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.