Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Guy Fieri Foundation's Pretzel Cart Project

One of our most frequently asked questions about Guy Fieri is how he got his start in the FoodTV biz. The unlikely answer is ... pretzels. In this video, Susan Noyes of Make It Better talks with Guy about the Guy Fieri Foundation's Pretzel Cart Project.

"My dad says, 'Let's make you a pretzel cart,'" Guy recalls. "So for six months after school, I go to this woodworking shop (a guy named Tim Ford had it), and we would build this pretzel cart.... And I really attribute a tremendous amount of how I got to where I am from having the pretzel cart."

*Link to video*

The Guy Fieri Foundation is about inspiration, imagination, empowering kids. The Foundation builds the carts ($10,000 each!) completely within Health Department specifications. And kids can work together with their non-profit mentors to sell the pretzels.

Since January 2011, when the Worth Our Weight episode aired on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, we've received several requests for a Guy Fieri Pretzel Cart. Here are some guidelines:

1. It has to be a kids' organization,
2. It has to be non-profit,
3. The organization has to be able to show they have the ability to put the pretzel cart program into play.
4. This program is not for adults working together to raise money for kids; this is about the kids doing it.

Susan Noyes got to know Guy during a 4 day wedding party in Mexico. "He cooked the wedding feast, and I helped with the shopping," she wrote. "And while you might not think we have much in common, we have the same drive to give back and help others achieve their potential."

Click here to read her article, written in January 2011, in which she and Guy talk about the Guy Fieri Foundation for Inspiration and Imagination.
“It sounds whimsical,” Fieri acknowledges, “but I couldn’t improve on the name. That’s what it’s about—inspiring kids to live their imagination. You don’t have to be stuck.”

As part of this empowerment, Fieri developed a 21st century version of his original pretzel cart, and an accompanying program to teach entrepreneurial and other skills to youth. He donated the first one to the grade school he attended.
Guy Fieri is well-known for his philanthropic works, particularly for children. "He auctions off items for charities, like customized KitchenAid mixers and sunglasses," Susan writes, "and is excited to hand out a huge check to a children’s hospital at the Kentucky Derby."

For more on Susan Noyes, visit, follow on Twitter @makeitbetterNS or like them on Facebook.

Related Posts:
Chefography: Guy Fieri
Guy Fieri on his father
Guy Fieri donates Awesome Pretzel cart to Ferndale Elem School
Video: The Awesome Pretzel Cart
Guy Fieri pretzels and pizza recipes in FN Mag


Anonymous said...

I was surprised Guy only donated a pretzel cart to the nonprofit Worth Our Weight restaurant. He makes big bucks working for The Food Network and the NBC game show. Couldn't he have donated an air conditioned food truck, so the restaurant could present their food past their backyard and have a chance to expand? He can afford it. But maybe he doen't want the competition. Now we're supposed to be impressed with his pretzel cart donation when it's only more publicity for him and his so-called foundation *cough* tax write-off *cough*? I used to like Fieri back in the day, but he's gotten too LA for Santa Rosa.

Dora said...

And if he had donated an air conditioned food truck, would that have been enough? Or would you then have thought he should have donated new tables, chairs, equipment, an entire building?

Sorry. It's my belief that there's no such thing as a donation too small.