Waffles in Paradise

A road trip to Bellingham, Wash.

Photo: Seastock
An aerial panoramic view of Bellingham, Wash., looking toward the San Juan Islands.

Taste of Norway Editor
The Norwegian American

My love of Norwegian waffles is well documented in the Taste of Norway section. I love to make them, talk about them, and share the vaffel love – from sweet to savory – with others.

I was delighted to receive a personal invitation to the opening day of Waffles in Paradise on March 27 in Bellingham, Wash., located about 40 minutes south of the U.S.-Canadian border. 

My family loaded up in the car for a scenic road trip for the afternoon, and we were hungry for some waffles.

Waffles in Paradise

Photos: Christy Olen Field
Inga Elvrom and Melvin Martinex Campos are the creators and owners of Waffles in Paradise.

Waffles in Paradise is owned and operated by wife-and-husband team Inga Elvrom and Melvin Martinez Campos. They sell different types of waffles at the weekly market hosted by the Rebel Artists of Whatcom.

Currently, Waffles in Paradise’s menu features heart-shaped Nordic waffles scented with cardamom, Brussels style waffles that are made with yeasted dough rather than batter, and Liege waffles studded with Belgian pearl sugar. The day I was there, they also had krumkake made on an antique iron.

I ordered their entire menu and talked with Elvrom about their new business while they worked the waffle irons.

“I want to share the joy of waffles, and also incorporate a multicultural element,” she said.

It was the Norwegian waffle that started it all. Elvrom and Martinez love to make Norwegian waffles on Sunday mornings for their kids, using the Elvrom family recipe.

“My family heritage is Norwegian, and it’s always been very important to me,” said Elvrom. Her namesake and great-grandmother Inga emigrated from Elverum, Norway. Martinez is from El Salvador and grew up in Los Angeles.

The couple is looking to expand their waffle offerings for Waffles in Paradise with chef collaborations, such as the green-hued Bánh Kẹp Lá Dứa from Vietnam—made with pandan and coconut milk—and the delightfully fun bubble waffle from Hong Kong.

Elvrom also has a deep background in culinary arts. She worked as a cook for 14 years before graduating from Western Washington University in Bellingham, Wash., and worked for nonprofits in the region, when she realized how much she loved cooking and wanted to get back to it.

In October 2020 on a walk around nearby Lake Padden, Elvrom and Martinez came up with the idea to share their love of waffles with the community. And just a few months later, they opened Waffles in Paradise to the public.

Photo: Christy Olsen Field

Waffles in Paradise is intentional in supporting local producers with organic ingredients, from locally milled flour from Fairhaven Mill and Twin Brook Creamery for dairy ingredients. They serve coffee from Native American-owned roaster Coast Salish Coffee. And for waffle toppings, they sell jams and nut butters by local producers. They are also members of the Sustainable Connections Toward Zero Waste program and use compostable plates and cups.

Waffles in Paradise is a regular vendor at the Rebel Artists of Whatcom, a collective of artists and artisans with a weekly market Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. throughout the year at the Commercial Street Plaza in downtown Bellingham, Wash. Waffles in Paradise is also adding other events to their schedule (including a 17th of May celebration!), so visit their website at wafflesinparadise.com and follow them on Facebook and Instagram at @pnwaffles for more information.

This article originally appeared in the April 23, 2021, issue of The Norwegian American.

Avatar photo

Christy Olsen Field

Christy Olsen Field was the Taste of Norway Editor from 2019 to 2022. She worked on the editorial staff of The Norwegian American Weekly from 2008 to 2012. An enthusiastic home cook and baker, she lives north of Seattle with her husband and two young sons.