WRITTEN BY CHRISTINA KURIAN AND MADDIE LARSON, OCT 6, 2016
Joe Nedza is currently a business management major at the University of Georgia while also working tirelessly to expand the Nedza’s Waffles brand name throughout Athens. He had no prior interest in baking until he created his business, which offers unique Hong Kong style egg waffles topped in treats such as ice cream, chocolate, and fruits.
One of the benefits of building a company that makes great food is getting to experience it whenever you’d like. In a personal interview, Nedza explained the joy he gets when sampling his own product. “They’re crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. They taste totally different than any other waffle I’ve ever had. You don’t need anything on them, and they’re fun to eat. You can tear out each little pod (egg puff) and eat it separately.”
Not only are the waffles fun to eat, they’re perfect to share…on social media that is! The colorful toppings make each waffle eye-catching and picture perfect. (#Nedzaswaffles)!!!
The idea of creating these distinctive waffles came to Nezda while on a trip to New York. While touring the city, he happened to stumble across a particular food vendor with a lengthy line of eagerly awaiting people. Upon further investigation, he noticed people walking away with what smelled and looked like colorfully decorated waffles.
Curious about the hype, Nedza stood in line for an hour, only to find that the vendor had run out right when he got to the front. Although he never got to try the waffles, he found himself craving them and the concept lingered in the back of his mind. Research revealed that there was nothing similar the NY waffle vendor offered in the Athens area. Nedza has had several business ideas throughout his life, but this particular idea was one he deemed worthy to pursue as his first venture.
Deciding to make his own waffles, Nedza perfected the recipe over the course of five months. He chose to let his family be the first to test his creation, and was thrilled to find that they loved the waffles. This propelled him to test how well they would sell at a swim meet in Alpharetta, GA.
“I just decided that I was going to sell it anywhere that would really let me.” The event had nearly 300 people and Nedza’s Waffles outsold every other vendor at the meet. This was the validation he needed to realize that his business could scale.
As he continued to sell, his product was received exceptionally well from customers. “I don’t know what I’m doing yet. I’m just doing it.” And doing it successfully. Nedza’s Waffles has partnered with various restaurants and bars in Athens, such as Fuzzy’s, Zombie Coffee & Donuts, Bar South, and Terrapin Beer Co. “A lot of bars are hearing about it now and asking me to come on game days, which is great,” Nedza said.
Due to the unpredictability of the pop-up store arrangement, it is difficult to continuously notify customers of the latest location. A long-term goal is to acquire a brick-and-mortar site in the hopes of reducing any customer inconvenience or frustration. He expects that an established location would enable him to become more efficient, store everything in one place, and even expand the menu. Nedza’s Waffles currently only serves desserts, but savory options are certainly a future consideration.
As Nedza continues to learn about the entrepreneurial process, he aims to use this knowledge to help others follow their passion. “I can’t stand to watch people that I care about doing something they don’t love, so I’m helping a couple of friends start a company right now,” Nedza said. “I’m just giving them advice and showing them exactly what they need to be doing along the way so they can do what they love.”