Longtime Wellesley resident and entrepreneur Josh Fink says he and his wife were intrigued by the waffle cabins they came across at ski resorts, lamenting that the delicious treats served up were only available for one season out of the year.
So six months ago Fink bought himself a former smoothie truck and started converting it to dole out Liege Belgian waffles on the streets of Wellesley and beyond. The Board of Selectmen just gave the truck its blessing and other waffle truck approvals are being ironed out.
“This will take the ice cream truck up a notch,”says Fink, owner of the Liege Belgian Waffle Factory, which he envisions satisfying snackers between meals and those looking for dessert after meals. “Kids will love it, adults will love it.”
While Fink has plenty of other business activities going, including an equity fund, he plans to spend ample time in the truck. He says it brings him back to his roots in the culinary field, which included a stint at the Four Seasons. He even used to help out at the Pillar House, which once stood in Newton just over the Wellesley town line where highways criss-cross.
Operating the waffle truck brings him back to his 20s, Fink says, and gives him a chance to interact with people and just “clear my head.”
Fink describes Liege waffles as one of Belgium’s iconic street foods and likely one of the first things you’d find yourself eating in that country. These ain’t no Eggos.
His enthusiasm for food had Fink referencing terms like “speculoos” and “mascarpone” that the plain eater I am quickly found myself asking him to repeat. The Waffle Factory’s menu includes an Original Liege Belgian Waffle dusted with powdered sugar, a Lief Waffle with melted Nutella, and an Amai Waffle with molten dark Belgian chocolate and strawberries, among other treats neatly served on pie discs.
One thing I learned is that there will not be an endless supply of daily waffles, which typically will be prepped at an offsite commissary. “They’re made that day, like a brioche,” Fink says.
It takes several hours for the dough to do its thing and the product to come together, with special care not to let the yeast devour the pearl sugar. Yeah, it’s like that. Once the day’s batch of waffles is gone, it’s gone.
Waffles cost between $6 and $9, depending on the style and toppings you order. Fink emphasizes that the toppings are high end, including fresh berries and homemade whipped cream (not to be confused with Crazy Foam, another Fink venture). Special offerings will include air-fried chicken and waffles on Pluckin’ Fridays. Fink’s team is attempting to offer gluten-free versions, but it’s tricky.
Finding the truck
Expect to see the waffle truck in front of the police station and near Hunnewell field, and maybe even the Recycling & Disposal Facility’s book swap area. You’ll also be able to track its whereabouts via social media, or follow your nose. “You can smell the waffles hundreds of feet away,” Fink claims.
The truck has been serving waffles at various functions for a few months, and he expects catering and parties will make up the bulk of this business.
A big part of the waffle truck plan is to support fundraising events at town, with matching donations for sales of certain products, such as coffee, chai and tea. “This will be a community-centric thing,” he says.
A recent customer at an event outside of Wellesley turned out to be from Liege and told Fink he “wanted to see how good you are.” The Wellesley maker says his product passed the test, and that he’s confident the treats will do the same in town.