TRADER PROFILE-THE BUBBLE WAFFLERY
This month, we caught up with Jenny Auw-Young, one half of husband and wife street food sensation, The Bubble Wafflery. These guys can be found on Scott Road on Market Days with their West Country take on a traditional Hong Kong sweet treat. In our interview, Jenny tells us about the work that goes into creating one of our most popular street-foods on market days, as well as her personal inspirations and Frome favourites.
Hi Jenny! You have been providing market goers with delicious desserts for almost a year now. Tell us a bit about you and how you came to start your business.
I am originally from Hong Kong and my husband, Neil is from Beckington. We met whilst Neil was working as a Graphic Designer in Hong Kong, then in 2016 we decided to move back to Frome to be closer to his family and enjoy a slower pace of life. We were also attracted by the resurgent entrepreneurial spirit of Frome, both of us having worked in the corporate world for more than a decade, we aspired to set up our own small business and Frome seemed to be the perfect place to make it happen!
The idea of bringing Hong Kong street food, ‘bubble waffles’ to Frome came from a bout of homesickness. I missed my family and familiar comfort food was the perfect remedy for homesickness. Ever since I was a little girl, bubble waffles were my daily after-school treat, and bring back fond memories of my childhood in Hong Kong. Having seen bubble waffles starting to appear in major cities all around the world, we decided that Frome needed to get in on the latest food craze too!
Where do you get your inspiration, and what motivates you to do what you do?
We originally had the idea of “when East meets West Country” in mind, as it perfectly captured both our relationship and the Western twist on the Eastern snack. Bubble waffles are traditionally served plain in Hong Kong, but to add a little fun and creativity, we added a scoop of West Country ice cream, and then a liberal sprinkling of magical toppings from our childhood for that extra dollop of nostalgia!
Motivation comes from the gasps of excitement and the happy faces of both our big and little customers! Warm waffles and ice cream on a Sunday, what’s not to love! We also love the experimentation phase, playing with new flavours and topping to keep it new and exciting every month.
We think you make a great addition to our street food gang. Why did you choose to come and trade at The Frome Independent?
Before we moved back to Frome, we’d been to the market a few times and loved the diversity and creativity of the stalls and how it totally transformed the town, especially in the summer months. We always half joked about being stall holders, then when the bubble waffle idea hit, we thought it was perfect for The Frome Independent and a new addition to the already diverse mix of foods on offer. I also live in Frome, and love it, so I’m totally biased!
What do you like best about market trading?
Nothing beats watching people’s reactions when they see and taste our waffles for the first time, it really does bring out the inner child!
Also, being new to the country, market trading is a great way of integrating into the local community and getting to meet new people. I love speaking to my customers and the fellow traders. I already feel very much at home here.
Tell us about your best product…
Our favourite flavour is probably Honey Bunny, which comes with honeycomb ice cream, a drizzle of honey, bee pollen and a slice of dried orange. We love mixing unconventional toppings with superfoods, such as bee pollen and cocoa nibs, whose health benefits definitely help alleviate some of the guilt for our more health conscious customers.
It’s great to hear you’ve been welcomed into the Frome business community. What is your favourite Frome shop and which of your fellow stallholders do you like to visit on market days?
Our favourite Frome shop is Resident, we love the calming Scandinavian design aesthetic James has curated and are lucky enough to have done a few pop-ups in his beautiful shop.
Our favourite stall would be Laura Holden Studio. Laura makes the most amazing stitched animal dolls along with unicorn hobby horses and host of other wonderful creatures. Each piece has a unique quality that very much reflects Laura’s personality. Laura even helped capture the spirit of my cat in doll form, which now has pride of place in our living room!
And finally, tell us a little about life outside of bubble waffles…
Which book has had the most impact on you?
What are you listening to right now?
And finally – what are you cooking and eating at home the moment?
Asian rice bowls, anything with kimchi and chillies…
You can find The Bubble Wafflery on Scott Road on Sunday 1st April, with their delicious sweet bubble waffles. To find out more about where you can find these guys outside of market days, check out their website www.thebubblewafflery.com