Abbotsford’s best-known hotdog slinger will be introducing his gourmet fare – served with a side of sass – to a wider audience starting this month.
Andrew “Skully” White, who owns and operates Lullys Food Experience out of the Canadian Tire parking lot, has signed a deal to run his hotdog stand at Abbotsford Centre during concerts and Abbotsford Canucks games.
He hopes to be set up there in time for the Brothers Osborne concert on Oct. 21 and the Canucks’ home-opener the following night, depending on how quickly he can get the equipment he needs. White will continue to operate his regular stand three or four days a week.
He has been running his food truck in Abbotsford for seven years, and has attracted a loyal clientele.
They come not only for his unique brand of foot-long hotdogs – served on a pretzel bun with fixings that include homemade garlic relish and sauerkraut – but for his cheeky repartee.
Regular customers know better than to ask for ketchup or to cheer for White’s least-favourite soccer club, Manchester United. (He’s a diehard Liverpool fan.)
But they also know he has big heart – most notably donating his kidney last December to customer Tim Hiscock.
White also donated 1,000 hotdogs in 2019, including 350 to every police officer and firefighter in Abbotsford; raises money for charities such as Jumpstart; and “adopts” a family every Christmas to whom he provides gifts and food.
The new venture at Abbotsford Centre began when White’s longtime friends Andy Agnesini and Steven Jennings from East Van Brewing Company were in talks with Spectra Venue Management and the Abbotsford Canucks to have their beer sold at the venue.
(Spectra is the current manager of Abbotsford Centre, and will hand over the reins to the Canucks on Jan. 1.)
Agnesini and Jennings asked if they had thought about having a hotdog stand outside the arena, and mentioned White’s operation.
Spectra and the Canucks said they were definitely interested, but would want the stand located inside the building.
White was looped in, began his own discussions with management, and did a tour of the building.
“I thought, ‘Wow, this is an incredible opportunity, and we have to take it and go full throttle,’ ” he said.
Once everyone was on board, White got to choose his own location for his hotdog stand, opting for section 107 – one unit off centre ice.
He said the goal is to make it the fastest food lineup in the stadium. The stand will have at least three cashiers and serve only the regular or “dirty” dog (with Montreal smoked meat and cheese curds), as well as a lager and a pale ale from East Van Brewing, which will also have its own stand next to Lullys.
“True to our guns, we will not serve any ketchup, and we will not serve anyone wearing a Manchester United crest,” White said.
He estimates they will be able to serve 42 hotdogs a minute and 400 to 600 hotdogs per night.
White also plans to continue to promote his main cause – finding kidney donors and raising awareness for the Kidney Foundation – with the commitment that anyone who donates a kidney will receive hotdogs for life.
Abbotsford Centre general manager Rick Comeau of Spectra said it was a “no-brainer” to partner with White, particularly with the Abbotsford Canucks being a “community team.”
“We want to make sure that we’re involving the community,” he said.
“Partnering with somebody like Skully, who has been a fixture in the community for a number of years, and what he did with the kidney donation … is such a good-news story … It aligns with all the values we have.”
White’s contract with Spectra runs until Christmas and, if all goes well, he will sign a new contract with the Canucks in the new year.
White hopes that this connection eventually gets him into Rogers Arena in Vancouver. He also plans to move his Canadian Tire location into a shipping container on site by St. Patrick’s Day and eventually expand Lullys to BC Ferries terminals, more Canadian Tire locations and even a spot in Las Vegas.