Channel 19

Todd Dills

Bob Evans (1918-2007)

| June 25, 2007

Bob Evans, founder of the sausage company and restaurant chain that bear his name, died June 21, 2007, from complications of pneumonia at age 89.

According to the Bob Evans website, Evans often said his empire was founded on the tastes of truckers. After World War II, Evans worked for the family meat-packing company, but in 1946 he opened the Terminal Steak House, a 12-seat, 24-hour restaurant next to a trucking terminal in Gallipolis, Ohio. The restaurant, soon renamed the Bob Evans Steak House, was an immediate hit with truckers, particularly the breakfasts, Bob’s secret-recipe sausage and Jewell Evans’ pies. Bob Evans said the truckers did all his marketing research; if they liked an item, it stayed on the menu.

Today Bob Evans Farms Inc. owns 579 Bob Evans restaurants in 18 states and distributes Bob Evans sausage to grocery stores nationwide. An annual event at the Bob Evans Farm in Rio Grande, Ohio, near the West Virginia border, is a big-truck display each June.

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Todd Dills

Todd Dills is Senior Editor of Overdrive magazine and writes from Nashville, Tenn. He frequently covers business, regulatory and lifestyle topics for the magazine and at OverdriveOnline.com. His work on the “CSA’s Data Trail” series in Overdrive about the federal CSA program was awarded the highest honor in trade journalism – the “Grand Neal” – by American Business Media at the 2014 Jesse H. Neal Awards. Dills’ Channel 19 blog covers a grab bag of on-highway hearsay, owner-operator news and driver views from the roadways the nation over. His work in trucking journalism builds on a background of news feature, fiction and other creative writing and editing. Find him here at the Channel 19 blog and via his Twitter feed, or send tips to tdills@randallreilly.com or via phone at 205-907-2481.

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