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Small Business Spotlight: The Belgian Waffle Shop

A new business recently opened up in downtown Wheeling, and it’s not your typical cafe or restaurant, instead, they serve fresh waffles. The Belgian Waffle Shop, on Market Street, opened up in late September this year. They specialize in waffles and coffee, making for a perfect sweet treat or pick-me-up.

Founder and owner and operator, Tara Kobasko, explains her thinking behind opening a waffle shop, “I was thinking forever what to do down here in Wheeling, and what to bring. I wanted to bring something new.” 

The batter is made from scratch and the waffles are served hot off the iron, topped with ice cream and other various toppings such as caramel, chocolate, strawberries, toffee, seasonal flavors, and more.

“Here’s a piece of advice as a person, if you ever feel like you can’t get something done, you can. As long as you believe in it, something will always make it possible to happen.”

— Tara Kobasko

Kobasko shared the two main types of waffles that she serves. Each type has its own selection of customizable flavors and toppings, but there are two different waffle bases.

The first is the bubble waffle, served almost like a soft taco. “The bubble waffle is traditionally called an egg waffle, and it’s made with a little bit of a different batter traditionally. But I put my own twist on it because I make my batter, so it’s a fluffier texture…It’s little pieces that you can pull apart, dip in your ice cream, or however you want to eat it,” said Kobasko. 

Above: A bubble waffle topped with vanilla ice cream, strawberries, and caramel drizzle. Photograph by Lucy Aderholt

The second type is a more traditional waffle. “The Belgian waffle is known for its deep pockets and pearl sugar…It is really not complete without the pearl sugar,” said Kobasko.

Above: The seasonal pumpkin Belgian waffle topped with pumpkin ice cream. Photograph by Lucy Aderholt

In terms of the coffee, they offer drip coffee and French press, but the French press coffee is served differently from many other places. It is an interactive experience served with enough coffee for multiple people.

“It’s 32 ounces and it’s shareable, so I think it’s a really fun and unique experience because they get to press the coffee themselves. I serve it on a tray with a timer because it has to sit for three minutes, so I just set it up…when the timer is up you can press and serve your coffee,” said Kobasko.

The Waffle Shop hasn’t had an easy opening with the construction happening downtown, and it is located on a section of Main Street that is currently completely blocked off for cars. “Dealing with the construction I have no foot traffic, I don’t have people driving by and seeing us, so I’m really relying on the media and getting the word out,” said Kobasko.

Kobasko faced other challenges with opening the shop alone and did much of the manual labor on her own.  “I really felt like I got punched a lot…I tore up all the carpet, I tore up so many things that were built into the walls. I did so many things I never thought I could do. I built this counter and then I had someone come in and polish it to make it look more finished,” said Kobasko.

She shared how she persevered through the hardships of opening her own business, “I held onto faith; so much faith that it got me here and I got to open. I put my paycheck in that drawer and I prayed, I said it’s gotta work. And it worked…so far I’m able to cover the bills.”

After three years of planning and preparing, Tara Kobasko successfully opened her own Belgian Waffle Shop in Wheeling.

 

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Lucy Aderholt
Lucy Aderholt, Editor-in-Chief
  • Journalism II
  • Senior
  • Soccer, strings, choir, Park Players, and student council
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