After a three-hour Zoom call, first-year Abigail Van Drunen was starving, but all the dining halls were closed. With the cold winter snow falling, she didn’t want to go uptown, so her roommate, Peyton Kirkland, made her waffles.
The two roommates of Ogden Hall then offered to make more for other students in their hall, charging 50 cents a waffle.
“I feel like other people are like me and have Zoom fatigue and are just hungry, and you want something good,” Van Drunen said.
After selling 24 waffles to the students in their hall, Van Drunen and Kirkland saw potential in their tasty breakfast item, and soon, the Ogden Waffle Club was founded.
The Ogden Waffle Club sells regular waffles at 50 cents each and specialty waffles for $1.50 every Wednesday from 6:30-9 p.m.
With 16 different combinations, customers can choose from chocolate chips, bananas, peanut butter and Nutella as toppings.
Feb. 10 was the first night the small business took off. Pre-orders opened on Tuesday and were accepted until noon on Wednesday through Instagram direct messaging. Van Drunen and Kirkland began prepping the pre-orders around 6:15 p.m., keeping the number of people in the kitchen small to abide by COVID-19 guidelines. Both Van Drunen and Kirkland wore masks and gloves and washed their hands often.
Van Drunen hoped to break even on the first night and plans to eventually divide the profit between the employees, supplies and a charity.
“Our big thing is we don’t make [waffles] and let it sit. Like, we make it as soon as you order because we want it to be fresh and warm and everything,” Van Drunen said.
For students who don’t live in Ogden Hall, the roommates offer a delivery service, too. With a $5.00 delivery fee, Van Drunen says customers can simply direct message @ogden_waffle_club on Instagram and place their order. A member of the waffle club will either deliver the waffles to the customer's residence hall or they can pick them up at Ogden Hall.
“I was so excited because I just want good food and waffles sound so good,” first-year Hannah Daris said.
After she saw an advertisement via Van Drunen’s Instagram, she placed a pre-order through the Instagram page and picked it up on Wednesday. Although Daris lives in Minnich Hall, she made the trip to Ogden for the sweet treat. She said the whole process was fairly easy and they responded with a confirmation within two minutes.
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Melody Lebus, a resident in Ogden Hall and a member of the club, grabbed some waffles the first night the roommates made them. She enjoyed the waffles so much she offered to help them with their business. Lebus helps run the waffles out to customers and taste tests the new flavors.
“I just think it’s fun and something different to do, and a lot of people are always, like, looking for new food because the dining hall can get annoying sometimes, so it's just something fun to do with friends,” Lebus said.
Van Drunen says she hopes the Ogden Waffle Club will be a huge success. She promises that as long as there is a demand, Waffle Wednesdays will always happen and might expand to other days of the week.
The entrepreneurs plan on introducing one to two new flavors every week.
Customers can either pay with cash or through Venmo. While Instagram direct messaging is the only way to place an order right now, Van Drunen hopes that eventually there will be a phone number to call.
“It’s fun when you enjoy a project so much, and you get to do it with people you care about,” Van Duren said. “That’s what makes this whole process so enjoyable for me.”