Emily Collins, the proprietor of The Root Beer Stande on Woodman is celebrating her 15th anniversary of owning the business this Tuesday, July 11th. In sharing her story about acquiring the business she she told us she graduated from Stivers School for the Arts, left Dayton to attend Ohio University, where she received a Bachelors of Fine Arts degree. Upon graduation she returned to Dayton and struggled to find a job where she could use her degree. So she taught part time and worked in the food industry, as she had through high school and college. Her dad, who ran Klosterman Bakery came home one day told her the stand was for sale. Always wanting to own her own business, Emily decided she’d buy the place. So she went to the bank and says they looked at her like she was a crazy 24 year old, but suggested she put a business plan together.
It took her almost a year working with the SBA and in 2008 she actually bought the business from Alex Fabrick. What she didn’t realize is that the business was in bad shape. So she started making repairs as she could and marketing the Stande to attract new business. She upgraded the menu, expanding from just hot doge fries and onion rings. She added Hank’s Hearty Burgers Made with Love, Hand-pattied 1/4 pound Angus burger including her favorite, the mushroom swiss burger.
She told us they currently sell about 800 hotdogs a week, with the Foot Long being their #1 seller, followed closely by The Dirty D- a Bacon wrapped, deep fried dog, smothered with chili, mustard, onions and cheese. They also have a pizza menu and added the Sno Shack a couple of years ago.
You can also pick up a free koozie while you’re there!
They will be doing a 50/50 raffle with proceeds going to the breast cancer foundation. They will have some raffle prizes available as well. Emily invites everyone to come celebrate on July 11th, noting “we wouldn’t have made it this long without you!” She also credits her employees for helping her business succeed. She says she still has many of the same ones she hired 15 years that were in their teens then and now are mother’s working part time. During COVID she made the decision to keep the business open year round, so she could keep her staff employed, added Door Dash and watched their carryout business increase, for which she’s grateful.
On their facebook pages she’s requested guests share photos and family memories.