In the Beginning...
In 2010, my long-time friend and previous business partner asked if we would like to sell waffles in San Diego. I wasn’t quite sure what he meant by “waffles” but he knew I was always up for a business venture and it seemed like a good time for my wife (Amy Kraft) and I to try something different as our screen print business was challenging and not something we really wanted to grow anymore.
Todd Casselberry introduced my wife and I to the Liege Waffle, a sweet little legit Belgian waffle, he’d been introduced to in Europe in previous travels and he had started Wow Wow Waffle in Redding, California with good outcomes thus far. He sent us the equipment needed to start up Wow Wow Waffle in the farmers markets of San Diego. And with this little waffle; 3 kinds of tasty fresh pressed lemonade; Classic Lemonade, Strawberry, and an Arnold Palmer.
My wife and I opened up our stand in the farmers markets of North Park, Pacific Beach, La Jolla, and Oceanside, Scripps Ranch, and Golden Hills to name a few. As we tried to figure out the inner workings of small business in San Diego, Todd and his family (his wife Chloe and daughter) ended up moving to Oahu and then Maui, Hawaii. They brought Wow Wow Waffle with them in 2011. Not too soon after their venture did they realize the lemonade sales were quite popular on the islands and so in 2012, they opened up the first Wow Wow Lemonade, kiosk style, with an expanded menu of 12+ flavors.
Three years into Wow Wow San Diego, my wife and I were pretty exhausted from market life and knew we needed to open something more permanent if we really wanted to move forward. North Park being our home; we found a little property behind a laundry mat with a 2-car garage and some patio space. It wasn’t ideal but it’s what we could afford, so in June of 2014, Wow Wow Waffle had a permanent HQ open to the public.
Meanwhile, Todd and Chloe had been working the markets in Hawaii and with their expanded lemonade menu and Mason Jar program, the business was growing rapidly. So rapidly, that while they originally had waffles on the menu at Wow Wow Lemonade, they ended up eliminating them all together to focus on the expansion of the beverage brand. As Wow Wow Lemonade grew, we had discussed the possibility of also transitioning Wow Wow Waffle (WWW) in San Diego to a Wow Wow Lemonade (WWL) entirely.
While we were open to the possibility; our waffle sales had always outdone our lemonade sales and in going on 4 years, we had grown quite attached to our little street waffle!
The Turning Point...
We hit a happy medium in the last 2 years, expanding our lemonade menu (though not to the extent of all other WWL’s), while also keeping our waffle menu. As WWL has continued to grow, WWW San Diego, ended up being the only one of it’s kind, but because of this connection with the overall WWL brand, the growth of WWW was now halted without any plans for change or expansion.
Todd, Chloe, myself, and my wife Amy, have continued to work together and we’ve been supported by so much community through out this time. However, with life continuing to change as it does, often times without permission, we’ve decided it’s time to part ways. The focus on our families remains the utmost importance and we feel this split will give us all what we need at this time to keep that focus.
Wow Wow San Diego’s shared identity has not allowed WWL to expand into San Diego in full force and at the same time, has prevented any significant change for WWW as well. In parting ways, we know it’s the end of a nice little 3-book series in a sense, but very much hope the start of a new one.
Wow Wow Waffle will cease to exist by April 15, 2018! In separating ourselves from the Wow Wow family, we will have full freedom to transform the waffle brand into something new. While the name will be new, the waffle will not be! We will carry the same little legit Belgium Street Waffle we have always had but can now transform the brand as needed as we move forward.
This also means that Wow Wow Lemonade will not have a full place in San Diego quite yet. We know a full force WWL will come to SD in the future where you can get all the lemonade and acai bowls you want and we welcome them when they come, but this date and location remains unset for the time being.
The Need to Know...
- We will continue to honor the Mason Jar Program (though you will no longer be able to purchase new jars AFTER April 15th), meaning while we will not have a WWL menu, you will be able to refill your jar with other beverages that we may offer.
- We will honor our connection with WWL by offering a different lemonade flavor through out the year, made and kegged by WWL, just for us, for you (this transition may take a little longer however as WWL gets situated in SD)
- While the name may change, the waffle will not be, and nor will the ownership. My wife and I will continue to run our little spot in North Park with our awesome staff.
- We will not be closing our doors for this transition so while we plan to introduce new menu items; this will take time. New Hours of Operation will be announced.
- We will update you on a WWL opening near you. We hope to keep Sunset Market in Oceanside OPEN. It will be the only place for the time being that you can purchase jars, merch, & of course Wow Wow Lemonade in the Southern California area.
- Please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for any questions regarding this transition.
As always, we survive and thrive on community support. As we go into our 7th year of business and 4th year in North Park; we just want to say Thank You for being Awesome.