Our Story

Waffles and Whatnot Eagle River was Derrick's first stand alone attempt at operating a restaurant. Having never opened or operated a restaurant before, he nonetheless took a leap of faith to bring his dream to life. Though he wrestled with his decision, the passing of his mother on November 1, 2018 and the conversations she'd had with him just before her passing, catapulted him forward. Waffles and Whatnot Eagle River was opened on November 23, 2018. It became a thriving location with lots of local fanfare as Alaskan's had been requesting a physical location for quite some time.

It was quite a popular eatery but the then inexperienced entrepreneur simply had too many obstacles to climb and adversities to overcome, beginning with the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that destroyed most of his restaurant's equipment just 7 days after opening. Eventually, in August 2019, Derrick had to shut the doors. However, this isn't a sad story because he used those lessons learned and opened the new Waffles and Whatnot at 500 Muldoon Road in Anchorage, eventually getting noticed by Guy Fieri and Food Network, as well as Entrepreneur Magazine and even USA Today's veteran section.

Derrick grew up a Southern Baptist in Fort Pierce, Florida. After attending Fort Pierce Westwood and Central High schools, he entered the US Army in 1998 and served 21 years as a Military Policeman. During his service, he continually strived to give back to the community through his efforts as a sexual assault victim advocate, domestic violence victim advocate, suicide interventionist, and Master Resiliency Trainer in addition to his law enforcement duties.

Derrick's life mission changed when his then wife found a lump in her breast at age 33. She underwent an immediate lumpectomy and later a mastectomy, while also enduring a brutal chemotherapy regime. Sitting in chemotherapy lounges and watching beautiful human beings suffer partly inspired Derrick to do something to ease the suffering.

That something arrived in the form of a nutrient packed pancake recipe Derrick developed after realizing his wife's worst day was the third day after chemo. Derrick wanted to create a food that was B.R.A.T. (Bananas, Rice, Apples, Toast) compliant that would provide some energy, even if only a small amount was ingested. He later converted his pancake recipe into a waffle and the Gourmet Apple Cinnamon waffle mix was born.

After serving 11 years of Active Duty and 6 years of Active Alaska National Guard service, Derrick decided

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A WORD FROM DERRICK

"In 2016, I created Waffles and Whatnot to serve as a social enterprise that realizes our motto, 'No Gimmicks, Just Greatness.' Each WAWN associate is dedicated to bettering the world around them and is dedicated to our mission of changing lives one amazing experience at a time.

WAWN is devoted to giving back to each and every community that helps make our company a success. A portion of every dollar you spend with us becomes an agent of community change. Thank you for empowering us to make a true impact on the communities in which we live and work. I greatly appreciate each and every one of you."

Highlights:

• Derrick entered the US Army in 1998 and served 21 years as an active duty Military Policeman
• He is an advocate for veteran suicide prevention, mental health, and sexual assault survivors
• One of his many charitable activities included a 22-day walk to raise awareness for veteran suicide
• His community-minded approach is seen through many public events and activities, including a cultural potluck & talent show that he organized in Mt. View, which is America's most diverse city. The event brought together people from all walks of life for a cultural arts experience.
• Derrick was invited to join the Facebook Small Business Council as a founding member.