there!

  • 45 tobyfrink // Dec 9, 2009 at 7:05 pm

    How could you open a convenience store without beer, wine, and cigarettes? They sell all of those there…

  • 46 Rick // May 17, 2010 at 9:43 am

    Dante is a class act wish him the best and please support this guy he is one of the good guys.

    P.S. I still want to open a Snacks up north, hehe.

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