Today we’d like to introduce you to Kamilah.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Kamilah. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
It all started in my kitchen nearly 18 years ago. As a mother of a toddler, every other weekend, I invited his sister (my bonus daughter) and cousins (bonus nieces and nephews) over to hang out and spend time. Thinking about what I could make them for breakfast, I thought of something inexpensive, quick and easy, and fulfilling. The final answer was WAFFLES. I’m a huge “Waffle Lover”. But, I could never get my syrup pour perfect. It was either too much syrup or not enough. Either my waffle was thick and dry or soggy and wet. Plus, the syrup would make me sleepy afterwards. That was not good having a house full of small children. I then questioned, “What if I could make waffle batter that did not require any syrup.” So the experimenting and creating began.
Over the years, I would be asked by family and friends, “Auntie, can you make some waffles?” or, “Milah, can you make some waffles?” I thought I was surrounded by “Waffle Lovers”, to only learn, they were lovers of just my waffles. In 2012, while on a staycation with my son, God son, and nephews, I packed up the kitchen and made everybody waffles for breakfast. My nine year old God son tasted my waffles for the very first time. He said, “Kamilah, you should sell these! These are really good.” At that time, my perspective and vision was limited. I replied, “Nobody is just going to buy a waffle.” He responded, “But these are really good, you should.” A seed was planted.
Fast forward to 2017-2018, I embarked on a transformational journey with Compass Trainings. Compass Trainings offers transformational and empowering trainings that help you discover “What you want”, “Who you are”, and “Your purpose”. We win the first race before our life starts, out of billions. But once our life starts, for some reason, we stop winning. Why? During my journey, I was reminded that I was born to win. I was reminded of my greatness. My vision was clearer. My perspective changed. I discovered my purpose and the significance of leaving a legacy. I learned that I am a servant leader and my life’s work is to serve others, in every way I can. It explains why I help people for a living and why I wanted to feed everyone around me. I traveled to New Orleans and Texas during the 4th of July holiday in 2018. Before I could make it back to California, I got a call from a friend asking if I could host a brunch because she was “craving” my waffles. I returned on July 13th and on July 15th, I hosted and cooked a brunch at my home. I had hosted and cooked for plenty of brunches and social gatherings over the years and a lot of the times, I served waffles. But the feedback that I received from this brunch on that day and weeks to follow, were different. Because of Compass and my new outlook on life, at that very moment, I knew, “I can sell a waffle.” And so my journey began.
It was now August 2018. In deciding a business concept, I thought of becoming a mobile waffle bar and figured that I needed to create different waffle flavors other than just the original flavor. In thinking of a business name, while in the shower (I’m a genius in the shower), I recalled that everyone that loves my waffles were not just waffle lovers, but only lovers of my waffles. I thought, it’s not the waffle, you can go anywhere for a waffle, it’s the batter, it’s what I put in the batter. And just like that it came to me, Hey Batter Batter. I only shared the name and concept with a few people. Not knowing where to go for information on a food business, I became discouraged. The internet had too much information and not enough at the same time. In November, I threw my niece a party, I decorated and cooked. Of course she requested waffles. Everybody loved them. I became encouraged all over again.
On January 5, 2019 I decided to host a “Sample Party” at a moment’s notice. I sent 60 plus Evites on January 2nd. I created six different flavors: Original, Red Velvet, Dulce de leche, Banana Cream, Maple Cream, and Strawberry. The weather was cold and rainy, but approximately 40 plus people came out in a show of support. I passed out index cards for feedback (2 cents). Everyone loved all of the flavors and identified their favorites. And of course, someone suggested that I have chicken the next time. I thought to myself, “no”, this is a waffle sample party and Hey Batter Batter is a waffle business. Plus, I never understood the chicken and waffle craze, until I had my own.
In March, I hosted my very first Hey Batter Batter brunch. The theme, “March Madness”. Because it was a brunch, I cooked waffles, chicken, potatoes, and scrambled eggs. Again another huge success. Close to 50 plus people attended. In April, I signed up to be a vendor at a Farmer’s Market and was approved for their next event in May. Again, it was stated, “You need to have chicken, nobody is just going to buy a waffle.” So for the Farmer’s Market in May, I served Chicken and Waffles. This was my very first public event. It was a HUGE success. Since then, I’ve done several Farmer’s Markets, private and corporate events, locally and in Vallejo and Sacramento. September 2019, I even did a pop-up at a Williams Sonoma in Georgia.
I am where I am today because of perseverance, sacrifice, taking risks, hard work, dedication, and a small, but strong support system. I am intentional about serving a good product and creating a legacy for my son. I have a vision for Hey Batter Batter. I intend to become a global franchise and create employment opportunities and programs for at-risk youth and formally incarcerated people.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Surprisingly, it has been a much smoother road than expected. I have been truly blessed and fortunate to be surrounded by so much love and support. Every event teaches and prepares me for the next event. I listen to my MVP’s (customers) and make the adjustments to meet their request if feasible. I seek feedback from my support system. I bounce ideas off of them. I share the struggles I face. They share ideas with me and really push me to keep going.
I must admit, one of the biggest challenges is having a full-time career while doing this business. For Hey Batter Batter, I am the Owner, CEO, COO, Accountant, Cook, Photographer, Server, Videographer, and Marketing Team. Although I’m grateful for my career, it sometimes gets in the way of doing my business full-time. Mobility is also an obstacle, especially amid the COVID pandemic. We don’t have a brick and mortar or a food truck yet, but we’re working towards getting both.
Hey Batter Batter – what should we know? What do you do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Hey Batter Batter is a waffle and batter business. We are more than just waffles, we are an experience. Our specialty is our syrup less waffle, our Chicken and Waffles, and our Waffle Dogs. Our Waffle Dog is our version of a corn dog, except we use our waffle batter and something better than a plain hot dog. All of our waffles can be eaten without syrup. Our hashtag is #NO SYRUP NEEDED. Our fried chicken is like nothing you’ve ever tasted. People regard it as “the best” chicken they’ve ever tasted. It’s even regarded as being better than other popular chicken and waffle places.
Not only does our menu include our specialties, it also includes waffle bowls, stuffed waffles, colored waffles, flavored waffles (over ten different waffle flavors); a Shrimp & Grits Waffle; a Chorizo waffle; Waffle sliders; Waffle Tacos; Waffle Fries, flavored wings (3 flavors); and Waffle Batter Bites. We also have a signature drink called Slugger. It’s a compliment to the chicken and waffles. Most say it taste like “Cinnamon Toast Crunch” or Horchata. We also carry our dry mix batter in Temple Mini mart in the city of Carson and South Gate. You can have Hey Batter Batter waffles in the comfort of your own home.
We even have merchandise: T-shirts, hoodies, face coverings, mugs, gift certificates, gift cards, mugs, backpacks, and more.
As a company, I am most proud of the progress that we’ve made, in a relatively short time and on a part-time basis. We’ve converted so many non-waffle lovers. Our growth is organic. I’m also proud of the quality of our products and the service that we provide. You truly get an experience with us. Hey Batter Batter is not only a brand but we’re already a household name.
What sets us apart from others is the flavor profile of all of our menu items. The multiple ways we use our batter and our countless waffle creations. We’re just different, your tastebuds will confirm this.
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
I personally define success as doing the work necessary to achieve a desired outcome, no matter what it takes. “BE, DO, WHATEVER” it takes. As I previously stated, I have a full-time career. When I’m off work, I have to work on my business. That may mean that I can’t hang out with family and friends as long or at all. That may mean that I am only going to get 4 hours of nightly sleep for the next two weeks. I do whatever is necessary to grow my business and remain relevant, no matter what. A huge marker is feedback. Feedback is essential for success. And being amenable to feedback is essential.
- Combo prices range from $12-$20
- Batter’s Boxes (Larger quantities of items) $12-$215
- Catering prices $12 per person and above depending on party size
- Website: Heybatterbattereat.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/heybatterbattereat?r=nametag
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/heybatterbattereat/https://heybatterbattereat.com/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/heybattereat
- Other: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwoGjQYdZ0RfFpZlXOzryoQ?view_as=subscriber