Hilliard Highlight – Hobbies Benefit Staff and Students Inside and Outside the Classroom

Hilliard Highlight – Hobbies Benefit Staff and Students Inside and Outside the Classroom

Hobbies Benefit Staff and Students Inside and Outside the Classroom

Katie McGinnis, a kindergarten teacher at Scioto Darby Elementary, and her husband, John, started McGinnis Grill Food Truck in September of 2021. Not only does it provide her and her husband with new experiences, but it has also helped her connect with students in a different way, building upon their passions while simultaneously expanding their love of academics.


The truck features grilled-to-order, gourmet sandwiches. She said John, a trained chef, takes classic sandwiches like the Cuban or Reuben and adds his own flare. Both are huge foodies, always seeking out new restaurants and foods to try. 


She said, “We met in a restaurant when I was a server, and decided that before we have kids of our own, we wanted to do something fun and adventurous. The opportunity to have a food truck came along, and we hit the go button.” 


Last year, she had a student who is an aspiring chef. Cooper has taken several cooking classes through the city of Hilliard and often brought recipes to school to share with her. Before long, he started writing letters to “Chef John,” asking him questions like, “What do you do if you get a burn?” or “What’s something I could make with my waffles tomorrow?”


That first letter turned into a year-long pen pal relationship and culminated with Cooper getting to dress up in his chef attire and touring the food truck when it made a stop at Scioto Darby. 


“Cooper went from a below-average writer to loving it and excelling at it because he couldn’t wait to write a letter to John each day,” said Katie.   


The couple lives in Clintonville, where you can find the food truck at Savor Pint four days a week. They are also part of Food Truck Fridays for Hilliard Schools staff by rotating to different schools throughout the year, and routinely travel to weddings, festivals, parties and fundraisers around central Ohio. 


Katie said what she loves most about running the business alongside her husband is that they both get to use their strengths to work on a common project. She handles the human relationship side by designing the menu and posting to social media, while John is the creative behind the menu selections.  


“Most couples head off to work at separate locations each day and only get to tell their spouse about what happened during their day. We get to experience it together,” she said. 


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