SAM REED CREATIVE
Boardwalk Waffles & Ice Cream will open later this year in Grand Center.
Eric Moore has a plan — a plan to turn Boardwalk Waffles & Ice Cream (7376 Manchester Road, Maplewood; 314-449-1209)
from a single Maplewood storefront into a multi-outlet brand. Last week, he got one step closer to achieving that goal with the announcement that he will be opening a location of the whimsical eatery in the heart of Grand Center.
The forthcoming Grand Center Boardwalk Waffles & Ice Cream outlet will be located inside the Metropolitan Artist Lofts building at the intersection of Olive Street and North Grand Boulevard. Though no opening date has been announced, Moore hopes to have the new location ready to go by the beginning of July.
News of the Grand Center expansion comes as Moore is preparing to open two additional locations, one in Soulard and one in South St. Louis County. Though he is taking his time with expansion plans to make sure he gets things right, his goal is to have fifteen locations of the waffles and ice cream restaurant in the area, as well as franchises around the country.
"We had a piece written about us on the Today show's website, talking about the best ice cream shops in the country," Moore says. "That ran, and all of a sudden people from out of town wanted to know if I was franchising. I had someone in Florida who wanted to open twenty and someone in New Jersey who wanted ten. I was just getting things going at the original Maplewood location, so I wasn't in a position to do that at the time, but now, with the new Maplewood store, things keep getting better and better, and I see that design as a rough template for others."
Moore opened the original Maplewood Boardwalk Waffles & Ice Cream in 2017 to immediate success, making him quickly realize that he needed a larger space. He moved his operation down the road about two years later and has been going full steam ahead ever since, crediting his success to the good food and lively atmosphere he and his staff have created.
In addition to the three upcoming locations, Moore also has a Boardwalk Waffles & Ice Cream food truck he hopes to roll out as soon as the COVID-19 pandemic subsides to the point where special events and festivals become tenable. As a compliment to the truck, he is working with a developer to create an app that will allow prospective customers to locate — and even summon — the truck. It's just one more idea in a line of ideas that animate the Boardwalk & Waffles brand.
"There is a game plan, and like with most things throughout my life, I will put 150 percent into it or not do it at all," Moore says. "I am definitely a risk-taker and will throw everything out to see what sticks. Not everything is a success — most people will try 50 things before they get it right — that's me."
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