I am so excited to share my recent snack discovery with you! Introducing Rip van Wafels. They come in two flavors: Caramel and Cocoa. Both are absolutely delicious! Each Amsterdam wafel comes individually wrapped in adorable packaging, all set to go. When you are about to savor a hot cup of coffee or tea, this is the perfect complement. You place the wafel over your mug and let the steam warm up the filling. Don’t be afraid to give it a few minutes. As soon as it begins to soften and melt, it’s time to remove it and indulge. The genius behind these is that when you warm up the wafel, the flavor intensifies.
Here’s an interview with one of the founders, Rip Pruisken, who shares the story behind Rip van Wafels. His idea of elevating a coffee break into a blissful momentary retreat with a hot beverage and wafel, is one we all can enjoy!
1. What was the inspiration behind Rip van Wafels?
I grew up in Amsterdam eating stroopwafels. I simply love them. When I moved to America for college I couldn’t find them anywhere so I decided to make my own. At first they were a disaster, but after visiting some wafel masters in The Netherlands I finally got the recipe right. The product was well received, and so I turned it into a business. I started supplying local cafe’s with the product and worked with my uni’s engineering department to build some tools to help me boost the number of wafels I could make to keep up with the growing wafel demand.
When I graduated, I committed myself to Rip van Wafels full-time. The underlying inspiration for this decision came to me during a summer break I spent studying Italian in Perugia, a medieval town in Italy. During my break I had a lot of free time. I was also left with few distractions as I had no access to the internet and didn’t know many people in the area. I took this as an opportunity to exercise, meditate, read and really figure out what I wanted to do with my life (at least after college). After much contemplation, I realized I was happiest as a kid when I was creating things and learning about new inventions. I had stopped doing this when things had gotten busier with school. After reading a bunch of books on business I came to the conclusion that starting a business would allow me to continue to create.
Marco De Leon joined as cofounder six months after I graduated. He was still in college at the time and had spent the previous six months in Brazil on a study abroad, spending most of his time in Copacabana, drinking Acai and Coconut water, playing soccer and chilling on the beach. During this time he remembered that as a kid he’d always wanted to start a business and came to the conclusion that he wanted to create something too.
Together we developed a strategy to scale our historical sales efforts and won the Brown Business Plan Competition. We then managed to raise a round of funding and further grow the business and so Rip van Wafels moved from being a college project to a funded business.
2. Where are your wafels made? Please tell me about your fine ingredients.
We use simple all natural ingredients. Although inspired by the stroopwafel, Rip van Wafels are different in that they’ve been crafted to pair with different hot drinks. They’ve got a much more subtle taste profile and are significantly healthier with lower levels of sugar, fat and calories per serving than traditional stroopwafels. We use a facility in Canada to make the wafels.
3. Which wafel flavor is your most popular?
We just launched Cocoa but so far both are hits!
4. If you could create the ultimate pairing, which coffee drink would you put with your favorite wafel?
It really is a personal preference. Our new site is launching soon, and we’ve included our whole team’s favorite pairing. Every one of them is different! I like the Cocoa with mint tea. Early Grey tea and Traditional is also very popular.
We’ll be starting a subscription pairing service soon where we’ll match the best local roasters and tea makers’ products with our different wafels.
5. Is there anything else that you would like my readers to know?
This idea of taking mindful breaks was central to us starting Rip van Wafels. We both found the inspiration from founding the company while we were away from university overseas.
You might have seen the Rip van Wafels Ritual on the back of the packaging where you put the wafel on top of the cup of tea or coffee and allow the steam to heat the filling of the wafel. This is the best way to enjoy a RvW, but it also goes a bit deeper than that because we believe it gives you the space to take a short, mindful break which allows your brain the ‘break’ it needs to comprehend all the information it’s taken in. This is especially important for creative people who need to constantly generate new ideas.
Essentially we want to change the way people take their coffee/tea breaks. We want to transform the forgettable coffee run into the Rip van Wafels Ritual. We’ll be spending a lot more time posting great information on how you can take better breaks throughout the day on our blog.