FAYETTEVILLE, Ga. - Growing up in the Netherlands, Guido Vliegen made some sweet memories while eating stroopwafels.
“Oh, yeah,” he says, “my mom would get them every week, religiously!”
Stroopwafels are a popular Dutch treat — a kind of wafer cookie often enjoyed with coffee or hot tea. “A stroopwafel is like a mini-waffle that we make on a press. And when it comes off the press and is still hot, we slice it open and fill it with caramel,” Vliegen explains.
But after moving to Georgia and marrying a Fayette County native, Vliegen realized stroopwafels — which can be found just about everywhere in the Netherlands — weren’t exactly a Georgia staple.
“The first couple of years in the U.S., I couldn’t find them at all,” he recalls.
And thus, an idea was born.
Vliegen and his wife Leslie are now the owners of 3 Bros Cookies, a Fayetteville-based family business that specializes in making and selling fresh stroopwafels. The bakery’s name is a nod to the couple’s blended family.
“Guido had a daughter and a son, and I had two boys,” says Leslie. “His daughter is college now, and we were trying to get the three boys to work together.”
The Vliegens had just finished building out their Fayetteville bakery when the coronavirus pandemic shut down businesses worldwide. So, rather than try to get their cookies in local stores, they shifted focus to getting them straight to customers.
“We went online,” says Guido Vliegen. “And we also went to neighborhood pop-ups.”
The family hopes to eventually stock its stroopwafels in coffee shops and markets. But, for now, if you’re interested in trying some stroopwafels, they can be ordered here. And to get a look inside the 3 Bros Cookies bakery in Fayetteville, click the video player in this article.