St. Louis native Adrienne Chambers grew up with a love for baking and turned that passion into a successful waffle-making enterprise called Waffle-licious. She's among the vendors you'll find at the Clayton Farmer's Market, which runs from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday.
In an email interview, Chambers spoke about her early experiences with baking and her company's many offerings.
Tell me a little bit about yourself and your transition to starting and operating Waffle-licious. How does someone with a marketing and retail merchandising degree get into the restaurant business?
My name is Adrienne Chambers a native of St. Louis. I grew up nearby in Olivette and attended the Ladue School District. I later went on to attend Missouri State University in Springfield Missouri.
Growing up, my mother taught me how to cook and bake and that passion lead me to dreams of having a cupcake shop around the time cupcakes were becoming the it thing. But it was a trip to Brussels to visit my best friends brother that introduced me to the Liege Waffle. Throughout Belgium and other European cities the Liege Waffles are hugely popular and populate almost every street corner.
I returned from my trip and periodically thought about the waffles and how awesome it would be to bring that European goodness to St. Louis. After several years had passed, I began researching the product and learning more about its origin.
After about a year of research and putting together a business plan, I started to experiment with recipes. After a few adjustments here and there, I finally came up with my own proprietary recipe. My dough is made fresh by me. No box mixes and no pre-made dough shipped in from overseas.
Talk about your business model and the locations at which you've chosen to sell waffles. Why is the Clayton Farmer's Market for you? Will you open other Waffle-licious stores or attend other farmers markets in the future?
My business model is very simple. We operate in a space in Chesterfield Mall that's less than 700 square feet. Before opening that location, we got started at the Clayton Farmer's Market last July 2011. After receiving favorable reviews from those that had never had a Liege Waffle to those that had either lived in Belgium or visited the area and were familiar with the waffle, I knew I was on to something.
The reason I chose the Clayton market was because I was familiar with the area and I thought the uniqueness of the product would work well in an area like Clayton, University City and other nearby communities that get and appreciate "new" and different things.
What kinds of things can people purchase if they visit your booth at the Clayton Farmer's Market?
We sell Liege Waffles that can either be purchased with powdered sugar only, the more traditional way of consuming the waffle or with yummy toppings like nutella, fresh strawberries or homemade vanilla whipped cream.
What's your favorite Waffle-licious menu item and why?
My favorite is the Specu-licious, which has Biscoff "Speculoos" spread, a sweet spread that taste like cookies. Added to that sliced bananas, fresh whipped cream and vanilla ice cream which you can find in our store and finished off with a drizzle of dulce de leche.......SO SO GOOD!
It's my favorite because I feel in love with Biscoff cookies years ago during a flight where they were served as a snack. When I discovered the cookies were being offered as spread, I knew I had to try it on a waffle, and it was love at first bite.
What do you do when you're not making waffles?
While business continues to grow, I split my time between my job as a contracts manager and owner of Waffle-licious. Trying to manage a full-time job and a full-time business leaves little to no time for anything else these days.
What other comments would you like to make?
Come out and try the best-tasting waffle in all of St Louis. You won't regret it. You can find us Saturday at the Clayton market on Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. or at Chesterfield Mall, second floor by Sears, Monday through Sunday during mall hours. We also take our waffles on the road and will prepare fresh on-site our waffles for any occasion—birthdays, bar mitzvah, showers, dessert parties, weddings. For any event, we will come to you. Currently, we are scheduling catered events during the evenings and on weekends.