The Cowboy Way: Sarah Cazzelle
Thursday, April 27, 2023
Media Contact: Mack Burke | Associate Director of Media Relations | 405-744-5540 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Sarah Cazzelle wanted the Curty Shack to be more than just a place to get a good hot dog, but a place people remember when they leave Stillwater.
More than a decade after founding the Washington Street eatery, she has her wish.
After years of working in the food service industry, Cazzelle, a 2010 English and business administration alumna, decided she was going to do something different, something new. After a quick trip to Dallas for a hot dog cart, the Stillwater staple was born.
“It’s kind of important to know when you start a business,” Cazzelle said. “You have to put all your whole guts into it, your soul, your heart and all your sleep.”
The Curty Shack, formerly “Cazzans,” began as a little hot dog stand for football games, but quickly moved to The Strip as a popular late-night destination. Through the years, cream cheese and chili were added to the hot dogs, and the dogs were dubbed “Curtys.”
“It just started building from the ground up because of something that was necessary for our family,” Cazzelle said. “I just always felt like inside, if I start something, I want it to be something real, not just something I do because I have to.”
For Cazzelle, it’s about giving when you can, and giving more than you should. After long nights of working, Cazzelle would hand out hot dogs to other workers on the strip. This, in turn, led to more attraction to the stand.
“I say, any time you have an opportunity to give more than you feel comfortable giving, you should,” she said.
The Curty Shack has grown into a Stillwater institution. It has concession stands in nearly every OSU sporting arena and has its own building on Washington Street. Cazzelle’s whole family helps out with the Curty Shack, and she said she wouldn’t have it any other way.
“You love a community, and you love everything about it,” Cazzelle said. “Well, OSU is at the center pretty much. And so, the more I was here, the more I felt this is a real place that’s part of my heart.”
Cazzelle can be found at most sporting events or at the shack, making tasty hot dogs for hungry customers. She has found that the Curty dog is more to people than just a hot dog, but a memory that is integral to students’ time at OSU.
“It makes me feel proud,” she said. “You know, we’re part of the school that I love, the people that I love and the community is all here.”
Photo By: Phil Shockley
Story By: Olivia Trolinger | STATE Magazine