AP NEWS

Press Waffle Co. reels in ‘Shark Tank’ investor, inks downtown lease

March 29, 2019

Dallas-based Press Waffle Co. has secured funding from an investor on ABC’s “Shark Tank” that will enable the company to roll out nationally. One of its first stops will be downtown Houston.

The company, which has a location in Baybrook Mall, has inked a deal to bring its brand of Belgian-style waffles with build-your-own toppings to the Lyric Market food hall going up in downtown at 411 Smith. Opening is targeted for September.

“We think that it’s a great way to establish ourselves firmly in the center of the Houston market,” said Caleb Lewis, who runs the company with his brother Bryan.

Lyric Market is a development of Jonathan Enav, who last year announced plans to open the 31,000-square-foot “culinary destination” attached to the Lyric Centre in downtown’s Theater District. Originally scheduled to open in Fall 2018, the project is now slated for delivery later this year.

Press Waffle will next target locations in north and west Houston as part of a plan to open 10 stores nationally this year, and 15 or so next year. It already has locations in Plano’s Legacy Hall and Fort Worth’s Food Hall at Crockett Row. The first location outside of Texas will soon open in Oklahoma City.

The Lewis brothers chose to partner with Barbara Corcoran after drawing four competitive offers on “Shark Tank” on a recent Sunday. Corcoran, who has helped helped Cousin’s Maine Lobster and Tom & Chee grow exponentially after their appearances on “Shark Tank,” took a 15 percent stake in the company for $300,000, the amount needed to fund the nationwide franchising rollout.

“The sharks freaked out pretty good over the product,” Lewis said. “The sharks absolutely fell in love with the waffles right when they bit into them.”

“We want to expand this brand across the country,” said Bryan Lewis. “We want to open 10 stores this year, maybe 15 next year. We want to do it smart so we don’t get ever get out ahead of ourselves.”

katherine.feser@chron.com

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