Meet Your New Dodger Dog. (It's Still Coming From Vernon)
Angelenos (or at least some of them) were shook when they learned in late April that the Los Angeles Dodgers would no longer be sourcing their signature ballpark concession, the Dodger Dog, from Vernon-based vendor Farmer John.
First, Vin Scully retires. Then, the Dodgers switch their supplier of processed meat tubes. Is nothing sacred?
"We're proud to entrust the legacy of the Dodger Dog to Papa Cantella's, a family-owned, local manufacturer with a reputation for superior quality products," a Dodgers marketing exec said in a statement.
Papa Cantella's was founded in 1980 and, like Farmer John, is headquartered in Vernon. The company produces more than 150 "formulas of sausages and hot dogs, specialty meats, prepared entrees and side dishes," according to its website.
In February of this year, NBC4 reported that at least 779 workers at Farmer John's had tested positive for COVID-19. Cal/OSHA had, in late 2020, already fined the company more than $58,000 for safety violations that led to the coronavirus outbreak, which may have started as early as February 2020, reports Mother Jones. Virginia-based Smithfield Foods, Farmer John's parent company, said it would aggressively contest the penalties.
It's unclear whether the coronavirus outbreak had any impact on the team's decision to switch hot dog suppliers.
Back in April, Smithfield Foods said in a statement to the Los Angeles Times, "Farmer John had a long-standing and valued relationship with the Dodgers. After the 2019 season, Farmer John made the difficult business decision not to renew its contract with the Dodgers... Unfortunately, through the latest contract negotiations, we were unable to come to an agreement that was beneficial for both parties."
More than 100,000 Dodger Dogs have been sold during the club's first 13 home games this year.