One of the most rewarding aspects of being a New York City small business owner in the food service industry is the opportunity to create relationships with other small business owners. Wattle Café, a small Murray Hill community café aglow with natural light, is known for its brunch—particularly it’s unique varieties of waffles. Yet—and this blows my mind—until last year, founder Ana Ivkosic, had never tried a waffle.
“They just aren’t common in Australia!” she laughs.
The story behind the Wattle Café, and Ana’s philosophy on food and eating, says a lot about why the partnership with Woodlands Maple is so special: Ana is from Sydney and grew up in Australia. She had a twenty-year career as a banker, and in 2013 she moved to New York City for a work opportunity. A former triathlete, she has always been mindful of health and how food fuels the body and mind, an idea that intensified once she became a mother and she started thinking more carefully about how food can be harmful.
In 2017, she made an abrupt career shift to pursue this new passion, and opened Wattle Café. Ana is driven by a sense of exploring and the pull to try new things. The mission of Wattle is to make made food that is both nourishing and nurturing.
Wattle Café embraces an ethos of the importance, simplicity and opportunity for adventure in food. This sense of adventure brings a menu that incorporates untraditional ingredients in traditional recipes: cacao waffles, Matcha waffles—served with a side of Woodlands Maple!—charcoal lattes, and more.
Woodlands Maple makes sense for Wattle Café. We hold the same values of wanting to create a responsible footprint, and offering local ingredients. Wattle Café prepares food in house. And not a speck of white sugar will be found in the kitchen. We give Ana the opportunity to serve her customers, over 50% of which are New Yorkers, a local product while holding to her standards of offering a pure, healthy, wholesome menu.
“Oh, customers are wild about Woodlands! It’s not just about healthy eating, it’s about conscious eating. Being mindful about what you are putting in your body does not mean that sometimes you don’t splurge and have treats,” said Ana, in a recent conversation.
Wattle Café strives to strike a tricky balance in New York City where the go! go! go! nature of the city’s “to-go” culture often trumps responsible, healthy eating. But, Ana is making headway in bringing the element of health and mindfulness into the quick service food movement.
“It’s been tough, but nothing feels more rewarding than this. It has been a labor of love with many highs and lows.”
Woodlands Maple is proud to be a part of the story of this business. Make Woodlands Maple a part of the story of your healthy home and order today!