G.G.’s Chicken and Waffles are served with Big Daddy’s BBQ or Lola’s Fine Hot Sauces, depending on which type of flavor you like.
Writer: Karla Walsh
Each week in dsmWeekly, we’ll introduce you to a local food company owned by a person of color. Missed part one last week? Learn about Street Eats DSM here.
What started as a disappointing meal turned into a beautiful business opportunity for Garrison Goodlett, owner of G.G.’s Chicken & Waffles.
“In 2018, my wife and I went to the West Coast and waited in line at a famous chicken and waffles place for over an hour. My wife was getting hangry!” Goodlett says, laughing at the memory. “Once we got the food, we were like, ‘Is this it? I’ve made chicken at my church better than this.’ That planted the seed.”
At the time, he didn’t immediately think, “Hey, let’s start a business.” But by 2019, Goodlett was able to pin down and perfect the recipe for the beloved fried chicken he had made countless times for charity and communal meals at church. “God put the inkling in my mind to start this business,” Goodlett says.
Last year, he launched his business and applied for a vendor spot at the Downtown Des Moines Farmers’ Market. As an occasional vendor in 2019, G.G.’s made an appearance about once a month, and they also popped up at the Valley Junction Farmers Market, “they” being Goodlett himself, his son (“the Waffle King”), his wife, his father-in-law/business manager, and his mother-in-law.
“It’s a great opportunity for us to bond and to teach my son responsibility,” Goodlett says.
In addition to supporting his family, Goodlett is all about supporting local. G.G.’s rents a commercial cooking space in Kitchen DSM at the Hall, uses Big Daddy’s BBQ sauce in the barbecue chicken and waffles, and dresses the hot version of the chicken and waffles with Lola’s Fine Hot Sauces.
While “COVID-19 has thrown a wrench in things” in their plan to be a weekly vendor at the Valley Junction Farmers Market this summer, Goodlett plans to start making appearances soon after the market officially opens for the season.
As for the future of G.G.’s? “If we were in a warmer city, maybe we’d think about a food truck, but I’d love to have a brick and mortar someday. I live in Ankeny, so maybe Prairie Trail? We need to grow our following and blow things up,” Goodlett says.
For now, you can help them “blow things up” by following the brand on Facebook, where Goodlett shares entertaining recipe demo videos, and Instagram. Then, once the stand opens up, be sure to save room to splurge. Then be sure to have zero regrets about doing so.
“If you’re going to cheat, you might as well cheat with us—it’s worth the food coma,” Goodlett says.
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