born and raised waffles

Waffle Revolution: Born and Raised Innovates

Author Avatar

Updated on March 20, 2024

View transcript

The founder of Born and Raised Waffles didn’t simply stumble upon a new business opportunity; he embarked on a journey of culinary innovation. He’s transformed the humble waffle from a familiar breakfast staple into an experience, utilizing yeast-raised dough and fresh, local produce.

Yet it hasn’t been an easy ride, with numerous challenges cropping up along the way. The curious might wonder, how has this trailblazer managed to navigate these hurdles, capturing the attention of a diverse clientele, from corporate events to Game of Thrones stars, all while keeping quality at the forefront?

The Birth of Born and Raised


Established in 2015, Born and Raised Waffles marked a fresh start for its founder. Inspired by unique food truck concepts on the TV show ‘Amazing Spaces’, he decided to pivot from previous ventures in the cleaning and vending machine businesses.

This founder’s journey was far from easy, but his creative process and determination led to the birth of a waffle empire. He meticulously planned each step, using his learnings from past businesses to shape his new venture.

He knew that to be successful, his waffles had to be more than just food; they needed to be an experience. By blending traditional waffle making with innovative culinary twists, he created an offering that was both familiar and new, perfectly encapsulating the spirit of Born and Raised.

Mastering the Waffle Craft

born and raised waffles

Delving into the art of waffle making, the team at Born and Raised Waffles have honed a meticulous process that’s akin to crafting pizza dough, using a yeast-raised base that requires up to 12 hours of preparation. This yeast-raised mastery not only imparts a unique flavor but also ensures a light, airy texture.

Committed to local ingredients innovation, the team sources the finest produce to provide an authentic taste. This includes locally milled flour, which brings a distinct richness to the waffles.

The attention to detail doesn’t stop at the ingredients; the cooking process itself is an art. Each waffle is carefully monitored to achieve the perfect golden-brown finish. It’s clear; Born and Raised’s waffle craft is a labor of love, resulting in an unparalleled waffle experience.

Overcoming Business Hurdles

born and raised waffles

Navigating the labyrinth of challenges in the food truck industry, Born and Raised Waffles has managed to continually adapt and innovate to stay relevant and successful. A key hurdle has been location challenges. Finding suitable spots, particularly in city centres, has required tenacity and resourcefulness.

Yet, it’s their innovative marketing strategies, like focusing on private events, that have really set them apart. Their approach to event coordination is another strength, efficiently balancing public appearances with corporate events and weddings. This has resulted in an impressive customer retention rate.

Despite the challenges, Born and Raised Waffles has turned each obstacle into an opportunity for growth and innovation, displaying a resilience that’s characteristic of the food truck industry’s most successful players.

Meeting Customer Expectations

In the competitive world of food trucks, Born and Raised Waffles has managed to exceed customer expectations by maintaining exceptional customer care and uncompromised product quality. The company’s focus on customized experiences has set them apart, providing patrons with not only delicious waffles but also a memorable dining adventure.

By ensuring each customer feels valued and heard, they’ve cultivated a deep sense of customer loyalty. This approach hasn’t only led to repeat business but also to word-of-mouth referrals, a testament to the high regard customers have for the brand.

Born and Raised Waffles’ commitment to meeting customer expectations has undeniably played a significant role in their success, reinforcing the notion that in the food truck industry, quality service is just as important as quality food.

Pursuit of Quality and Authenticity

born and raised waffles

At the heart of Born and Raised Waffles’ success lies a relentless pursuit of quality and authenticity. The business goes to great lengths to source local ingredients and painstakingly prepare its yeast-raised waffle dough. Creating each waffle is an exercise in patience and precision, requiring up to 12 hours for dough preparation.

This dedication to quality and authenticity has resonated with their customers, leading to a loyal following that values the brand’s commitment to using local produce. This customer loyalty is the backbone of Born and Raised Waffles, and it’s this appreciation for authenticity that sets the business apart.

In an increasingly discerning food market, Born and Raised Waffles has carved out a niche, demonstrating that the pursuit of quality and authenticity isn’t only possible, but profitable.

Future Plans and Expansion

born and raised waffles

Looking towards the future, Born and Raised Waffles plans to expand its offerings to include local drinks, further enhancing the brand’s commitment to quality and authenticity. This aligns with the company’s vision of local collaborations, which can only strengthen its standing in the community.

Additionally, plans are underway to introduce seasonal specials, showcasing the rich, diverse flavors each season has to offer. The intention is to continuously adapt to the changing market trends and customer preferences.

Expansion isn’t solely product-focused; the brand anticipates opening more outlets, reaching a wider audience. It’s clear that Born and Raised Waffles isn’t just riding the wave of the waffle revolution, it’s leading it – with an unwavering insistence on quality, authenticity, and a strong connection to the local community.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Were Some of the Specific Inspirations From the ‘Amazing Spaces’ TV Show That Led to the Creation of Born and Raised Waffles?

The founder of Born and Raised Waffles drew inspiration from ‘Amazing Spaces,’ particularly its innovative design concepts and culinary experimentation. He’s fascinated by the show’s ability to transform small spaces into functional, creative outlets. This sparked the idea for a unique food truck, combining design influence with an artisan approach to waffle-making.

Thus, Born and Raised Waffles was conceived, reflecting a vision born from the marriage of creativity and culinary passion.

Are There Any Unique or Secret Ingredients in the Yeast-Raised Dough That Contribute to the Distinct Flavor of the Waffles?

They don’t reveal any secret ingredients in their yeast-raised dough. It’s the dough fermentation process that elevates Born and Raised’s waffles.

This extended fermentation develops a complex flavor profile. It’s a careful balance of time, temperature, and ingredients. The dough’s distinct taste also comes from using locally sourced flour.

It’s not about hidden ingredients, it’s just quality basics, done exceptionally well. That’s their recipe for a waffle revolution.

How Does Born and Raised Waffles Manage Its Waste and What Steps Are Taken Towards Sustainability in the Business?

Born and Raised Waffles takes sustainability seriously. They’re committed to managing waste effectively, using sustainable packaging for their products.

They’ve also embraced local sourcing, utilizing locally grown produce whenever possible. This not only supports the local economy, but also reduces the carbon footprint associated with transporting goods.

In these ways, they’re not just revolutionizing the waffle industry, but also setting a strong example for environmentally conscious business practices.

How Does Born and Raised Waffles Maintain the Freshness and Quality of the Waffles During Transportation and at Events?

Born and Raised Waffles prioritizes freshness and quality by sourcing local ingredients and careful waffle packaging. They’ve engineered a method that ensures their products remain fresh from transportation to serving at events.

What Strategy or Tactics Does Born and Raised Waffles Use to Stay Relevant and Keep Customers Engaged Between Events?

Born and Raised Waffles employs innovative tactics to stay relevant and engage customers between events.

They’re keen on social media engagement, regularly updating followers on their upcoming locations and featured menu items.

They also run innovative promotions, like special discounts or limited-time flavors, to keep the buzz alive.


Through its innovative approach to waffle-making and commitment to quality, Born and Raised Waffles is redefining the food truck industry. Despite facing various challenges, it has cultivated a loyal fan base, including high-profile customers.

Its focus on authenticity and local produce resonates with today’s consumer values. With plans to expand its offerings, Born and Raised Waffles is set to continue its culinary revolution, making strides one waffle at a time.

Video Transcript

Speaker 2 (00:00)
My name is Michael Henderson, and I own Born and Raised Waffles.

Speaker 1 (00:06)
Today, we’re talking about waffles, not crepe.

Speaker 2 (00:11)
Welcome to Amazing Food and Drink. Today, we’re with Michael Henderson, who is the owner and founder of Born and Raised Waffles. Michael, welcome along.

Speaker 1 (00:19)
Thank you very much.

Speaker 2 (00:20)
Tell us a bit about yourself and your business.

Speaker 1 (00:23)
Born and Raised, I started in 2015. I took a bit of a career break I had two previous businesses, which stressed me to the health. So I had to find a way of disconnecting my brain from business for a while. So my hobby is baking. So I did a bit of baking at home and took a year out and we thought, I’d love to start a food truck business. I watched George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces. Yeah, I’ve seen that. I’ve seen some balloon Buster making a catering truck from a horse trailer. I said, I love to do that. So my wife said, Why don’t you? So we went ahead and bought a 40-year-old horse trailer. And I came home and thought, What the heck have I done?

Speaker 2 (01:03)
Seriously? And who converted it for you?

Speaker 1 (01:06)
One of my skills is I’m a metalworker by trade. Oh my God. So I converted it myself. I had a few different subcontractors in for things that I couldn’t do, but others were done it ourselves. And done it in record time. Five weeks it took me from start to finish. Oh my God, amazing. Nothing like me. See the air pants.

Speaker 2 (01:27)
Brilliant. And what about the previous business? Were Were they in food or were they completely different?

Speaker 1 (01:32)
I had a cleaning business for about seven years. Took me seven years to figure out why they didn’t like it. The competitiveness, the stress. So at the same time, I started a vent machine business. A small vent machine business that we put out about 150 small vent machines around the country. So I got the opportunity to sell that and wind the cleaning business up and took a while out to rest my mind, which is very important. Brilliant.

Speaker 2 (02:00)
And then the Bacon and George Clark give you the inspiration for the outside catering?

Speaker 1 (02:04)
Yeah, there was a guy who done cheese, so cheese from his horse trailer, and I thought this was amazing. There wasn’t very few about. So I actually contacted him, How’d you do this? And he was very kind to come back. I actually replied to the email and helped me out a bit. Very good. And we contacted a few different companies, and we bought this horse trailer that, oh my goodness, I didn’t know what I did. I got home, this wreck of a thing. So So we converted it and the rest history on that one.

Speaker 2 (02:33)
So George Clarke was one of your inspirations?

Speaker 1 (02:37)
Yeah, he would have been one of the ones that I love watching that. I’m not allowed to watch George Clarke’s music space now.

Speaker 2 (02:43)
In case you come up with another bright idea.

Speaker 1 (02:46)
So we watched that there and that did give inspiration of doing something different off the wall, so trying to hit a market that’s like the wedding industry, with something a bit different and quirky.

Speaker 2 (02:59)
Brilliant. So tell me, so what’s it running a gourmet waffle outside catering bar. That’s the right expression.

Speaker 1 (03:04)
I think it was a mouthful there. Yeah, it’s had its challenges. I love it. I absolutely love it. It wouldn’t feel like work for me, but at the same time, it’s the hardest work I’ve ever done in my life. So you get to prep the events. People don’t see the behind the scenes. Even a private event, you would have the emails, and then you’ve got your on the day prep. So our waffles are made from a dough, which involves a bit more of a process. You can’t just whip it up there and then.

Speaker 2 (03:37)
So it has to be done prior to the event?

Speaker 1 (03:39)
Yeah, we would have up the 12-hour… It’s a yeast-raised dough, so we’ll have up the 12-hour rise.

Speaker 2 (03:45)
It sounds a bit like pizza.

Speaker 1 (03:46)
Yeah, be similar to the thicker dough, loaded with butter.

Speaker 2 (03:52)
Brilliant. So nice and healthy?

Speaker 1 (03:53)
Nice and healthy for you.

Speaker 2 (03:55)
Yeah. Butter’s good for you. Butter’s good for you now, you know that. So tell me about the ingredients just on that. So where do you source your ingredients from? Are they local? Are they organic? Sustainable?

Speaker 1 (04:05)
Well, we try and use all local produce. We use Neil’s flowers, not far from here.

Speaker 2 (04:11)
Yeah, we have got the Neil’s flowers. We’ve done a video for them.

Speaker 1 (04:13)
So we’ve I find that we’ve tried all different flowers, but local is really important to me. Support local business is a real thing for me. On this island, we have amazing products. You don’t taste butter like it. When you go on holiday, you do not get butter like you get it in Ireland.

Speaker 2 (04:32)
Absolutely. I agree with you wholeheartedly. No, it really is. It must be the weather. It must be. We complain about it, but it’s brilliant for a project.

Speaker 1 (04:38)
Absolutely. So even our flour and stuff, we’ve had a few different flowers to try, but You can’t get away from the local stuff that we produce in this country.

Speaker 2 (04:48)
Yeah. Well, funny. We use these flour when we make the pizzas as well.

Speaker 1 (04:51)
There you go. Absolutely.

Speaker 2 (04:52)
So tell me then, what’s your biggest struggle?

Speaker 1 (04:55)
Biggest struggle, my goodness. We would like to have regular trading. This country proves challenging for that because a catering truck is class as a box trailer, which is maybe on the roadside, where we want to be in with the people, in with the tourism, in the city centres, in the local towns. But that’s a challenge for us to get a space where you’re allowed to trade.

Speaker 2 (05:21)
Is that councils or is that planning?

Speaker 1 (05:23)
I think it would be a bit of both. But we’ve had some different places on private ground, which has been good. But building the brand as such and keeping your name out there, because if you go from event to event, people forget about you.

Speaker 2 (05:37)
Yeah, absolutely. Set out a mind.

Speaker 1 (05:39)
Yeah, that’s right.

Speaker 2 (05:40)
So councils, if you’re listening, make them need some room in the city centres. Brilliant. And then In terms of then, your customers, who would your typical customers be, if you have typical customers, and how their expectations changed?

Speaker 1 (05:51)
Okay, so we began 2015. So we were just trying to get every event in market that we could get just to get out there and get our name out there. We got to see that we get some big events, festivals, but mainly our customers are private weekends. So we have a lot of corporate events, a lot of weddings, And the film shoots is a new one for us in the last couple of years. So we’ve had Game of Thrones. Very good. It’s quite random that someone comes up to you and ask for a salt of caramel waffle, and their faces splattered in blood. Very good indeed. Then Liam Neeson, he hired us last year for the film they were filming in Belfast. And that was a middle of night job. So it’s half one in the morning to five o’clock in the morning.

Speaker 2 (06:43)
That should be good for your marketing anyway.

Speaker 1 (06:44)
It was very good, very good. I’m a total gentleman. We just sat and talked online.

Speaker 2 (06:48)
Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant. Tell me, what’s the secret, Michael, of delivering five-star service in your, I’d say, catering van?

Speaker 1 (06:56)
I would think a combination of a few different things. I would go with your customer service. Everybody can have a bad day, but it’s how you come back from that. It’s treating your customer because they are your bread and butter. Treating them with value. Your product, don’t cut corners on the product. The product for me is… We’ve been reluctant to cut corners and use substitutes. We use pure butter. We don’t use substitutes where we can, but it may cut price a little bit. The quality goes down. The quality would be to sacrifice then.

Speaker 2 (07:34)
Customers become more savvy, aren’t they? About what’s going in the food, etc.

Speaker 1 (07:38)
This is in almost the fourth year, we’re noticing that the customers are travelling now to find us. We had a lovely couple who messaged and said, We’ve heard all about you. They travelled from Donny Gaal to Antrim just for a waffle. I said, Are you staying? No, we’re going home the night. I have another- That’s a ringing endorsement. I know. It’s lovely. Another Another couple, and they’ll know who I’m speaking about, but they travel, they stop me. In a good way, of course. In a very good way. They would come from Belfast to Ballycastle. He would come out and get the waffles and say his wife’s sitting in the car and they’re just heading home straight after.

Speaker 2 (08:16)
I can’t wait to taste these waffles, I’m telling you, Michael. They sound amazing. Tell me, do you serve drink in your van as well? Not alcohol drinks, but…

Speaker 1 (08:27)
Yeah, we would… Tea and coffee. Actually, that would be local for me, too. We try and use local roast coffee. I’m a Panjana fan, so it has to be Thompson’s own brand for me. It’s not Barry for me.

Speaker 2 (08:42)
I was going to ask So is the mix of food and drink perfect for you?

Speaker 1 (08:48)
Is that what it’s at? I think if we had a premises, we could maybe go a bit further with that, which is what we’re on the verge of. We’re looking for a home for born and raised.

Speaker 2 (09:00)
Brilliant. So as well as the van or instead of?

Speaker 1 (09:03)
Yeah. Well, at the minute, we have two vans. So we have two converted truelors. One is a bit bigger than the other, and a third is being built as we speak. So it’ll progress We’re at the stage we need to get a premises.

Speaker 2 (09:18)
Things are really taken off. That’s amazing. Well done.

Speaker 1 (09:20)
We’ll maybe earn some money sometimes.

Speaker 2 (09:23)
That’ll come. So tell me, Maegha, has tourism had a big impact on your business?

Speaker 1 (09:28)
Yeah, I would think so. We’ve people connected with us from all around the world now. But we’d done a wedding the other day and someone popped out of the hotel we were at and they were from Greece. And I couldn’t believe that there was a Waffle truck here. So they got a Waffle and they were just over the moon. But we would see a lot of events we do, Bali Castle, Seafront Market. We would see a lot of tourists there. And it really has a big impact on our business.

Speaker 2 (09:56)
Brilliant. And have any of them been counted up to give you endorsements or on TripAdvisor and that stuff?

Speaker 1 (10:01)
I don’t know if we’re even on TripAdvisor, but the Facebook reviews are just… We’ve been so blessed with them. I think we’ve about 85 five-star reviews for a small business, we’re doing good.

Speaker 2 (10:13)
That’s really good. Well done, again. So what do you think is the future for food and drink in Ireland?

Speaker 1 (10:19)
My goodness. At this time, we don’t know what we’re on with Brexit, but I think we’ve got a real potential. We’ve only hit the surface of the food truck market, so I think there’s plenty of more room. But I would say quality in this country, and this country’s food is… We were recently out of the country and I couldn’t get… We had to get home for food, for real We are, but we’re really genuine. We don’t see it because we live in it. You don’t see what’s right in front of you.

Speaker 2 (10:50)
Yeah, it’s brilliant. I mean, in fairness, it’s probably a very positive thing. Irish food and drink is amazing. The Waffle scene, you think it’s going to grow.

Speaker 1 (11:01)
For us, hopefully. For no one else.

Speaker 2 (11:03)
Do you think it’s going to be as big as the American trailer? You know the way they’ve grown? I watch those programmes on television and people are phoning and saying, Where are you this week? And they’re going to follow you around. I mean, you’re starting to get a bit of that going at the minute.

Speaker 1 (11:18)
Funny, that will be the top email. We get an email regular. I had to switch off the Facebook messaging for a while because it’s, Where are you now? Because if you post up a photo of food, people are, Wow, look at this. Look this. So it’s where are you located and where are you next week? So that’s the regular trading thing would be a great help for us. Brilliant. But yeah, it’s been nice to hear people say that. How long are you going now? This is almost four years.

Speaker 2 (11:44)
Four years, nearly on your third truck. And that’s the question I was going to ask you. What are the long term goals? What are your plans? I know you touched on the premises.

Speaker 1 (11:53)
Yeah. Premises. And we’d like to bring an experience to people as well, not only to come and get a Waffle, but we give an experience when you hire the truck, you get a bit of crack, you have a laugh.

Speaker 2 (12:08)
And are you there all the time, Michael? Are you the main man for a bit of an expression?

Speaker 1 (12:11)
Most of the time, I have a couple of guys that do help out, too.

Speaker 2 (12:15)
Brilliant. Good lad. And if you had advice for anyone who was thinking about starting a truck, not a Waffle truck, of course, what would it be?

Speaker 1 (12:23)
Think long and hard and research your product. Never cut corners. We We’ve tried and tested different waffles. We bought them mixers. Using local products is a big thing.Provenance, as it’s called.Yeah, brilliant. It pays off in the long run. People will come back. People will come back. If you cut the corners, they’ll come back next time and go, It doesn’t taste the same. Be consistent.

Speaker 2 (12:48)
Consistency, yeah. Obviously, consistency is really important, especially with a product like food and waffles.

Speaker 1 (12:53)

Speaker 2 (12:54)
Michael, where could your customers or anyone who hasn’t tried your waffles find out about you? And we’ll put the links on the video. So tell me where we can get you.

Speaker 1 (13:02)
So we’re on Instagram. It’s quite popular now. So we’re Born and Raised Waffles on Instagram, Facebook, and we’re on Twitter. Just #weekerwaffles.

Speaker 2 (13:13)
It’s a very local saying, isn’t it? Total local. Weeker Waffles, is that? That’s W-E-E or W-E-E? W-e-e.

Speaker 1 (13:19)
W-e-e, Weeker Waffles.

Speaker 2 (13:21)
And you mentioned Facebook?

Speaker 1 (13:22)
Yeah, we’re Born and Raised Waffles on Facebook.

Speaker 2 (13:25)
And have you got a website?

Speaker 1 (13:27)
Bornandraisedwaffles. Com.

Speaker 2 (13:28)
Okay, absolutely brilliant. And lastly, then, what are you going to be doing over the next month to six weeks? Because this video will be going to be very soon. And I want to try and drive people to where you’re going to be at.

Speaker 1 (13:41)
So I think we’ll be in Balamani in April. We have an event coming up shortly with Blaire’s Caravan Park. They’ve hired us in. So it’s a lovely big event. Very good.

Speaker 2 (13:52)
And where’s it? Portrush. Portrush, okay.

Speaker 1 (13:54)
And then we’ve got Bali Castle markets coming up, maybe coming into May. So we have quite a lot. Maybe a tulip festival in Glenarm Castle. Brilliant.

Speaker 2 (14:05)
Are you ever going to venture down around Belfast, Michael?

Speaker 1 (14:08)
If they’ll have me, absolutely.

Speaker 2 (14:09)
Again, the council. Michael, he’s waiting on you. That’s brilliant. Look, I’d really love to try these waffles. And I know our video for Brandon is a Waffle fan, so he’d really like to try them as well. Well, Michael, that was absolutely fantastic. And thanks very much for coming in.

Speaker 1 (14:24)
You’re very welcome. So thanks very much.

Speaker 2 (14:26)
I’m sure you’ll be very interested to watch this video and to give a bit of trade. So for Amazing Food and Drink, thank you.

Share with our social media

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *