Rolf Babiel was born in East Germany in 1952. When he was a teenager, he became a machinist for the local railroad. In 1977, he received permission to move to West Berlin, where he worked as a milk truck driver delivering milk throughout West Berlin. In 1981 Rolf immigrated to the United States, he arrived with $500 and quickly got a job hanging sheet rock for $4.50 per hour. He worked hard, saving every penny he made to purchase a food cart, which he soon bought and opened on 54th Street and 5th Avenue across the street from Lufthansa and The University Club. Rolf's was the first German food cart that ever opened in New York City. Over the next 25 years, Rolf's customer's enjoyed his sandwiches, and he became friends with a German butcher with whom he created a series of unique names for the sausages he was selling on the street.