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By Bev Odom/The Red River Sun—
WELLINGTON — The chuck wagon is rolling into downtown and hitching up to a permanent location.
Kent and Shannon Rollins, known for their chuck wagon cooking, began looking in June at a building on the south side of Collingsworth County Courthouse square to expand their catering business and cowboy cooking schools as well as a place to sell their cookbooks and expand their offerings.
At the same time, Heath and Kassie Neeley, who have been working with Rollins for several years, had been checking out downtown buildings so they could have more space for Rollins’ growing online business – kentrollins.com
The four found the perfect location in the former Gulley building, that provides 5,000 square feet for a commercial kitchen, a retail store and the Cowboy Coffee Shop, which is planned to open in the fall of this year.
Products in the store will include mesquite wood spatulas, ideal for cast iron cookware, carved by Heath Neeley and his daughters, to cookbooks, green chile chipotle relish, cowboy aprons and hash knives, seasonings and more.
The demand is huge, according to Kassie, who fills many daily orders.
“I’ve used my dining room for the last few years, but we’ve outgrown the operation and need more space,” she said. “My family helps me process around 3,000 orders a month from the website.”
Rollins was raised along the banks of the Red River near Hollis, Okla.
Growing up in the cattle business, he learned to appreciate the cowboy way of life. In 1993, he bought a chuck wagon after spending time with his uncle guiding and feeding hunters in the wilderness of New Mexico.
Rollins began cooking for ranches and soon expanded into catering. In 1996, the governor of Oklahoma proclaimed Rollins the Official Chuck Wagon of Oklahoma because of his growing popularity and his preservation of a historic way of life.
According to Rollins, food is what brings families, friends and neighbors together.
“That also is what we try to teach in our cooking schools – it’s not just learning about cooking but about learning about life, too,” he said.
Their first cookbook, “A Taste of Cowboy,” released in April 2015, became the No. 2 best-selling book on Amazon and is listed in the “Top 100 Cookbooks to Own in a Lifetime.”
The duo added a second cookbook in 2019, “Faith, Family & the Feast.”
“This isn’t just a cookbook, it’s an open invitation to come spend time with us on the porch, visit and set yourself a place at our table,” Rollins said.
For more information, visit kentrollins.com.