Oct. 14—After losing her best friend, "essentially grandpa" and boss all-in-one earlier this year, Voltzy's new owner is fighting to get the business back to its roots.
Sammy Bowman of Miamisburg took over the Voltzy's Root Beer Stand in Moraine after its beloved founder and owner of more than 32 years, Rick Volz, died in February. It's almost always been a known fact to Bowman that she would eventually run the show someday.
"I became his right hand girl," Bowman said. "I mean, it was him and I. We had a few people come here occasionally that helped out and stuff. But I ran the front, he did the cooking. That was it."
Bowman began her more than 11-year career journey at Voltzy's at age 14 when she started helping Volz with catering. She quickly became the main woman behind the scenes and started as a full-time employee after graduating from Miamisburg High School.
Volz started his beloved establishment more than 30 years ago from inside a food trailer. It wasn't until 2008 that Volz himself built the Moraine restaurant at 4668 Springboro Pike and opened it in 2009.
Voltzy's closed in November 2020 as Volz underwent major surgery, including a leg amputation. Then, just as Bowman worked to get the Moraine restaurant back open this summer, she learned the building's lease would be terminated.
Now, Bowman is still fighting and plans to continue the legacy how it began — on wheels.
"Rick literally was my grandpa for all intents and purposes," Bowman said. "I watched over him — forever always over shoulder. And even on his final days in the hospital, you know, he's like, 'I taught you everything you need to know. There's no one else I'd rather have carry it on.'"
A GoFundMe website was established by Bowman in an effort to raise $10,000 to buy back the original Voltzy's trailer from its current owners. In a statement on the fundraiser page, she wrote:
"Hello everyone Sammy here! The new owner of voltzys rootbeer stand! Since most of you know Rick passed away in February this year after a long battle of health issues. He left me the honor to carry on his legacy, which i couldn't think of a better thing to do to honor my best friend! Voltzys has been in business for 33 years in the Dayton area. As some of you may know he didn't always have the building located in moraine that came later after years and years of working out of a variety of different size trailers. I've been thinking and brainstorming day and night trying to think of a way to go back to ricks roots and buy a trailer to continue serving everyone his delicious food. However, no matter how hard I've looked nothing felt right. I knew that when I found the one it would jump out and hit me. I of course had thought about what had happened to his old trailer and how awesome it would be to find it. But assumed it was long gone and that there wasn't a chance of it returning home. Well guess what! I found it!! With help from a dear friend we were able to locate his original trailer. The one he ran out of until the building was ready for its grand opening in 2009. After many different emotions and conversations the current owners have decided to let me buy it! Can you believe it! It's like it is meant to be! To carry on his legacy has always been a dream and plan of mine that we talked about often. But to have to honor to bring his trailer back home and run out of it is truly a dream come true! But I need your help! If everyone could please help this once in a lifetime opportunity prevail I will be entirely grateful! So please if you can donate anything towards bringing his trailer home then donate even if everyone donates a dollar it will help. If not I understand but please at least share share share and get the word out."
People can donate to Bowman's trailer fundraiser at gofundme.com/f/bringing-voltzys-original-trailer-home. So far, a total of $500 has been raised.
"Him and I had a relationship that goes beyond," Bowman said. "I mean, he was, literally, like my best friend. I mean, he knew me better than most. So, carrying on his legacy means a lot to me."