Michael Donoho & Jeffery Belaski
The Waffle Experience
Who could have predicted that Marine Corps buddies Michael Donoho and Jeffery Belaski’s paths would cross once again. Their camaraderie in Desert Storm, aboard aircraft carriers and around fighter jets has proven to be an amazing asset in their latest and greatest adventure yet. 22 years after serving in the Marine Corps together, Michael and Jeffery have joined forces again to create The Waffle Experience. The Chef and owner, Michael Donoho, has had a passion for cooking since he was a boy growing up in Alaska, where he was taught to work the acreages of their home garden, to fish and hunt from the land. General Manager Jeffery Belaski is quite the go-getter with a strong background in finance and business development. Together they opened their first restaurant in Natomas in 2014. Wildly successful, they are eager to expand and are looking to open their second store in Folsom in 2016, with plans to grow through franchising.
Eager to obtain the financing they needed for expansion, they spoke with nearly every bank in town without success. That is when they met SBDC consultant Scott Rogalski, who helped them get their financial projections and loan application in order and introduced them to Veteran Launch, a non-profit lender that specializes in providing business financing for veterans. Within a few short months The Waffle Experience was approved for $250,000 allowing them to pursue their second location in Folsom. Jeff explained that “After hearing from lender after lender, No, No, No, No, No – it was amazing to have Scott lead us to a big Yes! at Veteran Launch. It has truly been life changing for our business.” They anticipate being able to hire as many as 30 people through this expansion.
The goal at Waffle Experience is to provide exceptional service, a sense of community, and an opportunity to give back. Chef Michael supports America’s Farm to Fork Capital here in Sacramento, CA by bringing you fresh, organic, sustainable, local, farm to fork ingredients whenever possible.