NEW SMYRNA BEACH, FL. – Carling Ponder, owner of Rollin’ Dough and The Knot, always has his hands full.
“It’s a work in progress, but honestly, I couldn’t ask for anything better,” Ponder said.
With her husband, Ponder runs three food trucks, along with monthly pop-ups at the University of Central Florida, and is preparing to open a brick-and-mortar store in New Smyrna Beach while juggling two children.
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“We started Rollin’ Dough and we haven’t stopped since,” Ponder said. “It’s been almost four years.”
The two actually met while working in the food industry.
“(My husband) has been in the restaurant business, actually, all his life. His family in Puerto Rico runs a whole bunch of pizzerias,” Ponder said. “And then when we met, we were working at a restaurant, and we kind of both decided, ‘You know, we could probably do better on our own.’
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Rollin’ Dough serves wood-fired pizza along with huge garlic cloves, which are also used to make sliders. The couple chose a food truck because of the lower cost.
“It also gave us an opportunity to understand where we did better. We got to do so many different events, meet so many different people,” she said.
The couple originally planned to run their truck as a part-time side job, but their early success snowballed.
“I think it only took maybe a month or two for us to realize, ‘Hey, like we can actually do this.'” So it didn’t take long for us to just be like, ‘Okay, let’s go,'” Ponder said .
Ponder eventually opened The Knot as a second food truck, selling exclusively garlic knots and knot sliders. The success of that truck led her to open another, also called The Knot. Ponder is now looking to open its first physical location.
“It’s definitely exciting and especially now because we’re moving forward,” she said. “We’ve been working on it for almost a year.”
Ponder said the restaurant will be off Canal Street in New Smyrna Beach and will have a pet-friendly outdoor patio. She said they hope to have the restaurant open by the end of the year.
On top of that, Ponder now runs a monthly pop-up event at UCF.
“This is for a whole week. We are in the Student Union. It really came out of nowhere,” she said. “So just another thing to add to our plate, but it’s great.”
On the latest episode of Florida Foodie, Ponder talks about growing his business. She also shares how she and her husband manage to juggle family life with their busy schedules.
Please follow our Florida Foodie hosts on social media. You can find Candice Campos at Twitter and Facebook. Lisa Bell is also on Facebook and Twitter and you can check out her children’s book Norman the Watchful Gnome.
Florida Foodie is a bi-weekly podcast from WKMG and Graham Media that takes a closer look at what we eat, how we eat it and the impact it has on us here in Florida and for everyone, everywhere. Find new episodes of Apple Podcasts, Stitcher or wherever you download your favorite podcasts.
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