After spending nearly five years working in other people’s food trucks throughout Philadelphia, Rachel Knable decided to branch out on her own.
“It’s an amazing feeling, being your own boss,” said Knable, a 2012 communications alumna.
Knable founded Stuff’d Buns, a sandwich food truck, in 2017. They specialize in sliders and cater at events, like weddings and birthdays. Knable’s mission at Stuff’d Buns is to provide healthy food using local ingredients because she wants to support other small business owners.
Stuff’d Buns caters on weekends in the winter and Thursdays through Sundays during the summer.
Knable sources her ingredients from local small businesses, like Merzbachers, a bakery located on Germantown Avenue near Berkeley Street, because she wants to give back to the community and support small business owners like herself, she said.
“It’s good to support the community, because then they come and support us,” she added.
Running her own food truck can be hectic at times because Knable has to wake up early to purchase ingredients, load everything she needs into the truck and prepare the food before she starts vending, she said.
Knable usually wakes up at 5:30 a.m. and sometimes doesn’t arrive home until 1 a.m. the next morning because she has to return the truck to Gray’s Ferry and clean it before traveling back home to Manayunk, she said.
In April 2020, Stuff’d Buns switched to delivery and pick up as a COVID-19 safety precaution and offered “family style” meals like burgers, pasta and soup instead of sliders, Knable said.
One of Knable’s friends worked as a nurse at Penn Presbyterian Medical Center and ordered delivery for herself and other nurses but Knable didn’t want to make the nurses pay so her family covered the cost, Knable said.
Stuff’d Buns then began collecting donations from customers on Instagram to purchase ingredients for meals that they delivered to nurses at hospitals like Penn Medicine, Cooper University Health Care and Temple University Hospital, Seitchick said.
Though her job is tough and tiring, the help Knable receives from her grandmother and friend Sarah Prezioso makes it more enjoyable, she said.
Ellyn Seitchick, a 1982 business alumna and Knable’s grandmother, joined Stuff’d Buns in 2017 because she wanted to help her granddaughter, she said. Seitchick takes orders and helps Knable clean the truck at the end of the night.
Prezioso, a 2014 communications studies alumna, met Knable while they played on Temple’s softball team in 2010 when Prezioso was a freshman and Knable was a junior.
Although Prezioso moved to San Antonio, Texas, in 2019, the two stayed in touch and, when Prezioso moved back to Philadelphia in 2020, she offered to help Knable prepare food for Stuff’d Buns on weekends.
Prezioso enjoys working with Knable because she is always willing to help her improve, she said.
“We’re both athletes and we like working in fast-paced environments,” she added.
Stuff’d Buns started catering again in June 2020 and re-opened with an event at Odd Logic Brewing. Roughly 120 people attended to support the truck that day, Knable said. On normal days Stuff’d Buns serves roughly between 80 and 100 customers.
Now that she is catering again, Knable is looking forward to vending at street festivals in Manayunk and seeing other small businesses there, she said.
“It’s cool to kind of have our little community,” Knable added.