Shelby Exclusives Southeast

Market Profile: COVID-19 Struck And So Did Fresh 3Bros Stroopwafels

3Bros stroopwafels

Unsurprisingly, the biggest challenge for Fayetteville, Georgia-based 3Bros Stroopwafels was generating sales during a time of uncertainty – the COVID-19 outbreak.

“In March, we had just finished building our commercial bakery in Fayetteville,” said Leslie Vliegen, who owns 3Bros with husband Guido. “We entered the market at a particularly difficult time. Fortunately, our stroopwafels are much better than our timing.”

Nevertheless, Guido said “during this difficult time, we are happy to offer an American-made product.” And the family-owned bakery employs local Fayetteville residents.

Leslie is a Georgia native, while Guido is Dutch. The couple uses the original Dutch recipe to make the 3Bros wafer cookies fresh daily.

The Vliegens went into business with a plan to target local stores and coffee shops. But as events were getting cancelled and cafés were either closing or doing curbside pickup, it wasn’t a great time to introduce a new product.

This led 3Bros to expand its efforts to online sales, as well as attempt distribution to local neighborhoods and farmers markets. While this has been a slower path, the Vliegens said sales have grown significantly since then.

“Right now, we are focused on expanding distribution,” Leslie added. “We recently partnered with Perfect 10 Foods to distribute 3BrosCookies throughout the Southeast. We are in search of other distribution partners in other regions.

“We also intend to add more flavors and stroopwafels-inspired products. For instance, we have already introduced the Stroopwafel Snippers, chocolate-dipped stroopwafels and the ‘Stroopwafel Goes Here’ coffee mug.”

3Bros Stroopwafels are currently sold in individual and eight packs, which are available at some 50 local coffee shops, grocery markets and retailers in Georgia. They can also be found on Amazon.com and the bakery’s website.

Article by Mary Margaret Stewart / staff writer, The Shelby Report.

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