Hunter Harrison, who calls himself Waffle’s Biggest Fanboi, and Justin Cox, known as Waffle’s Biggest Hero, are on a quest to "make the best waffles ever tasted."
Luckily for us in the 252, they're doing it in Pitt County, NC.
The two friends have opened a waffle delivery service, Smash Waffles, that brings their creatively flavored Belgian-style waffles directly to your door for breakfast or brunch.
The waffles are SMASHED in a waffle press -- and they've been a SMASH hit with local patrons since opening in early December.
Smash Waffles are unique to the area for several reasons.
They're made with waffle dough -- referred to in Belgium as Liege -- instead of the typical buttermilk batter. The waffle base contains yeast to make it rise like bread dough, along with flour, sugar, butter, milk, eggs, salt, honey -- and a "secret ingredient."
"The Liege recipe is guaranteed to be unlike anything you've ever tasted," the website states.
Justin makes the dough daily from scratch, in a leased commercial kitchen, using locally sourced ingredients when possible. The dough is left to rise before it goes into the refrigerator overnight.
For the waffle production, ingredients are added to the waffle dough to kick it up a notch. The dough is rolled into balls, pressed and cooked in a traditional cast iron Belgian waffle press. The process creates a waffle with a crispy caramelized shell and a fluffy interior.
Some varieties get an additional topping or filling, and then the waffles are boxed up and hand-delivered to your Pitt County home or business. The waffles won't get soggy like a traditional buttermilk pancake would, Justin says.
The products' names are as creative as the ingredients in them.
Justin and Hunter agree that the most popular variety so far is The Quilted Pig, infused with maple and bacon. Then there's The Cereal Thriller, made with a surprise cereal each day: CinnaCrunch, Rice Rice Baby, Fruity Flintstone, Honey Nut Hero, Silly Rabbit, Lucky Leprechaun, Golden Grammy. There's the Nutty Nana with nutella and banana, and The Chip Chip Hooray with chocolate chips. And the daddy of them all, The O.G., the original plain waffle served with homemade butter maple syrup.
Every Wednesday there's a new WOW -- that's Waffle of the Week -- which allows Justin and Hunter to think even more outside the box. Some of the recent brainstorms-that-became-breakfast include peanut butter and jelly, coffee and Double Stuff.
"Our creations are inspired by our crazy personalities, childhood nostalgia, and good ol' fashioned 'scratch' cooking," Hunter and Justin state on the Smash Waffles website.
Hunter's social media marketing campaign gives Smash Waffles a persona that's clever, hip, humorous and a bit cheeky. Every week he gives hints about the variety of WOW waffle variety that's upcoming. Follow Smash Waffles on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat (@smashwaffles).
How did Justin and Hunter come up with the idea for a waffle delivery service? The two friends, both former commercial bankers, were having coffee when the idea was hatched.
"It was an epiphany," Hunter said.
Although they are both creative -- Hunter is an artist and social media marketer and Justin is a musician and is passionate about cooking -- as former bankers they know the risks of starting a food business. They took their own advice: Proceed with caution and start small. They leased a commercial kitchen, made a website and smashed some waffles for their friends to try.
"On Dec. 4, we handed out waffles to people we knew, to get their opinion," Justin said. "Orders started pouring in that day."
You can order waffles on the website. You'll be asked to select a day and time for delivery. A half-dozen waffles costs $15 and a dozen is $21, with an additional $3.50 delivery fee. Payment by cash or debit/credit card is collected upon delivery. Waffle varieties may be mixed and matched.
Delivery is available Mondays through Saturdays, in Pitt County only. The first Smash Waffles franchise opened Feb. 2 in Raleigh. Justin and Huter also plan to purchase a food truck and perhaps open a brick-and-mortar restaurant in the future.
"We're big dreamers," Hunter said.
(Photos via Smash Waffles)