How a find of a lifetime turned into the Rescue Dog Franchise
The Gerstenslager Fire Truck began life as a Heavy Rescue unit for the Salem, IL Fire Department in 1972. Specially ordered for the department it had all the upgrades with an International Body, Caterpillar Diesel Motor, and the Gerstenslager TV-21 Body. It served the small Illinois community until 2000 when it was retired with a mere 17,000 miles. However, it had saved many lives during it's time at the department along with the brave firefighters who manned it.
In 2000 it was put up for sale as a decommissioned firetruck. Seizing the opportunity, The Milwaukee Bells, a fraternal organization of retired firefighters purchased the truck. In the truck's second life it was converted into a food/refreshment truck. The next 20 years were spent chasing fires and helping our brave heroes by serving hungry firemen on fire locations.
Then in 2020 the Milwaukee Bells put the Gertenslager up for sale. Robert King happened upon the listing and an idea was born, Rescue Dog.
The original idea was to serve Gourmet Hot Dogs off the firetruck and support animal adoption centers by donating tips and a portion of every sale to them. Lovingly called "The Big Dog" the trio worked on getting the truck fully converted for their idea. However, the idea grew and grew. The concept was too good to use as just a one off idea, and the Founders decided to switch the business model to food trailers and kept The Big Dog as their promotional vehicle.
The Founders spent six months building the brand, franchise outline, and test kitchen before even selling a single hot dog. Many aspects of the original business idea is still used in the Franchise. From serving Gourmet Hot Dogs to donating tips and a portion of every sale to local animal adoption centers.
Rescue dog boasts having a unique menu that you won’t find anywhere else! The team spent the first six months painstakingly trying over twenty recipes and variations of those recipes before settling on the menu you see at every Rescue Dog location. It was narrowed down to the group of Heavy Hitters that impressed even the pickiest eaters. Hundreds of hot dogs were consumed in those early months by the Founders, family members, and their friends. All before even opening!
Rescue Dog Franchise has many exclusive items that are only available at their locations!
The Ranch Dog Dill Dip is a unique recipe that was created by the Rescue Dog Brand. It is a crowd pleaser with the refreshing dill flavor and a hint of spiciness. Our crunchy kettle chips and Dill Dip take our combo meals to the next level adding to the gourmet feel.
The Brand's Huckleberry Lemonade is exclusive to our brand. Carefully concocted it underwent nearly twenty-five batches before we narrowed down to the perfect mix of sweet and tart. Huckleberries, a Montana favorite, is sure to wow the nation once they try our signature drink. The berries thrive in the Rocky Mountains and are most commonly found in Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana. Huckleberries are found in higher elevations and picked during the mid-late summer months in the wild.
Chief's Secret Seasoning is the added dash needed in a few of our select recipes. Made exclusively for our company it can only be found at Rescue Dog locations or on the Brand's consumer website, Dogsforacause.com. The savory seasoning goes perfectly in our butter for toasting buns and can be used in most homemade recipes!
Huckleberry Hound is Rescue Dog's dessert that takes "over the top" to a new meaning, but adds just the right amount of sweetness to our Rescue Dog Combo meal. The dessert features a warm glazed donut, vanilla ice cream, Rescue Dog Huckleberry Jam, and a drizzle of salted caramel. Highly raved over it is the sweet treat of summer. Rescue Dog Huckleberry Jam is also available at Dogsforacause.com to enjoy on toast or your own variation of the Huckleberry Hound!
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