This article was written before the suspension of in-person classes and closure of housing for most students due to the coronavirus
“DD’s Subs and Sandwiches” food truck is notorious on UD’s campus for serving delicious comfort food that feeds both the body and soul.
Although most of the student body adores the friendly staff and amazing food, not many people know how DD’s came to be, or how they ended up on our campus.
I interviewed owner David E. Hughes, and learned the fascinating origin story behind the big, red truck that most of us walk past every single day.
Dave worked at a packaging and manufacturing company located in Springboro, Ohio, around 30 years ago.
He left the company, and knew that he didn’t want to work for anyone else – he wanted to be his own boss from then on.
Hughes used to get lunch every day from a man who sold hot dogs outside the factory, which inspired him to start selling food himself.
From there, he bought a trailer in 1991 and sold food for about 15 years before switching to the DD’s truck.
He started at Timothy’s Bar and Grill on Brown Street when his friend Don Reynolds, the owner of Tim’s at the time, invited him to park and sell food out front on St. Patrick’s Day.
Hughes was so successful that he parked in front of Tim’s every night for the remainder of that school year.
He then moved on to sell his food in the Oregon District for several years, and eventually started parking next to construction sites across the country.
Hughes mainly stayed in Ohio, but went everywhere from Iowa to North Carolina, setting up the trailer at each site and staying there throughout the duration of the construction project.
He eventually ditched the trailer and bought the infamous red DD’s truck that we all know and love, came back to campus, and has been here for the past nine years.
Hughes’ goal when deciding what food to sell at DD’s was to produce things that were both delicious and affordable. He wanted to make sure that construction workers and college students could afford what he was selling.
One of the main reasons for DD’s great success on campus is their awesome food. They always use fresh meat in their burgers rather than frozen, and use quality ingredients in all the food they serve.
Hughes says that he likes to keep the menu simple and consistent, and only serves food that he would eat.
He likes that students can rely on the fact that their favorite menu items will always be available, and will always be made with fresh, quality ingredients.
The main reason for DD’s great success on campus is their consistency.
There used to be other food trucks on UD’s campus, but DD’s is the only one that has always stuck to a consistent schedule and menu.
Hughes says that the other trucks would come and go during the week and usually didn’t follow the same schedule, which is part of the reason they weren’t as successful on campus. The students never knew if they’d be there or not.
Students have continued coming to DD’s for so long because they know that they’ll always be open, no matter what time of day it is or what the weather is like.
A lot of students will wait to eat until they get to DD’s, and many students are regulars who come every Thursday, Friday, or Saturday.
The infamous “Nick Weston” sandwich is a favorite among students.
Nick Weston, a previous UD football player, came every day after practice and ordered the same sandwich every time – a burger with pulled pork and a fried egg.
Eventually, so many students ordered it that it became an official menu item.
“The Nick Weston is the best sandwich I’ve ever had in my entire life. That pulled pork with an egg on it, all on a burger, it’s like four different meals in one piece of bread,” said UD student Michael Beenblossom.
“In my 20 years of life, I’ve never had a better sandwich in my whole life than the dirty Joe. It’s just a grilled cheese, but it’s got bacon on it and the whole thing is covered in gravy. It’s absolutely unreal,” said another student Daniel Ponto.
After interviewing Hughes, I understand why he has become so successful on Dayton’s campus.
He believes he has become so successful on UD’s campus because he treats students and customers with respect and is always very nice to everyone who approaches the truck.