“Cause you know we're all about that bus, bout that bus, with Waffles. We're all about that bus, bout that bus, with Coffee…”
Yes, you heard right. The Burgundian: Coffee and Waffles, Rhode Island's first Liege Waffle company, is restoring an old British Double Decker Bus, converting it into a mobile coffee shop, and bringing it from England to the streets of Providence, RI! This converted bus will have a service window to sell to customers on the street, similar to a food truck; however, customers will also be able to come inside the bus and order from the counter, head upstairs and sit at one of the half dozen tables, or maybe on a bar stool along the coffee bar. The bus will have a full coffee bar and serve our Liege waffles, the dough-based waffle that has taken Southern New England by storm.
WE WANT YOU TO BE A PART OF MAKING THIS BUS COME TO LIFE
Scroll down the page to learn more about this project, the company, the Liege Waffle, and how you can help. We are honored that you came to check out our kickstarter and we hope you’ll hop on board with us. In the sections below you’ll find:
- The Owner, Shane Matlock; A Brief Introduction
- The Bus Restoration Project (with renderings!) and what will funds be used for
- Where will you be able to find the bus?
- About the Burgundian, and why we all are Burgundians at heart
- About the Liege Waffle
- About Community
- Let’s Talk Rewards
- Campaign Pop-Ups
- In the News
- European Inspired, American Made, Veteran Built (a more in-depth backstory with a few photos)
About the Owner
My name is Shane Matlock, owner of The Burgundian: Coffee and Waffles. I’ve been serving Liege Waffles, along with Borealis Coffee, to the general public since June 2017. I’ve wanted to own some sort of cafe since I was 17 and worked at a coffee shop in Idaho, where I was born and raised. It’s been a long and winding path that has led me to New England, to open up a double decker bus cafe. I went to college in San Diego, during which 9/11 happened. I finished college and went into active duty Army service as a second lieutenant, which took me to places all over the world, including Upstate New York (where I met my lovely #wafflewife), Afghanistan twice, and a three-year assignment in Lille, France, on the border with Belgium. It was here I discovered the term “Burgundian”, and I learned what a Liege Waffle was. It was also here that two of my three daughters were born. In 2011, we moved to the area. In 2014 I left the US Army, we had our third daughter, and I worked at Collette Travel for two years, traveling the globe to contract group tours. But the call to start my own business could no longer be ignored. I worked on my Liege Waffle recipe constantly, and researched ways to enter the market in a unique fashion. And then I found it, on the streets of Oklahoma City. A red and white double decker bus cafe, ran by two wonderful people, Nick and Lori Bollinger. I flew to Oklahoma City and spent four hours on the bus, and my path up until today was set: A Double Decker Bus Cafe will be coming to Providence, RI.
The Bus Restoration Project
Just below you will find photo renderings of the Double Decker Bus Cafe. We have the bus. The $30,000 dollar request for our kickstarter is to breath life into that bus:
- Beautiful flooring on both levels
- Tabletops and Counters made from reclaimed wood that is older than the United States
- Original benches restored and put around the tables
- Speaker System
- Cafe & Bar area set up (counters, shelving, taps)
Let’s hear from Clement Brown, the designer of the bus in his own words (recorded on scene in Chepstow, England)
The Double Decker Bus’ Primary Function:
- Serve Liege (Lee-ehj) Waffles with rotating sweet and savory options. (What is a Liege Waffle?? Besides heaven in your mouth? Read further down under “About the Liege Waffle”)
- A Full Coffee Bar serving Borealis Drip coffee and Espresso. And don't worry, "The beans on the bus are freshly ground, freshly ground, freshly ground"
- 4 Taps serving: Cold Brew, Nitro Coffee, Kombucha, and a rotating offer (craft lemonade, craft ginger beer, apple-pear cider, etc)
- Takeover Tuesday will showcase different small food producers in the region along with our coffee; such as PVDonuts, The Perfect Sweet Macarons, Jaju Pierogis, Gastros 401 Sausages and Charcuterie and many more.
Where Does the Bus Go?
This Double Decker Bus Cafe is mobile, and it will park and serve deliciousness around the greater Providence area. While the exact schedule has yet to be determined, we expect to have a regular weekly schedule 4 days a week, a wild card location 1 day a week, and then available for festivals, weddings, catered events, and more. Here are the potential locations:
- Brown University Area
- Kennedy Plaza/Downtown
- Blackstone Blvd/Wayland Square
- Smith Hill/PC & RIC Area
- West Side (Broadway-Westminster Area)
- Capital Hill
About the Burgundian
A Burgundian - Burr-gun-dee-anne. "A Burgundian is someone who loves food and drink, in both quality and quantity, shared amongst friends". This is our motto, this is our identity. #weareburgundians is our hashtag, as we all have a Burgundian inside of us. But let's back up and learn where the term ‘Burgundian’ came from. I first found this term in a book about Belgian Beers in 2008 and I immediately took to it. “Loving food and drink, in both quality and quantity? They could put that on my gravestone!” I decided to do a little more digging into the meaning. I questioned my Belgian friends and colleagues, asking them if "Burgundian" was actually used in modern language, or if it was just an old world that was dredged up by some suspender-wearing beer historian. After getting laughed at, each of my Belgian buddies gave me a slightly different answer to what it meant to be a Burgundian, but a main theme arose: the spectacle and enjoyment of food and drink in your community. Connecting with old friends, and new ones, over eating and drinking. To me, the term "Burgundian" is so much more inclusive and holistic than any other term which describes people who love good food; terms such as foodie, gourmand, epicurean, gastronome, etc. And then I learned that the term Burgundian has been used in Belgium for centuries, dating back to the time when Mary of Burgundy reigned over Belgium and Northern France...and it’s still used today. Just like my launchpad product (the Leige Waffle) and my big project (the double decker bus cafe), this something I am bringing back from Europe and giving it new life in our region.
About the Liege Waffle
A Liege Waffle (Lee-ehj) is unlike any other waffle found in the US. It is a dough-based waffle, similar to a brioche-style dough. This waffle is full of buttery goodness and is risen with yeast, which gives the waffle a soft, velvety texture. The all-star ingredient in a Liege Waffle is the Belgian Pearl Sugar. These are derived from a sugar beet, and mixed into the dough. When the waffle is cooked, these pearl sugars caramelize on the outside of the waffle. This imparts a soft yet chewy texture on the outside of the waffle, and a natural sweet flavor - no syrup needed! Each dough piece is carefully weighed, rolled, and stored. It is 100% a labor of love...and we love to do it! We use as many local ingredients as we can, and we collaborate with dozens of other small producers with our toppings.
Not (just) a Breakfast Food: We in the United States equate the waffle with breakfast. We picture the nice batter we mix up and pour into a waffle iron. We call this a Belgium Waffle. But this style of waffle is actually called a Brussels waffle in Belgium. In this part of the world, waffles (especially Liege Waffles) are eaten anytime of day or night. Liege waffles pair perfectly with another main staples of Belgium: Beer. These denser-style waffles are extremely versatile, and work with both sweet or savory toppings. Speaking of toppings...
Typical Menu: Depending on the time of day, we have seasonal, rotating menus with a few staples. Here are some examples:
- Standard Toppings: Nutella, Cookie Butter (Speculoos), Peanut Butter, Cinnamon and Sugar, Whipped Cream, Bananas, other seasonal fruit
- Typical Offerings: "In Bacon We Must" (Ricotta, Fig Spread, Bacon, Basil); "Banana Churro Supreme" (Cinnamon & Sugar, Dulce de Leche, Bananas, & Whipped Cream); "Sweet Rhody" (Dave's Coffee Milk-Infused Mascarpone Whipped Cream, Borealis Espresso Chocolate Fudge, and Bellicchi's Best Biscotti).
- Rotating Savory and Sweet topping examples: "Come on Eileen" (Brown Butter Sage Sausage Gravy with Gruyere Cheese; "Chicken & Waffles" Fried Chicken with Tabasco Honey; "Blueberry, in the Key of Lime" (Lime Mascarpone Whipped Cream, Blueberries, and almondia cookie crumbles); "Pumpkin Smore's" (Nutella, Housemade Fluff, Pumpkin Mousse, and Speculoos cookies . These are just a small snapshot of the contantly adapting menu.
Community is a main component of the Burgundian lifestyle. Sharing, collaborating, engaging - this is what we should all seek with our friends, family, and community, and I think food brings people together more than anything. On the business side, we have made a conscious effort to create an environment of collaboration and community with other small businesses. We feel that if all businesses can work together in Providence, the city and the region will continue to become the culinary valley of New England. We have successfully collab'd to create a Baffle (Bagel-Waffle) at Rebelle Bagel; a Waffoughnut with PVDonuts; and a Waffle Pretzel with Rogue Island Kitchen & Bar...and there are more to come!
Here are a list of businesses we have collaborated with, popped up at, used for toppings, or will be doing a collaboration and pop up with soon: PVDonuts; Borealis Coffee; Rogue Island Kitchen & Bar; Rebelle Bagel; Fountain & Co; Gastros 401; JC's Butcher Shop; Backyard Food Company; Newport Sea Salt; Pompelmo Gelato; Bellicchi's Best Biscotti; SanoBe Superfood; Mesa Fresca; Black Pig Burgers (coming soon); Aunt Tatty's; The Pantry at Avenue N; The Guild RI; Narragansett Brewing; Sons of Liberty Distillery; Bully Boy Distillery; Attleboro Farmer's Market; Farm Fresh RI Hope Artist Wintertime Farmer's Market; Hope & Main Markets; Stock Culinary Goods; German Club of Walpole; Long Live Beer Works; Proclamation Ale; Whaler's Brewing; Ragged Island Brewery; Buttonwoods Brewing (coming soon); The Bucket Brewery; Foolproof Brewery (coming soon); Trillium Brewing; Tree House Brewing; Exhibit A Brewing; Craft Beer Cellar Belmont, and more continuing to be planned.
Let’s Talk Rewards
By now, you’ve probably seen a lot of the awards on the right hand side of this project page, and we won’t belabor the point here. We’ve worked hard and compared other campaigns to provide a real value add to supporting our campaign. Overall, we are just so pumped to share this project with you, and to bring such a fun thing to Rhode Island. We would LOVE any help we can get, and if you can’t help the campaign with your own funds, tell your friends and family. Please share any photos you might take of our waffles or our pop ups, and be sure to use our #weareburgundians and #doubledeckerbuscafepvd hashtags when you do. If you have any questions about the rewards or if you want to combine some, please e-mail us and we’d be happy to discuss anything with you. Here’s a short video from England discussing a couple of the rewards!
Kickstarter Campaign PopUp Schedule
Below is the schedule for our Kickstarter Campaign PopUps and Collaborations. Check our Facebook Account to find exact times, addresses, menus, etc. Schedule subject to change.
- 19 - Ragged Island Brewery in Portsmouth, RI
- 20 - Pantry @ Avenue N in Rumford, RI
- 21 - Rogue Island Belgian Brunch AND Brunch at Bucket Brewery in Providence and Pawtucket RI, respectively
- 22 - PVDonuts & Fountain & Co (Waffle Donut!!) in Providence, RI
- 25 - The Guild in Pawtucket, RI
- 26 - Revival Brewing in Cranston, RI
- 27 - Hope Artiste Farmer’s Market in Pawtucket, RI
- 28 - Castle Island Brewery in Norwood, MA
- 1 - That’s Amore AIDS Benefit in Providence, RI
- 2 - Proclamation Ale Co in Warwick, RI
- 3 - Tree House Brewery in Charlton, MA
- 4 - Trillium Brewery in Canton, MA
- 5 - Rebelle Bagel with Gastros 401 in Providence, RI
- 9 - Ragged Island Brewery in Portsmouth, RI
- 10 - Hope Artiste Farmers Market AND Proclamation Ale in Pawtucket & Warwick, RI respectively
- 11 - Hope & Main Meet Your Maker in Warren, RI
- 17 - East meets West Waffle Throwdown in Boise, ID
- 22 - The Guild with Black Pig Burgers in Pawtucket, RI
- 24 - Hope Artiste Farmers Market in Pawtucket, RI
- 25 - Castle Island Brewery in Norwood, MA
- 1 - Stock Culinary Goods Evening in Providence, RI
- 3 - Tree House Brewery in Charlton, MA
- 4 - Borealis Coffee Roasters Brunch in Riverside, RI
European Inspired, American Made, Veteran Built
For those that want a little more in depth peek at the mind of Chief Executive Burgundian, and how I arrived here. Like I said above, I love waffles. Liege Waffles, to be specific. But more than that, I love community. So many things divide, yet a meal shared brings people together. I often seek the extraordinary, and a path paved different than what’s being done...like a double decker bus cafe in a sea of food trucks, perhaps; Or a dough-based waffle in a downpour of batter-based waffle charlatans, which have relegated this proud Belgian street food to a weak-willed crumbly wafer that gives up at the first sign of moisture (and is apparently “only served with breakfast”). I’ve left pieces of my heart in many places, and yet it’s more full than ever; places like Idaho, where I was born and raised (in the potato field is where I spent most of my days...Nope, not really, but I know you were thinking it). My four years of college in San Diego taught me to relax and not be so serious, and yet it was here, after 9/11 happened, that I joined Army ROTC and grew up into a man that also didn’t take life for granted. I found connection and friendship in the sometimes most unlikeliest of place: eating an MRE (Meal-Ready-to-Eat) with a young man from Georgia during a military exercise in Louisiana, or sharing a beer with 300 Germans and one Estonian in Uzbekistan. And that time having dinner with two Greeks, a Bulgarian, a Frenchman, and a happy-go-lucky Norwegian in a small town in Italy...but I digress. From so many experiences like this, especially during my three years stationed on the border of France and Belgium and my two deployments to Afghanistan, I became deeply impacted by what a meal could do to bring people together; people of different races, creeds, religions, biases, histories. All of us brought together, to share, to laugh, to eat, drink, and most importantly to listen and understand. This is what a Burgundian is, and what it means to me. No matter what happens with this business, and the bus, and anything else I do, I know that I will always seek to be the best Burgundian I can be.
In The News
The Burgundian's First News Article, The Dish in Rhode Island Monthly
Waffles to Write Home About by Providence Business News
The Burgundian's first television interview with Rick Simone of The Taste RI at Go Local Prov
Risks and challenges
For this Double Decker Bus project, the potential risks mainly deal with build out time, shipping (logistics and timeline), and permitting within Rhode Island.
We have chosen to work with a company in England that has been restoring Double Decker buses into cafes, schools, offices, medical stations, and more for dozens of years. We chose this company because they are the experts in knowing the ins and outs of every bus, and they also know how to stick to a timeline. They have shipped double decker buses to the United States before and have import and export agent contacts already. All of this to say, we are buying into a pre-existing, well oiled machine (PUN!)
We have had an overall excellent response from the State of Rhode Island, with many officials excited about something else that will drive business to lil Rhody; however, as can often happen with large, unique projects, permitting, additional requirements, red tape, etc could potentially slow our project down. However, as a former US Army Officer and 3-year France resident, cutting through governmental red table and potential bureaucracy is almost second nature.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (45 days)