Things Are On A Roll For Ruthie’s Rolling Cafe

By Cheryl Hall
The Dallas Morning News

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) All told, “Ruthie’s” did more than a million bucks in sales last year. What started out as a whim in 2011 has grown into big business for Dallas food truck entrepreneur Ashlee Kleinert.

The Dallas Morning News

Ashlee Kleinert, daughter of Dallas billionaire Ray Hunt and granddaughter of the legendary oilman H.L., may well be the world’s most unlikely owner of a food truck fleet.

But her Ruthie’s Rolling Cafe’s gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches — inspired by those made by her grandmother, Ruth Ray Hunt — are among the most popular meals on wheels in North Texas.

Kleinert helped mobilize the food truck business here when she set Ruthie’s in motion somewhat on a whim in 2011.

Six years later, Ruthie’s three trucks are regulars at Klyde Warren Park, the campus of Southern Methodist University and Reunion Tower. They feed folks in valet lines and have become hip catering options for school events, weddings and graduation parties.

All told, Ruthie’s did more than a million bucks in sales last year.

Hoping to even out a seasonal business, Kleinert recently sold her first franchise to a former Dallasite who’s bringing Ruthie’s to New Jersey. And she’s looking for a small brick-and-mortar restaurant location near SMU.

Things are definitely on a roll.

But Ruthie’s is more than a means for making money. Kleinert uses it as a means for supporting local nonprofits with what she calls, “Ruthie’s Snacks of Kindness.”

Over the holidays, Kleinert sent trucks to nine of her employees’ favorite nonprofits and treated their staffs with free cheesy concoctions such as “The Boss” (barbecue brisket and cheddar), “Turkey Trot” (turkey, bacon, cheddar with secret “slob sauce”) and, of course, “Plain Jane” (American cheese) — all slathered with butter on sourdough.

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