A Crisp Waffle Company waffle topped with whipped cream, fruit and a "cookie butter" imported from Belgium.

St. Armands Circle, which is already stocked with plenty of options for ice cream, fudge and other sugary treats, will get even sweeter later this month, when Crisp Waffle Company opens.

Owner Todi Garay's passion for baking led her to Liege waffles—crispy waffles that are found on the streets of Belgium. Unlike a typical waffle made with batter, Liege waffles are made with dough, which Garay will be making herself, every day, with ingredients imported from Belgium.

A Liege waffle with powdered sugar.

Garay worked as an accountant and an underwriter for an insurance company for more than 20 years before losing her job because of the Covid-19 pandemic. The newfound time on her hands gave her the opportunity to rekindle a passion for baking. While sampling new recipes, she tried making a Liege waffle.

"It was hard," she says. "I fought with the dough a lot, but eventually, I mastered it."

Garay's waffles are already a hit with family and friends.

"I can't wait for people to try them," says Garay. "They are so delicious."

A waffle topped with strawberries and more.

The menu will include fresh add-ons like strawberries, bananas, raspberries,  blueberries and blackberries, along with Belgian chocolate, Nutella, Speculoos (a "cookie butter" spread made from ground-up cookies) and freshly made whipped cream. Crisp Waffle has also teamed with Yoder's Southern Creamery to supply ice cream. The shop will also serve coffee, teas and smoothies.

"I hope everyone loves the Liege waffle as much as I do and I really hope that the café is a place where people will want to come back," says Garay. "How often do you find that food you love so much that you think of it until you have it again? That's what I hope our waffles will be."

Crisp Waffle Company will open later this month at 17 Fillmore Drive, Sarasota. For more info, follow the shop on Instagram or Facebook

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