It may surprise many to know that the mobile catering industry has a rich history in North Texas. Having emigrated together by covered wagon from Wisconsin, the Stephan and Westhoff families had been closely tied for generations, initially settling in parts of Colorado, Kansas, and Illinois.
They worked as one, harvesting wheat and other crops and starting joint ventures to capitalize on the opportunities at hand.
In the early 1950’s, one of those ventures was relocated from Illinois to Texas when a group of mobile catering trucks struggled to overcome the challenges on the crooked streets of Chicago. Fortunately, the booming development and construction crews in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area made a perfect home for Industrial Catering, Inc., established in 1955.
Over the next 45 years, they grew to add 6 additional commissaries throughout Texas with a fleet of over 400 catering trucks until Jolly Chef Express, Inc. bought the company in the year 2000. At that time, the Stephans retired, and the company’s president, Russell Westhoff (son of Don Westhoff, pictured), resigned along with his wife, Beverly, and sister, Sheryl. This marked the beginning of a complete transition from the smaller “Cold Trucks” to the full-service “Hot Trucks,” which would prove to be a difficult one over the next few years.
In 2003, United Caterers, Inc. began as a small Hot Truck commissary in North Dallas, owned and operated by Alfredo (“Fredy”) Pineda and Maria Aguilar. While managing a company fleet of 13 trucks, within two years their business grew to provide products and services to over 50 mobile catering business owners.
After providing consulting services for the couple for nearly 2 years, in late 2004, Russell & Beverly Westhoff joined the company, along with Sheryl shortly thereafter, and United Caterers was relocated to the site where Industrial Catering had operated for so many years.
As the company continued to grow, in 2009, Randy and Cheryl Elledge merged the Dallas operations of Randy’s Catering, Sunshine Catering, Jolly Chef Express, and Mobile Caterers of Texas together with United Caterers, Inc., creating the second largest mobile catering commissary in the nation and the most experienced team of owners in the industry. Today, our 4-acre site is home to a company-owned fleet of over 75 Hot Trucks and nearly 100 independently owned trucks operating in the Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex.
ALFREDO PINEDA & MARIA AGUILAR (SINCE 2003)
With over 40 years combined in the mobile catering industry, Alfredo (“Fredy”) Pineda and Maria Aguilar bought their first Hot Truck in 1994 in the hopes of starting their own fleet. With the right combination of skills for managing their routes, training their staff, and pleasing their customers, their business expanded by 12 Hot Trucks over the next five years.
Once their fleet was established, they set out to start their own commissary in 2003. Over the next 6 years, United Caterers became the largest minority-owned commissary in Texas under the direction of Maria, as President, and Fredy, as Vice President and Director of Operations.
Today, Maria serves as Vice President, overseeing many critical aspects of our daily operations for the Commissary, Sales Department, and Customer Relations. She continues to build relationships with customers, caterers, and vendors alike. Fredy also serves as Vice President, managing the Commissary, Property, and maintaining our Facilities.
RUSSELL & BEVERLY WESTHOFF (SINCE 2004)
Having worked in the mobile catering industry for nearly 40 years, Russell Westhoff began his career at Industrial Catering as a Fleet Mechanic and Refrigeration Technician, then continued on to become Director of Operations and CEO/President before he resigned in 2000. During this time, he served on the Board of Directors for the Mobile Industrial Catering Association (MICA) and currently serves for the Convenience Caterers & Food Manufacturers Association (CCFMA).
Beverly Westhoff began her career in 1980 as an Accounting Clerk for Industrial Catering. Over the next 21 years, she performed as Executive Assistant to the CEO and Office Manager, overseeing all aspects of accounting for the company.
Together, with their backgrounds and his experience in designing and building 4 USDA inspected food production facilities, in 2001 they created XIC Consulting, a firm specializing in refrigeration equipment and general consulting for the mobile catering industry. After nearly 2 years of consulting for United Caterers, Russell and Beverly joined the company in late 2004.
Today, Russell serves as President overseeing all departments, and Beverly oversees the office staff while serving as Corporate Secretary.
RANDY & CHERYL ELLEDGE (SINCE 2009)
For over 30 years, Randy and Cheryl Elledge have played key roles in the mobile catering industry. After leasing his first Cold Truck from Industrial Catering in 1979, a year later Randy asked his wife to join him in starting their own fleet. As their business grew, they moved their operations to Jolly Chef Express where Randy began to work in 1989.
Over the next 20 years, they managed the operations of Randy’s Catering, Sunshine Catering, Jolly Chef Express, and Mobile Caterers of Texas before joining United Caterers in 2009. While managing one of the largest fleets of catering trucks (over 200), Randy was instrumental in the industry’s transition from Cold Trucks to Hot Trucks, forever changing the image of mobile catering in Texas.
This same dedication and entrepreneurial spirit has led to the introduction of gourmet food trucks to the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, with the launch of Yum-Yum! Food Truck in downtown Fort Worth in late 2010.
Today, Randy serves as Vice President, overseeing many critical aspects of our daily operations for the Commissary, Sales Department, and Customer Relations. In addition to her duties in the Commissary, just as she began her career, Cheryl continues to operate a catering truck which has grown to become the single most successful business of its kind in the Metroplex.