Business as (un)usual: Waffle Love


Gevork Apikyan

The mural inside Waffle Love located in Northridge, Calif., on Monday, Oct. 14, 2020.

Gevork Apikyan, Reporter

Like all other small businesses, Waffle Love, located on Reseda Boulevard, has been at a constant battle with COVID-19.

Boyd Bell, the franchise owner, considers himself very lucky to have been self-employed and to own a business during this time.

“It has definitely become more mundane. Most people are just trapped all day at home, [but] for me it’s the opposite. I am working more than ever,” Bell said. “Normally I take a weekend off, but everything is so uncertain that I don’t have the flexibility to just take a day off.”

This has become difficult for his staff as well. Most of Bell’s workers are CSUN students, who either self-quarantined or stopped working due to situations not under their control — like making the decision to take care of themselves or protecting their families and loved ones from being exposed to the coronavirus.

One thing that was able to keep Bell afloat during this time was the implementation of the online delivery apps.

“Looking at it from a bigger picture, it is awesome because we are reaching a whole new form of customers and being able to pay the bills,” Bell said. “But at the same time, Postmates gets a commission for every sale, so that is tough and brutal and hard to swallow but we’ll take it because our doors are open.”

In contrast to how this business has been doing, Bell opened up another Waffle Love store in Valencia just before the pandemic swept the nation.

“We were already paying rent there, so it was either have the place eat up rent or to start building the brand around the area, and the Northridge store does laps around that area,” he said. “Opening up a new store anywhere is hard no matter how you start, adding on a pandemic is just brutal.”

Waffle Love uses liège waffles as their main component for their dishes. The store makes their waffles from dough and uses pearl sugar — which gives the waffles its caramelized coating — imported from Belgium, according to Bell.

Unlike most waffles which are made from a batter, Waffle Loves’ waffles are made with dough and pearl sugar from Belgium, which gives the waffle a caramelized coating, according to Boyd Bell, the franchise owner of Waffle Love. (Gevork Apikyan)
The Dulce de Liège waffle from Waffle Love in Northridge, Calif., on Monday, Oct. 12, 2020. This waffle is topped with whipped cream, strawberries, dulce de leche and pseudo-fried ice cream. (Gevork Apikyan)

“Some staples are definitely the chicken and waffles, the Red Wonder — which has cookie butter, whip cream, strawberries and raspberries — and the grilled cheese,” Bell said. “The grilled cheese, believe it or not, was ranked number two in Time magazine for best grilled cheese.”

The grilled cheese and tomato bisque at Waffle Love in Northridge, Calif., on Monday, Oct. 12, 2020. (Gevork Apikyan)

The team at Waffle Love are relieved that they are able to get a steady amount of customers during the uncertainty that the pandemic brings.