By Anna Grace Moore
Photos by Untold Imagery
The beauty of passion is that once one finds it, he is floored with the possibilities that present themselves–and all he needs is a little bit of faith to pursue them. Enter stage right, Shane and Breann Angelovich.
Shane, a native of Boulder, Colorado, and Breann, of Hoover, Alabama, met in their mid ‘20s and say it was love at first sight. They’ve now been married for 15 years and have four children with ages ranging from 10 to 2 years old.
Having both been raised among wonderful cooks, it isn’t surprising that either of them went into the food industry. The couple actually formulated the idea for their mobile breakfast truck, Southern Coffee and Waffles, after Shane oversaw operations at a coffee shop in the Riverchase Galleria before the business closed in 2020.
And, like everything else in the world at that time, the Covid-19 pandemic affected a lot of business owners, forcing people to close up shop. Shane says he really liked running the coffee shop and wanted to continue the business but without the strings attached.
While he wanted to stay in the coffee business, Shane says he had a dream of going mobile–putting his business on the move where he could serve customers all over and not be limited to the hours and regulations of a brick and mortar location.
After spending a few hours scouring Facebook Marketplace, Shane came across a vintage, 1964 mobile scout, which he promptly bought and drove hundreds of miles to and from Texas to pick up and bring back home. He rewired the entire truck, putting in waffle irons and expresso machines.
As for why Shane and Breann chose to serve coffee and waffles, they say their signature “Liege waffle” is not only one of the most popular waffles in Europe, but it is also not one that is commonly served around town–and they aim to change that one breakfast meal at a time.
“Our customer base has shown a need for a savory menu,” Breann says.
Shane and Breann established their base at a commissary kitchen in Helena, where they make all of their menu’s items from scratch. They now take their traveling “waffles on wheels” business all over the greater Birmingham area, serving at farmers markets, pop-up events, weddings and more.
According to chicagowaffles.com, the Belgian waffle made its world debut in 1958 in Brussels, Belgium, of which it is named. It was introduced to the United States in 1962 at a show by a Belgian man named Walter Cleyman.
Before 1962, few Americans were familiar with the “whipped cream and strawberries on a waffle” concept. The Belgian waffle started gaining popularity quickly after it was showcased at the New York World Fair.
Pretty soon, every kitchen–both domestic and commercial–were stocking up on waffle irons as the new “Belgian waffle” quickly became the go-to on every breakfast menu from the East to the West Coast.
However, the Belgian waffle is only one of the two most popular waffles–these two of which both originated out of Belgium. The sweeter sister of the two, the Liege waffle, has origins only really known in legend.
According to sweetaddiesstaunton.com, “The Liege waffle was invented when the Prince-Bishop of Liegè, a city in the Belgian region of Wallonia, asked his cook to create a pastry made with lots of sugar.”
Liege waffles are a type of Belgian waffles that are sweeter because of the pearl sugar imbued in the dough used to create them. The dough is much thicker than normal waffle batter, too.
To make Liege waffles, one will combine whole milk, all-purpose flour, instant yeast, granulated sugar, butter, eggs, salt and the token “sugar pearls,” which are the signature ingredient for this tasty treat. While the yeasted batter contributes to the outer, flaky texture and softer insides, the sugar pearls make the waffles taste sweeter unlike any other.
Breann says the waffles they serve don’t need any syrup because they are already sweet enough.
However, the menu at Southern Coffee and Waffles does not just serve plain waffles. It has a variety of inventive options that Breann says her family has conjured up over time.
Some of her and Shane’s favorites include the grilled cheese waffle, which according to southerncoffeeandwaffles.com is “a unique experience of melty goodness pressed inside our made to order Liege waffle with a touch of homemade garlic herb butter.”
“The bacon jalapeño waffle is something different,” Breann says. “We hand crumble all of the bacon and add the candied jalapeños. It’s something [most people] haven’t ever had before.”
For those with a sweet tooth, Breann recommends the peaches and cream waffle, which is a Liege waffle base topped with whipped peach compote and caramel.
“My grandmother would make these amazing peach crepes,” Breann says. “When we introduced the peaches and cream waffle for summer, that was influenced by her.”
Kids, she says, often order the nutella and sprinkles waffle or the cookie dough waffle, which is topped with egg-free, chocolate chip cookie dough, whipped cream and chocolate sauce.
No matter what is on the menu, Breann says there is something for everyone, and the menu, well, that’s all thanks to the Angelovich family who have all helped contribute to the wide array of waffle possibilities.
Running their business is a family affair, Breann says, but she wouldn’t have it any other way. Why? Because being in business with her family has been her and Shane’s sweetest treat of all.
Those interested in tasting Shane and Breann Angelovich’s southern sweets can visit southerncoffeeandwaffles.com for a full menu and list of events.