By Jason Lockhart
RED BANK – Two river residents enjoy a taste of Belgium at Nina’s Waffles and Sweets, which recently opened at 15 White Street.
Owners of the sweet treat shop held their grand opening last Wednesday and word-of-mouth has been spreading. Nina’s appears to be the “new buzz in town”, according to manager Michael Loff.
“We are grateful to be part of the Red Bank community,” Loff said. “People here had been very inviting and friendly to our new business.”
Though new to Red Bank, Nina’s Waffles and Sweets has two other locations, in Seaside Park and Stockton. The Stockton store opened a year ago. Now, Loff is looking forward to introducing the two river community to Nina’s Waffles.
“Everyone in Red Bank should try a Nina Waffle,” Loff said.
While the shop was under construction, Erin Dooley, a Long Branch resident who works next door to Nina’s at Nirvana Traders, Inc., was one of a few locals patiently waiting for Nina’s Waffles and Sweets to open. After waiting a few weeks, she finally had a chance to try one of their Belgium waffles.
Loff showed her about a dozen topping choices, from chocolate ganache to pastry cream to strawberries. Dooley went with strawberries.
“[Nina’s Waffles and Sweets] is a very adorable place,” said Dooley, who said that she plans to tell friends and co-workers about the new shop. “I look forward to coming here on my lunch breaks.”
One local who walked by last Monday evening told Loff that he been to another Nina’s Waffles and Sweets in Seaside Park and said the waffles there were great. He plans to try a Belgium waffle at the Red Bank location later in the week.
Loff is hoping that word about the waffles continues to spread quickly around town. “The people in Red Bank have been very nice to us, so we have to make it work,” Loff said.
Nina’s Waffles and Sweets was founded by restaurant entrepreneur Louis Zanias who named the business after his daughter. Zanias was born in Greece and grew up in Belgium, where street vendors sold Liege waffles. After seeing people in Belgium walk through the streets eating waffles, he believed that the idea would also work in the United States.
Louis chose to start his waffle business along the Jersey Shore because he really liked the communities. According to a press release, Louis states that the waffles “bring something amazingly delicious and different to the Red Bank community.”