Corey Londoner had no idea when she started looking one year ago for a place to open a hot Belgian sugar waffle shop that a dream location awaited just one town away, on Pine Street in New Canaan.
The Ridgefield resident had already owned one successful franchise business (a cycling studio) and, after tasting Waffle Cabin’s Liege waffles with pearl sugar on ski trips with her young family, she decided to open one herself.
Two months ago, the day after a prospective location in Ridgefield fell through, Londoner heard about the available space at Pine Street Concessions in New Canaan.
She knew immediately it was the right spot.
“I can’t be more excited,” the mom of two told NewCanaanite.com. “It really just fell into place so perfectly. It seemed to be meant to be.”
In New Canaan, Londoner also has a leg up in that locals for the past several years have tasted Waffle Cabin waffles during the Holiday Stroll, at a pop-up space in front of the Playhouse. The Pine Street Concessions shop will the be the first permanent location to open in Connecticut.
Last week, Londoner filed a building permit application to install a food counter in the popular dining spot, and the sweet treat provider could open as soon as February, she said. (Here’s the Waffle Cabin New Canaan Facebook page.)
“I fell in love the second I saw it because it’s really great building,” Londoner said of Pine Street Concessions. “It’s very open and bright and the food I tried, all the food in there, every single place there has phenomenal food, so I knew I was going to be in great company.”
In bringing a complete dessert concept, Waffle Cabin also will complement a successful lineup at Pine Street Concessions that includes Dante’s Pizza, Miyuki Asian street food and Greens on the Go.
Peter Lane, who developed and owns Pine Street Concessions, said the area is seeing a “waffle craze” that Londoner is poised to tap into.
“It’s great,” he said of Waffle Cabin’s imminent opening. “I am excited for her and for the Concessions because of what she is going to bring.”
That will include “an ice cream option” to go with the waffles that will “round out” the offerings at Pine Street Concessions, he said.
Waffle Cabin will be installed along a wall of windows inside the side-door entrance to Pine Street Concessions, where a baker and chocolate provider has been set up in the past.
A New Jersey native who attended culinary school in New Orleans after earning a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Southern California in 1991, Londoner said she’s going to start out offering eight flavors of SoCo Creamery handcrafted ice creams, as well as sorbets. The options will cater to those seeking gluten-free or dairy-free cold treats, though the waffles themselves are not dairy-free, she said.
“They are authentic Belgian waffles,” Londoner said. “They’re Liege waffles and they’re made from dough that has sugar pearls in it. What happens to the sugar pearls when cook the waffles is they melt and create caramelization, so the the outside has this amazing caramelized taste and they’re just amazing.”
That amazingness hooked Londoner herself as a Waffle Cabin waffles fan while her family skied at Stratton Mountain in Vermont.
“My kids begged for it and honestly, they are just the best things that anyone could ever taste,” she said.
Londoner’s first business was the Joyrides studio she opened in Ridgefield in 2015, an enterprise she sold back to the company’s founders two years later. She remains an investor in that business and for two years she’s kept her eyes open for new opportunities while raising her two boys, now 14 and 9.
In connecting with Waffle Cabin as a franchisee, Londoner—who described herself as someone who has “always been obsessed with food”—said she has ben deeply impressed with the integrity of the company and its franchise developer.
“It is so important to me to work with people with heart and who give back and really care, and when I realized they have all that, I knew this was a great fit and it didn’t exist in Connecticut,” Londer said. “The franchise developer has been extremely helpful, every step of the way, and meticulous in helping me find the right situation.”