Utah (ABC4) – Utah-based business Waffle Love is a staple for any Utahn who loves decadent waffles piled high with house-made whipped cream, fresh fruit, and even chicken.
The business, which got its start in Provo when founder Adam Terry lost his job, has expanded from a food truck to not only multiple restaurants throughout Utah, but locations in Arizona, California, Texas, and Idaho.
“I decided to go for my dreams and start a food truck called Waffle Love. And my family helped me put it together. It was a pretty rough little trek, but it got us off the ground,” Terry tells ABC4. “So, my family thought I was nuts. They helped me, but they did think I was crazy.”
Despite its humble beginnings, Terry and his brothers, Steve Terry and Jared Terry, represented Waffle Love on Food Network’s The Great Food Truck Race in 2015, finishing in a close second place.
Last year the brothers were invited back to compete in The Great Food Truck Race: All-Stars. Waffle Love was the only team invited back who had not won the competition. And though the Terry brothers ultimately did not take home the grand prize, their second shot on the show offered the chance for redemption in more ways than one.
A Family Fallout
Terry tells ABC4 that he and his brother, Steve, had ended up parting ways due to personal problems prior to competing on the All-Stars edition. He says though he and Steve would still see each other at family gatherings and even occasionally hang out, they weren’t having the conversations needed to restore their relationship to what it had been. Being invited to compete in The Great Food Truck Race: All-Stars changed that.
“It was actually so cool because it did force us to have those conversations and we did get back together again as brothers, and it was like coming home,” Terry explains.
“Now he’s back with me in the business helping out… it’s a story of a shot at redemption for the Great Food Truck Race. But more importantly, for us was that we got a chance to get back together as brothers and really redeem our relationship,” he adds.
Terry says he couldn’t ask for a better working situation than working alongside his brothers.
“… almost every day we’re working together on something. It’s so fun and dynamic,” he states. “We allow each other the space to be different and have our own differences of opinion and so, everybody brings their own strengths to the play and it’s just a really fun dynamic and I actually couldn’t ask for a better situation.”
In addition to their experience on the show, ABC4.com asked the waffle tycoon some questions about the business that took Utah by storm.
Growing up in a home where whole wheat flour and honey took the place of white flour and sugar, Terry says whenever the family had something sweet, it was a big deal.
“I tried these waffles, I was just like, if we’re gonna have a treat like this like we need to go all the way. It needs to be worth it,” he explains.
But what is it about the company that has allowed it to gain traction and thrive in the Beehive state?
“My mantra has been, let’s do something good. Let’s do one thing and do it as good as we can do. And it started simple- we started with just one waffle with a set group of toppings. Starting from there, we’ve just grown, and it’s kind of almost become a cult classic in a lot of ways,’ Terry explains.
“We just tried to do a quality product. We use the best ingredients we get our hands-on. We use wheat that’s grown and milled right here in Utah. We want to do something unique and something that’s not just like whatever is out there,” he adds.
And though he has received some culinary training since, Terry says when he first started Waffle Love, he was completely self-taught. Still, Waffle Love worked its way up to second place the first season they competed on The Great Food Truck Race. Terry says the team came up against very talented people who were fun to compete with.
“You’ve just got to realize that your own path and your own instincts and where you come from is just as valuable, and as long as you know the basics of how to bring flavor to something, you can compete with anybody,” he says.
The business adorns its waffles with both unique as well as traditional toppings and flavors. The top sellers are Nutella Love and Chicken and Waffles. Terry says Chicken and Waffles does well in Los Angeles. In Utah, Nutella Love tops the charts, replacing Red Wonder, a former favorite.
According to Terry, he has always wanted to work in the food industry, and even almost years later, he is surprised and grateful that things worked out to make Waffle Love what it is today.
“It’s come a long way, so we just feel super fortunate and blessed and happy and like lucky people and super grateful to this community,” he states. “This community is the reason why we’re in business. If people wouldn’t have come up to the food truck in the first days, that would’ve been the end of it.”