A trailblazing Dallas food truck has changed its mission and formed a partnership with one of the city's most renowned restaurants.
Formerly called Ruthie's Rolling Café, the new Ruthie's Fueled by Café Momentum will partner with Café Momentum, serving as a mobile extension and furthering its mission to provide at-risk youth opportunities for job training, employment, and mentorship.
One of the first food trucks in Dallas, Ruthie's mission has always been to provide exceptional service and quality comfort food to impact its local community and nonprofit organizations. Their specialty is gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches made fresh-to-order.
Ruthie's founder, Ashlee Kleinert, says in a statement that she's honored to partner with and work alongside Café Momentum chef and founder Chad Houser and the entire team.
"Through our partnership, we are dedicated to providing our city’s youth stable employment, a living wage, and the training and support they need to make a lasting impact on their communities and lives," Kleinert says. "We are looking forward to working with Café Momentum to build a better community together."
Café Momentum serves youth through an internship program that naturally weaves into the fabric of their lives, creating an environment that supports and cares for their whole self.
The partnership will give interns who have completed a 12-month internship at Café Momentum the opportunity to expand their professional development via a fellowship at one of Ruthie's food trucks. Ruthie's will provide employment and instruction to expand the training, counseling, and curriculum that Café Momentum's award-winning program provides.
Houser says that the partnership gives staff a viable next step.
"Café Momentum started with the idea that we could provide a transformational experience for young men and women who want to change their life and contribute to their communities," Houser says. "By joining forces with Ruthie's, we are now able to provide an expanded ecosystem of support that lifts up our interns and gives them expanded training and personal development they need. We hope Café Momentum and Ruthie's are an example of how two organizations can come together for good."
Café Momentum's program allows at-risk young men and women to rotate through every aspect of the restaurant from waiting tables to washing dishes, while working side-by-side with established chefs.
Once they complete the 12-month internship, they'll have the opportunity to begin a paid fellowship with Ruthie's, if they are interested in developing additional skills in the restaurant industry with access to the support they need to continue their path to personal success.
As part of their training, fellows will have the opportunity to become change agents in their own communities through a program called Ruthie's Snacks of Kindness, which has provided free meals to more than 185 nonprofits across Dallas and plans to continue this initiative, giving fellows the chance to decide how they will make an impact, allowing them to pick the neighborhoods and nonprofits.