A Superior couple is making a dream a reality when they open Superior Waffles at 1412 Tower Ave. in the historic New York Building.
A soft opening with a limited menu is planned for 7 a.m. to noon Sunday, July 25, with the restaurant opening for regular hours starting Tuesday, July 27. Its hours will be 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday.
Owners Calvin and Natalie Harris, 18-year residents of Superior, said they thought about opening a café a few years ago, but the timing wasn’t right.
“We both had good jobs and that income and just quitting seemed really scary,” Natalie Harris said. “So last year, I got laid off because of COVID, so we decided to take that dream and just do it. So, we went on a two-week road trip to Wyoming, and we just brainstormed the whole time and decided this is what we’re going to do. There’s nothing like this, and we love waffles and have always loved waffles, so we thought why not open a waffle shop.”
Superior Waffles offers the Twin Ports' only Belgian waffle bar, with sweet and savory options.
“We thought Superior needs something with a wow factor here too,” Cal Harris said. “It’s seems like when you want to celebrate something you have to go to Duluth. We want to have something fun to experience and unique to Superior so family and friends can come and have some delicious waffles and have fun experiences.”
They plan to offer after-hour events featuring waffles and beverages, according to their website.
Cal Harris said it is important to them to bring in people so they can experience what other Superior businesses have to offer, as well.
Natalie Harris anticipates one of the more popular waffles will be a cheesecake waffle with strawberries or blueberries, but they’ll also be serving up a s’mores waffle with marshmallows on it, and a turtle waffle with caramel, chocolate, pecans and whipped cream to satisfy sweet tooths.
“So we’ll have about six or seven sweet specialty and six savory specialty, and we’ll have the build-your-own, which you can do whatever you want,” Natalie Harris said. “We’ll have 15 or 20 toppings that you can just do your own creation.”
The couple will still do the cooking; people just have to pick the toppings and they’ll prepare it, Cal Harris said.
Savory options include the Sconie, pronounced scaw-nee, featuring a waffle topped with raspberry jam, ham and melted cheese.
“It’s delicious,” Natalie Harris said. “It’s probably one of my favorites, because you’ve got kind of a meal because of the ham and cheese, and you’ve got the sweet waffle.”
Staffing has been a challenge — like every business, everywhere — but the couple hopes to hire additional workers. Six people have been hired so far for part-time positions. They hope to add more because high school students will head back to the classroom in the fall, the couple said. People can apply online at superiorwaffles.com.
Already, Superior Waffles is creating a buzz on social media and even at the Government Center. When Mayor Jim Paine gave his State of the City address in late May, he mentioned Superior’s first waffle bar by name three times during a roll call of new businesses that opened or would soon open in the city.
“OK, I’m getting a little bit excited about the waffle joint, all right,” Paine said during his speech, eliciting chuckles from the crowd.
The shout-outs from the mayor were a surprise to the couple.
“We never even met the guy, and he kept talking about us at the State of the City,” Natalie Harris said. “He mentioned us three times and he didn’t mention anyone else three times.”
Even walking out onto the sidewalk from inside the eatery, the couple was stopped by a passerby eager to know when they were opening.
“We’ve been working with Tom Hanson at Duluth Grill; he’s been a big supporter and gave us his blessing on our homemade waffle batter,” Cal Harris said.
“He’s been a good mentor for us,” Natalie Harris said, adding that the Development Association and Small Business Development Center also helped make the business a reality.
In addition to waffles, the couple said they will offer local artists space to show their work on a rotating basis to help them sell their works. They also plan to sell items made locally, like waffle-scented candles, as well as other items.
“We’re happy to be here and be members of the small business community,” Natalie Harris said.