Client Spotlight: Joyce Friedmann, founder of Joyffles

Joyce Friedmann calls herself a “solepreneur.” With the help of Good Counsel Services, she has transformed her waffle business from a small production in her New York apartment, into a company that sends pre-packaged waffles across the country. Her product is gluten free, dairy free, soy free, preservative free, and is sweetened with fruit instead of added sugar.

The relationship between Joyffles and Good Counsel began with two friends, when Joyce Friedmann brought her homemade gluten-free waffle to Elizabeth Dembrowsky’s office for lunch. Dembrowsky, tasting potential in those first bites, handed Friedmann a check for $50 and some words of encouragement. That was Joyffles’ first sale.

“The way the [Good Counsel] model is set up is really beneficial to people like me."

"Elizabeth believed in my product and she believed in me,” said Friedmann. Dembrowsky offered Friedmann pro bono legal advice when the pre-packaged waffle business started up. Now, Joyffles is a paying client. Good Counsel Services has provided Friedmann with the legal aid necessary to achieve benchmarks as an entrepreneur navigating extensive food service industry regulations. With a bit of guidance, she has forged her own path.

Friedmann likens cultivating a product to raising a child—a steady, careful effort. The first step was to obtain proof of concept: In fall 2021, she sold Joyffles to the public for the first time at the Grand Bazaar Flea Market on the discriminating Upper West Side of Manhattan. That day, she sold out and discovered that people loved her waffles.

The business has expanded over the past year, into online retail, repeat appearances in local flea and farmers markets, including Westside Market on the west side and Fulton Stall Market downtown, and in Agata & Valentina, a gourmet shop on the east side. Flavors include Banana Chocolate Chip, Banana Walnut, Apple Cranberry, and Apple Cinnamon, which can be savored hot, cold, and on-the-go.

“When you eat it, you feel energized,” said Friedmann, "I now feel that the business has legs. There is a market for this product." The healthy waffle is a preferred breakfast, snack, and dessert amongst active people of all ages including parents and their children, athletes, office workers, and just about everyone.

Friedmann has also expressed that it’s challenging to be a “solepreneur,” her way of explaining that she’s a one-woman-show. She serves as the shipping, purchasing, cooking, cleaning, and marketing departments, office manager, and more, yet margins are still small. “The only way to commit to expanding is to function with an understanding that I will not make money while growing,” she said. Friedmann hopes to scale up in the future and sell in more brick and mortar stores, but she is careful to never overpromise and under-deliver. Establishing gradual, balanced growth is a major concern, but she’s confident and optimistic.

Joyffles are delicious and versatile. The business continues to receive legal advice from Good Counsel Services, and Dembrowsky continues to enjoy the waffles with her infant son. Friedmann believes in the strength of her product, for its quality and appeal to a broad demographic.

"They're joyous waffles, they make you feel good," she said.

Pictured: Dembrowsky’s son Adrian enjoying his Joyffles

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