#8 U.S. Waffle Company, Inc.
Thomas P. Baliker
Located just off of I-85, U.S. Waffle Company, Inc. bakes and delivers waffles and pancakes to supermarkets, restaurants, and food companies for retail. Founded in 2013, the company makes a variety of flavors and uses different ingredients to cater to different tastes and dietary restrictions. The company custom manufactures for different brands.
What are the keys to your company’s rapid growth?
Concentrated sales effort in an expanding market.
What do you see as your company’s greatest opportunities in the future?
Customers that require high quality, custom products.
What are your biggest challenges and how do you plan to overcome them?
Cultivating qualified individuals with extensive job training and continuing education.
What advice can you offer someone just starting a business?
Make certain that your business plan provides a solid capital structure.
Does your company’s geographic location offer any specific advantages?
Definitely. Because we are required to quote “delivered” pricing to our retail customers, our Greenville location lends itself to better freight rates nationally.
What is your strategy for innovation?
Our strategy for innovation entails a thorough understanding of ingredient options, different product sizes and weights, and special packaging alternatives.
Who do you consider to be your mentor/mentors in business?
I have been blessed with many and it would not be fair to mention just a few.
How many employees do you have and do you plan to add any in the coming year?
We currently have approximately 275 employees, and hopefully we should remain relatively constant in the next year.
Have there been any entrepreneurs in your family?
What is the hardest thing about being a founder?
Waiting for the operation to come together.
What is the best thing about being a founder?
Finally seeing that the operation is coming together and profitable.
How much money did you use to start your business?
We did a private placement memorandum and used it for equipment and working capital.