Vanderbilt Magazine

Suzanne Rich Miller, BA’80, and Anne Miller Morris, BS’06: Family Recipe

The three women entrepreneurs of AR Reserve, Morgan Boniface, Anne Miller Morris and Suzanne Rich Miller,standing in front of a Christmas tree.
Morgan Boniface, Anne Miller Morris and Suzanne Rich Miller of AR Reserve (Courtesy of the Miller Family)

Many families have beloved recipes they pass down from generation to generation. Suzanne Rich Miller and Anne Miller Morris have parlayed a simple salad dressing created by matriarch Anne Arnold Rich (mother to Suzanne and grandmother of Anne) into a growing, woman-owned business.  

“There’s a long-standing joke in our family that every female descendant is a version of Anne,” Morris says. “My mother is Suzanne, I’m Anne, my 5-year-old daughter is Catherine Anne. And GranAnne was Anne Rich’s grandmother name.” 

Rich was born and raised in Normandy, Tennessee, then married and moved to Tallahassee, Florida. The young homemaker frequently entertained, and she perfected a garlic vinaigrette that she used to dress all types of salads and to marinate meat and vegetables. It was a smash from the start. 

Miller carried the recipe with her from Tallahassee to Vanderbilt to Tampa—where she and her husband moved after college—and then to Dallas. They had son Rhett and daughter Anne, who also went to Vanderbilt and brought GranAnne’s recipe along.  

“Mother made it in a Mason jar because it was perfect to shake it all up in,” Miller explains. “In the family, we called it The Dressing, and that’s how it became known among all our friends. If there was a potluck of any kind, we were expected to bring something with The Dressing.” 

Each generation was also urged to bottle and sell it. Rich and Miller declined, but after Morris got her Ph.D. in clinical psychology (returning to Vanderbilt in 2012–13 for her residency) and returned to Dallas, she created a casual cottage business, selling jars of The Dressing to friends from her front porch around the holidays. Sales clearly indicated the potential for a professional operation. 

When Morgan Boniface married Rhett Miller, the three women took a leap and formed a company (all three continue in their full-time careers, the company has become their “second” job), and AR Reserve was born—AR for Anne Rich, Reserve for fine wine and the orange brushstroke to honor her love of painting and favorite color. 

They rented a small commercial kitchen, and their first sale was to a high-end gift shop in Dallas, a retail niche they focused on. Then Central Market came calling in June with an order to carry AR Reserve in the Taste of Texas section of their 10 specialty grocery markets throughout the state. The business segued manufacturing to a co-packer, added e-commerce and are seeing online orders come in from all over the country. They attribute the nationwide success to its taste, versatility and word of mouth from fellow Vanderbilt alumni who first sampled the dressing years ago.   

“Our Vanderbilt and Chi Omega networks are great fans of the dressing,” Morris says. “Anne Rich would be so proud of us for starting this business. She was a wonderful cook and loved bringing people together over food.” 

—Kay West