The Perfect Waffle

By Sean Harvey ’10
Published Tuesday, June 14, 2011


Le Petit BelgeA few months ago, Emmanuel Galel ’06 decided it was time to do something new with his career and take a risk. After speaking with his brother, they realized there was a market in South Florida for the company his brother had started in New York – Le Petit Belge.


Le Petit Belge is a small retail store that sells espresso, coffee and authentic Belgium waffles, or the “Liege” waffle in French.  Also known as “The Perfect Waffle,” it was invented in the 18th century and is smaller, sweeter and denser with a caramelized sugar-coating that differs from the American waffles made from a yeast batter.  With few naturally cold atmospheres in South Florida, Galel decided he would open espresso bar locations inside the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, Florida, with the hockey arena being an ideal—and obviously—a cold atmosphere. When I asked Galel about why he decided to open Le Petit Belge in Florida, he said, “This concept is a new trend and I saw a market for it in this area. Everything we have is fresh. We import our dough from our kitchen in Belgium where it is handmade and we get our coffee from small private companies.”


Galel, who grew up in Belgium and moved to the U.S. when he was 15, was helped in his venture by his studies in hospitality management while at Lynn. “The family-oriented atmosphere at Lynn, combined with the one-on-one interaction with the teachers really made for a great learning experience,” Galel said about Lynn.


Le Petit Belge has been successful since its Florida espresso bars opened in January. Galel loves running the business as it keeps him on his toes at all times. “I have to be aware of all the little things, I have to stay attentive to everything so I continue to provide customers with our unique taste of Le Petit Belge,” said Galel.


Keep an eye out for Le Petit Belge when you are at an event or hockey game at BankAtlantic Center, or even a concert in New York City.  Galel also plans to expand to other cities and venues across the U.S. where he will be delivering the delightful aroma and sensation of the Le Petit Belge experience to many more.