July 07, 2023
The Pink Waffle
Roux Kehoe serves Maine by providing incredible waffle-themed culinary experiences out of his food truck.
Describe your business in one sentence.
Waffle themed food truck serving unique sweet and savory creations.
What unique perspective/skills do you bring to your business?
I’ve been in food service for nearly 20 years now, the past 10 have been in various management positions. I have helped build out kitchens and open restaurants both in Maine and in Denver, CO.
What were the biggest challenges you faced in starting your business? In running it?
I did not have a lot of resources to start my business besides my experience and dedication to working hard and creating my dream job. The first few months were the hardest but now I’m able to wear the many hats of a business owner with a little more confidence.
Did CEI help you overcome any of these challenges? Describe how you have worked with our team.
CEI was able to provide me with a loan to purchase my food truck! Bethany Richards was enthusiastic to work with me and always available when I had questions and concerns. I would not have been able to start my business without the help from CEI!
What are your hopes for your business in the next 1–3 years?
We’re entering our third year of business and already doing more in sales than last year! I’m slowly starting a CPG waffle program that I am striving to provide more consistent, year-round revenue for us. The grand goal in a few years would be to have a brick and mortar location somewhere outside of Portland!
What steps are you taking to reduce your business’s carbon footprint and/or make your business environmentally sustainable? What might make it easier to improve your business’s environmental sustainability or climate resilience?
The Pink Waffle only uses compostable packaging and paper goods (plates, utensils, coffee cups/lids). One sustainable goal of mine is to use green energy powered generators, but that’s simply not in our budget now! A big hold back for small businesses like myself in reducing our carbon footprint is the expense of it. The commodity factor of well-sourced products (paper goods or unbleached sugar or electric generators) is what is keeping people from actually making a difference. It should cost MORE to buy plastic that can’t be recycled, not less. We shouldn’t have to pass that expense along to consumers either, but we’re not left with much of a choice if we want good margins.
In your opinion, what makes a job a good job? How are you providing good jobs for yourself and your employees?
My definition of a good job is all about the work atmosphere. A job should be something you’re proud of, you can make a living at, and a place that can nurture skills to take to more advanced employment opportunities. I have had very little trouble getting staff for events and prep help because I pay well and make sure stress is minimal.
If you identify with a specific group—veterans, rural residents, women, LGBTQ+ individuals, immigrants, Black entrepreneurs, etc.—do you have any words of wisdom for others from that group starting or running a business?
I am part of the LGBTQ+ population and I want to tell fellow queer folks who want to start their own business to do it and do it with confidence!
Learn more about The Pink Waffle:
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