Ruma’s Deli in South St. Louis added the Gerber sandwich to their menu and dedicated it to the creator, Dick Gerber, in 1973
The “Gerber” was created in St. Louis at Ruma’s Deli by their customer Dick Gerber. Dick Gerber owned an automotive tire store close to the deli after convincing Ruma’s Deli owners, Dee and Tom Ruma, to allow him to make/create his own sandwich for a small fee. The Ruma’s agreed and was even impressed with the creation that they added it to the menu and dedicated it to Gerber in 1973.
The Gerber sandwich is open-faced, made with Italian or French bread. It consists of ham, Provel cheese and seasoned with a sprinkle of paprika and then toasted. However, the original sandwich was made with provolone.
The sandwich has been duplicated by many St. Louis restaurants, apparently, with some challenges along the journey regarding TradeMark ownership. Another restaurant claimed to have owned the credit for creating the sandwich according to Riverfront Times (3). We have not been able to determine the outcome of that debate. Very similar to the Toasted Ravioli debate that has existed for years.
About Ruma’s Deli
According to online sources, Ruma’s Deli has three locations in the St. Louis region, with two being franchise locations. The original location is located in the south part of St. Louis in the Covington Manor strip center.
Ruma’s Deli locations in the St. Louis region:
- Ruma’s Deli – Imperial – CLICK to VIEW MENU
- Ruma’s Deli – St. Charles – CLICK to VIEW MENU
- Ruma’s Deli (original location) 1395 Covington Manor Lane, St. Louis, MO 63125
NOTE: we have not independently verified any claims or representations made by the parties referenced on this page. We have reached out to the owners of Ruma’s Deli in south city, but we have not received a response for verification or additional information. This page will continue to be a work in progress as we continue to gather information; however, there is no abundant source of information at this time.