JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) – Auntie Ruth’s Doughnuts & Pretzels is settling into its new Johnson City home, but the regional favorite has plenty of local support as it gets adjusted.
Auntie Ruth’s began in 2008 with a food truck strategy that later led to a walk-up shop in Limestone. After retiring the food truck, Auntie Ruth’s ownership announced plans to open a new store in Johnson City at 612 Lyle Street.
“It’s very humbling to think of all the process,” owner Roman Kauffman said. “You look back, and if we’d have known that it was going to become a business like it is – it only started out as a hobby – if we would have known it’s going to become what it is today, we would have kept better records, better pictures, all that.”
By 2010, the Kauffmans realized they had a real business opportunity with Auntie Ruth’s and began cranking out pretzels and doughnuts that quickly gained a regional following.
The Johnson City location opened in late September and has seen no shortage of customers.
“Without the help of God, it would’ve been impossible. Without the good support of the people of Johnson City, it wouldn’t have gotten to where it is today,” Kauffman said. “It’s just our pleasure to be back in Johnson City only a mile, mile and a half from where we originally started.”
Arlin Stoltzfus, general manager of the Johnson City Auntie Ruth’s, said there is no shortage of love that goes into the creation of the pretzels and doughnuts.
“I would say, on average, it’s about probably close to 1,000 [pretzels] a day,” Stoltzfus said. “Doughnuts is quite a bit more. That’s probably closer to I would say 1,500-2000.”
News Channel 11 celebrated 70 years on the air Wednesday, with Kelly Grosfield, John Jenco and Jeremy Eisenzopf live from Auntie Ruth’s in Johnson City.