When I entered the US Army in 1998, I had no idea where I’d end up but I committed to myself that I’d give it my all. I’d been wearing the uniform since I was an ROTC cadet at 13 and knew that “service before self” was a way of life, not just a snazzy mantra. That way of life reflected my personal and professional journey whether in my role as a cancer care giver for my wife as she battled breast cancer or as a Military Policeman responding to dangerous and potentially deadly situations. After 17 years, I knew there was more that I could do with my time and felt a deep need to find and pursue my life’s passion. The result of that journey is Waffles and Whatnot, a social enterprise that seeks to live our motto “No Gimmicks, Just Greatness.”
We are still in our first year of business and are greatly appreciative of the lessons we’ve learned. I started this business on a picnic table in downtown Anchorage and, nine months later, it has grown to a mobile cart, food trailer, and store front on a military base. We also cater, offering the best Brussel’s style waffles in Alaska and the best customer service around. Since opening in June 2016, Waffles and Whatnot has grown to become Alaska’s highest rated food establishment on Facebook but it’s not just about the waffles. Each WAWN associate is a success story of life resiliency and strives to better the world of those around them.
Before the first waffle ever touched a hot iron, I began a year of personal and professional growth through community advocacy beginning with a 22-day walk to raise awareness for veteran suicide. I then hosted a cultural potluck and talent show in America’s most culturally diverse community, Mt. View. Indeed it was a busy year with me tackling serious community issues ranging from suicide to domestic violence to sustainable food to prisoner re-entry. The biggest takeaway for me was the vision that all of my activities could be connected via a business that helped people discover their self-worth by offering the best versions of themselves for the world to see. Waffles and Whatnot isn’t about the waffles, it’s about changing lives one amazing experience at a time.
With the backing of my family, I push forward in the journey to bring the world the best of me, thus presenting you the best of those around me. I discovered that the best thing I can do for my family is to persevere in this journey and let my life’s actions speak for themselves. In creating Waffles & Whatnot I wanted to make certain from the very start our business model included a way to give back to each and every community that helps in making our company a success. A portion of every dollar our customers spend at Waffles and Whatnot is an agent of community change. Thank you for empowering us to help make the world a better place.