Raleigh, N.C. — The Greenville-based gourmet waffle company Smash Waffles will open its first brick-and-mortar location in Raleigh this fall.
Smash Waffles will be located at 2304 Hillsborough St. in The Broadloom retail space next to Insomnia Cookies, owners announced via social media.
Creators Justin Cox and Hunter Harrison came up with the idea for Smash Waffles after meeting to discuss a possible mobile app.
"He really enjoys cooking. I had ideas to start a restaurant," Harrison told WRAL in March.
Their first idea was biscuits.
"Everybody is doing biscuits," Harrison said. "We feel like everybody loves waffles, but not everyone is doing it."
There was a challenge to find a recipe that prevented the waffles from getting soggy.
"If you go to the Waffle House or basically any waffle place, you are probably going to get a buttermilk batter waffle, which tends to get soggy after time," Harrison said.
After a lot of research into the origin of waffles, the two found that in Belgium, chefs had been using a dough-base, which is similar to a bagel or doughnut. The recipe keeps the waffle good for a few days and even holds warmth for a couple of hours.
Smash Waffles are also smaller, making it easier for people to pick them up and eat them like a doughnut.
The company launched in Greenville as a test market, with deliveries starting in late December. Waffles were made in a private commercial kitchen and delivered locally. The two often did deliveries themselves at first, but now have a fleet of 15 drivers on a daily basis handling orders. The Greenville storefront is expected to open in August.
Smash Waffles moved into the Raleigh market earlier this year and have been featured on the weekend brunch menu at Pizza La Stella in downtown Raleigh. La Stella owner Rudy Theale is one of the investors in Smash Waffles.
The waffle menu includes The O.G. (a classic Brioche waffle topped with honey, cinnamon cream sauce and powered sugar), the Campfire (a miniature marshmallow-infused waffle topped with marshmallow cream sauce, Nutella drizzle, graham cracker crumbles and powered sugar) and the Chip Chip Hooray (their take on a the classic chocolate chip waffle featuring cookie butter and mini chocolate chips). The Cereal Thriller includes crushed cereal, sweet cream cheese sauce and powered sugar. The type of cereal used changes daily. The Swirly Sin started as a weekly promotional item but became a core menu favorite for its cinnamon swirl infused dough and cream cheese icing topping.
The menu will be expanded to include savory options and coffee when they move into the Raleigh storefront.