Eddie's was founded by Eddie and Winky Johnson in 1947 on Route 322, three miles west of Meadville on the Conneaut Lake Road where Marquette Bank is currently located. Originally the hot dog stand started out as a produce stand, but business was unstable back in 1947, so Eddie started thinking about what an old timer once told him: "You can always make a penny selling a hotdog." Eddie's was then born. In 1955, Eddie bought a business called the "Swing Shack" located across the road from his hot dog stand. The building had a dance hall, kitchen area, and soda fountain. The Johnson's ran that business successfully, in addition to the hot dog stand next door until the business burned down in 1957. The fire was not the only problem the business faced.
In 1958, Route 322 was being widened to four lanes, so the hotdog stand had to relocate to the Harmonsburg Road for 18 months while Conneaut Lake Road was closed. When the road finally re-opened, Eddie bought the property where the business is currently located today. The founding Johnson's retired in 1988 when the couple turned over their secret sauce recipe and the keys to the roadside stand to their son and daughter-in-law, Eddie and Jose' Johnson, who had been working there for more than 20 years. In 1991, Eddie and Jose decided to make a switch and start purchasing their footlong hotdogs from a local favorite, Smith's Provision from Erie, PA. They are also a family owned and operated business that takes pride in quality products. The switch proved to be a good one. In 2001, Eddie's Footlong celebrated selling their 1,000,000 Smith's brand footlong hotdog. How many footlongs were sold in the years prior to the switch is just a guess.
The third generation joined the business in 1994 when Eddie and Jose's son Tim, and his wife Christy came on board to learn the trade. Tim and Christy assumed ownership in 2007 to carry on the tradition. Tim and Christy are the parents of the fourth generation of Johnson's. Their daughter Kelsie and twins, Tori & Trevor, are already working there.
Although Eddie & Winky Johnson have both passed away, we can assure you that the family tradition at Eddie's continues. There will never be a time that you will stop at Eddie's Footlong Hotdogs and not have an original family member there. The 2nd, 3rd and 4th generation of Johnson's are all still involved in the family business and plan on keeping it that way for many more years to come.