Ramsey McVey poured colored syrup over shaved ice and handed out sno-cones to two tree service workers taking a break from the afternoon heat.
She graduated from St. John High School in May, but selling sno-cones and other treats out of her mobile food trailer — Ramsey Roo’s — is not just a gig to make a few bucks this summer. In the fall, McVey will attend Kansas State University majoring in bakery science and management.
“Having the trailer is helping me gain experience for future jobs and school,” she told The Hutchinson News. “Showing I could run this, be responsible and keep it successful.”
Since starting her business with the trailer, McVey had to establish an LLC, apply for licensure, get food safety approval, and pay vendor fees in the towns to which she’s traveled. All providing a peek into the world of food service management.
McVey got the food trailer nearly a year ago, but her love for cooking goes back further. She’s not sure where she picked it up, but it started with a love for baking.
“My grandma cooks, but she’s not really a baker,” McVey said. “I just like how you put one and one together and it makes a cake, and I like how pretty baking is.”
Baking became a frequent occurrence for McVey. She now makes custom cakes and cupcakes for birthdays, anniversaries and more. She even made her school’s baccalaureate cake.
“I was baking a lot and everyone kept telling me I needed to find a way to sell what I was making,” she said.
She got her way on July 20, 2017. It was McVey’s 17th birthday and her grandmother gave her the trailer that would become Ramsey Roo’s, offering sweets, treats and eats around the area.
Ramsey Roo’s has traveled to city celebrations, fairs and set up in the Gypsum Hills near Medicine Lodge during the Big Kansas Road Trip earlier this year. She also operates as the mobile concessions stand for Carr Auction and Real Estate, when they have auctions out of town.
St. John Elementary also made Ramsey Roo’s part of their “Careers on Wheels” day during the school year.
When she takes the trailer on the road, her menu includes hot dogs, caramel apple bites, nachos and Frito chili pie — made with her grandmother’s homemade chili — and more. However, when she sets up at her usual spot in St. John, next to the old livery stable, she simply helps her customers cool off with sno-cones.
“My mom loves sno-cones, so when I got the trailer she hinted that I should sell sno-cones, too,” McVey said.
A few more customers pull up and McVey gets back to work, handing out cups of ice with flavors from grape and cherry to dill pickle and buttered popcorn. Some days she only makes one or two cones, others she feels busy the whole time, but either way she said she’s happy to have local support.
“For a small town, I get a good amount of business,” she said. “There’s a lot of local support, and I’m thankful for that.”