Sinnidra Taylor and her sister Aisha grew up in the Broadmoor neighborhood of New Orleans. Not seeing any obvious career paths open to her, Sinnidra moved to Houston, Texas to see if she might have better luck there. She didn’t—not really—but as she was looking through food pictures on Instagram one day she came across a weird looking waffle.
“It was so different,” Sinnidra Taylor says. “I was pretty much, ‘I have to know how this tastes!’—I just had to taste it. It looked like golden bubble wrap, but you can eat it.”
Last October, she got a chance to try this newfangled puffer waffle, a popular street food in Hong Kong, during a trip to London. She enjoyed it topped with strawberries, whipped cream, graham crackers and caramel.
“I was impossible during that trip,” Sinnidra Taylor remembers. “My friend would ask me, ‘What do you want to do today?’ ‘Find a waffle.’ ‘What do you want to do tomorrow?’ ‘Find a waffle?’”
She liked them so much she decided to locate the manufacturer of the machine that makes the waffles, but the shipping cost to the United States was more expensive than the machine itself.
“But I had to have it,” she says. “So, ‘What if I sell a few of these waffles, to cover the cost?’ I had my first tasting in Houston on Martin Luther King Day and I made almost $1,000 at our first official pop-up in New Orleans at Lot 1701 on Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard!”
Combining her own love of business with her sister Aisha’s knack for the culinary arts, the Taylor sisters applied to be part of the 2018 Catapult Fund program, offered by the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation to provide business training and grant funds to entrepreneurs in the arts (culinary and otherwise). They were accepted, Sinnidra Taylor moved back home to Broadmoor and the sisters are taking their last Catapult classes this month.
“We’ve learned so much,” Sinnidra Taylor says. “Financial projections, what we need right now to grow, what income we need to make at an event to make it worth the effort—everything. We’re still trying to determine what’s better for us—pop-ups, a food truck or a stand-alone brick and mortar spot. I’m thinking locations in different malls.”
The sisters are still tweaking their recipes. They’re working on a cornbread waffle with fresh jalapeños, another one with praline pieces, and a garlic butter waffle topped with roast beef and gravy or chicken pasta. (Their business isn’t called the Crazy Waffle Bar [CWB] for nothing.)
Follow the Taylor sisters’ crazy waffle progress @crazywafflebar.