Marysville couple’s caffeinated waffles generate buzz

  • Sun Nov 20th, 2011 6:43pm

By Michelle Dunlop Herald Writer

What goes better with a breakfast waffle than a cup of coffee?

One Marysville couple think they have the answer: a waffle infused with caffeine.

Roger and Amy Sullivan call their concoction Wired Waffles.

The Sullivans were looking to create, package and market a breakfast item that people enjoy. As they were mulling over their product plan, they came across a woman in the Midwest who puts caffeine in brownies.

“The light bulb went on,” Amy Sullivan said. Why not add caffeine to a breakfast food, like a waffle?

As Sullivan pointed out, not everyone likes coffee. And not everyone likes energy drinks, either.

“Why hasn’t anyone else thought of this?” she said.

The Sullivans rushed to bring their novel waffle idea to the market this September. Wired Waffles, as their packaging notes, “are not your kids’ toaster waffle.”

Although Wired Waffles is based in Marysville, the product is made in Denver, Colo. That’s where the Sullivans found a Belgian baker to make their Liege-style waffles.

Liege is a Belgian city, where these slightly denser, richer waffles were first created. Liege waffles are made with pearl sugar, which caramelizes on the outside when baked. Add in 200 milligrams of caffeine and you’ve got Wired Waffles, which contain about the same amount of caffeine as one and a half cups of coffee.

Next year, the Sullivans hope to introduce new versions of their packaged waffles: gluten-free and non-caffeinated.

“It’s just starting to catch on — the gourmet waffle,” Amy Sullivan said.

The Sullivans are trying to get their Wired Waffles into convenience and grocery stores, such as Costco. The couple still have full-time jobs while they’re getting their new waffle business going. Ultimately, the Sullivans would like to see their product distributed nationwide.

Wired Waffles gained national publicity when the product was featured on a recent segment of NBC’s “Today” show that was shot in Seattle.

Three Snohomish County espresso stands sell the waffles: Everett’s Stadium Espresso, Lake Stevens’ Pioneer Square Espresso and Snohomish’s Snoho Mojo. Consumers also can order Wired Waffles online at wiredwaffles.com.

Sullivan knows not everyone will be interested in a caffeinated waffle. College students and people from 19 to 32 years of age are the target consumers.

“They’re not looking for their decaf coffee,” Amy Sullivan said. “This gets them up and gets them going.”

The Sullivans, who are both in their early 40s, will try out that theory at Western Washington University in Bellingham, where they’ve rented a booth for finals week in December.

The couple had some ideal taste-testers for waffle recipes: their four sons, who range in age from 15 to 21. As for Amy Sullivan, who rises at 3:30 a.m. most days to manage espresso stands, she thinks Wired Waffles are “pretty fabulous.”

Wired Waffles

The Marysville-based company sells waffles infused with caffeine. Find out more at wiredwaffles.com.