Food trucks a hit on ECC campus

  • The food truck run by Cassandra Montgomery, owner of Ruthella's New Orleans Cuisine, was quite popular Tuesday. Hers was among four food trucks on Elgin Community College's campus for National Food Truck Day. Montgomery, of West Dundee, is a graduate of ECC's culinary arts and hospitality program.

      The food truck run by Cassandra Montgomery, owner of Ruthella's New Orleans Cuisine, was quite popular Tuesday. Hers was among four food trucks on Elgin Community College's campus for National Food Truck Day. Montgomery, of West Dundee, is a graduate of ECC's culinary arts and hospitality program. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • One of four food trucks on Elgin Community College's campus Tuesday is operated by Cassandra Montgomery, owner of Ruthella's New Orleans Cuisine and a graduate of ECC's culinary arts and hospitality program. College officials allowed food trucks for the first time on campus for National Food Truck Day.

      One of four food trucks on Elgin Community College's campus Tuesday is operated by Cassandra Montgomery, owner of Ruthella's New Orleans Cuisine and a graduate of ECC's culinary arts and hospitality program. College officials allowed food trucks for the first time on campus for National Food Truck Day. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • A steady stream of Elgin Community College students and employees took advantage of four food trucks parked on campus Tuesday for National Food Truck Day.

      A steady stream of Elgin Community College students and employees took advantage of four food trucks parked on campus Tuesday for National Food Truck Day. Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 10/12/2016 6:09 AM

The lines of people waiting to be served were unrelenting.

Cassandra Montgomery's food truck started running out of her New Orleans' specials an hour into being on Elgin Community College's campus. Hers was among four food trucks serving students and college staff members during lunch hour Tuesday for National Food Truck Day.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"It's been busy. It's been awesome," said Montgomery, of West Dundee, owner of Ruthella's New Orleans Cuisine and a graduate of ECC's culinary arts and hospitality program.

Montgomery has had the food truck for only a year. Before that, she used to serve food under a tent.

"I only do farmers markets and festivals," said the 52-year-old, who grew up in New Orleans.

Montgomery named the business after her 96-year-old grandmother, Ruth Ella, who taught her everything she knows about cooking, including making beignets, savory gumbo, jambalaya, and red beans and rice.

Ruthella's currently operates in Elgin, East Dundee, West Dundee, and other areas by request or on demand. Montgomery's food truck will be serving favorites across from Spring Hill Mall in West Dundee Oct. 29.

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Montgomery's Po'boys were the first to run out. Those waiting in line around noon let out a collective "no" when she removed it from the menu.

"I got the last one so I'm OK," ECC employee Rachel Moore of St. Charles said triumphantly. "It's a really fun event."

It's the first time ECC has hosted food trucks on campus. The hungry crowd also flocked to Toasty Cheese Mobile Eatery, Gobble Doggs and Cupcakes for Courage.

A portion of the proceeds from cupcake sales goes to support cancer research through the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and the Ride Jane Ride Foundation, said Andrea Welch, of Elmhurst, whose family started the food truck after her daughter Kathryn got cancer.

"We do a lot of events throughout the city and suburbs. We're pretty popular," Welch said adding, the cupcakes are homemade at the family's Elmhurst bakery without additives or preservatives.

Amybeth Maurer, ECC director of orientation and student life, said judging by the popularity of the event, the college might bring back food trucks more often.

"I'm really impressed with the turnout," she said. "They are kind of popular right now. It's kind of the happening thing."

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