New Wafflez restaurant breathes new life into East MLK
What once sat as an abandoned building for years, is now a thriving restaurant for a group of Southside residents. We'll show you how they're bringing life to the area, and defying the odds in the process.
Friday, October 17th 2014, 11:14 am EDT
Friday, October 17th 2014, 1:16 pm EDT
The revitalization of an old downtown street is proving to be possible. After years of nothing,the old brick building that sits on the 300 block of E. MLK Blvd. is coming alive.
One eager entrepreneur saw it as prime real estate and has been working to move his business into the building.
"Probably the past 10 years, it's just been dead, hollowed out, ghost town," said Taylor Martin. "When we got here it was nothing but gravel, they had to build up the walls."
Taylor Martin is in his first official week as a small business owner. He's only 22 years old and he's the one who cooked up the idea of "Wafflez Factory," a build-your-own waffle restaurant on a once-dying section of MLK.
The former Tyner football player fires up the waffle irons at 6 a.m. for the breakfast rush and powers them down at 3 a.m. on the weekends. In between, he'll go to his second job at FedEx.
Martin calls himself a co-founder of Wafflez, citing the help of four other people involved: Bria Nicholson, Telaine Nicholson, Marissa Nicholson and Staci McDowell. Marissa, age 9, helped develop the kids menu. Other portions of the menu contain non-waffle options, too.
"You are the average of the five people you hang around the most," Martin said of his early success. "And I just make sure that my main core group of people are on the up and up and already at least on the same level as people who are already in their lives at the point they want to be."
Quiet-spoken and humble, Martin hopes Wafflez Factory one day becomes a franchise. In the meantime, he's breathing new life into this part of town.