20 Cities in 20 Days: Windy City Dogs a fast hit in El Mirage

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Windy City Dogs in El Mirage, a Chicago-style hot dog eatery, has become a hit and fast! (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Windy City Dogs in El Mirage, a Chicago-style hot dog eatery, has become a hit and fast! (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Windy City Dogs has it all: Chicago-style hot dogs, Italian beef sandwiches and now shaved ice cream! (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Windy City Dogs has it all: Chicago-style hot dogs, Italian beef sandwiches and now shaved ice cream! (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Surrounded by government buildings and a popular skate park, this place does a ton of business. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Surrounded by government buildings and a popular skate park, this place does a ton of business. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
EL MIRAGE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

Windy City Dogs in El Mirage, a Chicago-style hot dog eatery, has become a hit and fast!

The woman who owns it went out on a limb to make her dream come true.

Windy City Dogs has it all: Chicago-style hot dogs, Italian beef sandwiches and now shaved ice cream!

[SLIDESHOW: Windy City Dogs a fast hit in El Mirage]

Surrounded by government buildings and a popular skate park, this place does a ton of business.

"I love the people that I deal with," said Delores DeStefano, owner of Windy City Dogs. "My customers are incredible."

She says she chose to sell Chicago hot dogs because in her opinion, they're the best, not because she's from there, she's actually from New Jersey.

"I've never had a hot dog like a Chicago dog and I've never had a Chicago dog until I moved to Arizona," said DeStefano. "Once I tasted it and got into the business, it was incredible."

[SPECIAL SECTION: Wake Up Arizona's 20 Cities in 20 Days]

It hasn't been an easy journey though. 

DeStefano says in the beginning, things were much different than they are today.

"There was no business out here at all. I knew eventually it would be good but just the first three years, they were a little tough," said DeStefano.

Before DeStefano got into the business of selling hot dogs, she was the regional sales manager for a cabinet company, until she was laid off.

"In 2007, when everything went bad, everybody lost their job," said DeStefano.

DeStefano started selling hot dogs out of a hot dog cart and in September of 2012, the City of El Mirage offered up space she's in now, meeting her goals and satisfying the needs of her many customers.

"We just kept getting better foods and keeping our menu right and just serving the best kind of hot dogs and it just kind of kept people coming in," said DeStefano.

[VISIT: Windy City Dogs]

For DeStefano though, it's not all about the money, it's also about giving back. Whether she's contributing to a local sports team or charity or helping equip her young employees with real skills to make it in the real world.

"They're just great kids. Just to help them out and give them the experience, and I keep telling them, this won't be your last job but you have to bring stuff from this to your next one," said DeStefano.

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