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Croffle Haus a big hit in Dockyard

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Raina and James Barbosa with some of their croffle options (Photograph by Jessie Moniz Hardy)

When Raina and James Barbosa started selling croffles – a cross between a waffle and a croissant – customers liked the product so much, they wanted the franchise.

“Ever since opening the Croffle Haus in Dockyard in May, families from off the cruise ships have been e-mailing us to ask about getting franchise rights,” said Mrs Barbosa, a digital communications specialist with The Royal Gazette. “We only just opened though. We are not ready for that.”

It is not so much the croffle itself that has people seeing dollar signs.

“We did not invent the croffle,” the entrepreneur said. “The croffle is actually really popular in the United States right now. The trend started in South Korea.”

What gets people’s interest is the cream she puts on her products.

“I tried using whipped cream but it melted really quickly, especially in the heat,” she said. “I started experimenting and came up with a thicker cream that does not melt so quickly.”

She is staying mum on the secret ingredient.

“I make the cream fresh every day,” Mrs Barbosa said. “That part takes a lot of time to do.”

The Croffle Haus represents wedded compromise at its finest. Ever since marrying five years ago, the Barbosas have playfully debated whether croissants or waffles are better.

“My husband likes waffles, but I am not really a fan,” Mrs Barbosa said. “I am more into crispy stuff.”

She found a recipe for croffles on social media.

“They are crispier than a waffle,” she explained. “They are actually really big in the United States right now but the trend started in South Korea.”

When she tried croffles out on Mr Barbosa, he was sceptical.

“I did not think I would like it,” he said, but was hooked when he tried one.

They now operate out of a tent next to the entrance to the Bermuda National Museum entrance in Dockyard. They sell sweet and savoury croffles with toppings ranging from fruit to ham and cheese, to strawberries, hazelnut spread and Mrs Barbosa’s special cream.

An Oreo topped croffle on offer at the Croffle Haus in Dockyard (Photograph by Jessie Moniz Hardy)

The croissant dough is allowed to rise at home. Then, at the Croffle Haus, is squashed under a hot waffle iron to cook for two minutes. It takes a few minutes more to pipe the toppings on.

Raina Barbosa, of the Croffle Haus, carefully piping cream onto a croffle (Photograph by Jessie Moniz Hardy)

The Croffle Haus is one of four new vendors installed by Wedco this season, near the northeastern corner of Dockyard. Each vendor has a concrete pad to work on, with an electricity and water hook-up.

The Barbosas are waiting for a food trailer to arrive next month. Until then, they have to set up and take down their equipment and tent every day.

“We only have a small car to carry everything around in,” Mrs Barbosa said.

Being under a tent top, they are also exposed to the weather and have had to replace their electrical equipment several times after being caught in rain storms.

Most of the cruise ship passengers they serve find them on the last day of their trip.

“When they first get off the cruise ship, they all head in the opposite direction, unless they go to Snorkel Park,” Mrs Barbosa said. “They usually do not fully explore Dockyard until their last day when they are waiting for the ship to leave. Then they always say, I wish we had found you on the first day.”

However, they have had some local customers.

“They tend to come on Saturdays,” Mrs Barbosa said. “Some of them come from the opposite end of the island.”

In addition to Dockyard, they also set up the Croffle Haus at Harbour Nights in Hamilton on Wednesday evenings.

The Barbosas also own Inksmith Tattoo Studio in Hamilton.

“We have two or three staff members to help us with The Croffle Haus,” Mrs Barbosa said. “Between our full-time jobs and this, we don’t get a lot of time to sleep. We do not take a day off.”

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Published July 05, 2024 at 8:00 am (Updated July 06, 2024 at 8:12 am)

Croffle Haus a big hit in Dockyard

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