One family’s passion-infused soul food has made its way to Harker Heights. The Waffle Den opened its second shop after operating less than a year on Jasper Drive in Killeen.

Owner Bennett McKiver Sr. is working with his family to deliver the chicken and waffles he serves up.

“It’s a concept that had been there for awhile and no one’s ever challenged the waffle industry,” he said. “With all the different flavors, the rest was natural. And we were already cooking at home so it just made things much more simple.”

McKiver grew up on the East Coast, among an abundance of chicken and waffle shops. He hopes to spread Atlantic tastes throughout Central Texas with unique waffle flavors like soda and red velvet.

Each menu item leaves customers feeling satisfied, he said.

“We call it the Waffle Den because it’s based on all the family getting together,” said co-owner Lataucha McKiver. “It’s unique because it makes everyone who comes in happy. They do come in skeptical, and then after they eat it, they are a totally different person.”

The gourmet waffles also come deep-fried and incorporate a variety of fruits and other items. But the recipes are a secret.

“It looks easy, but it’s not,” Lataucha McKiver said. “We have a large family and I love to cook, so I can say that it’s the love that we put into it. We see the same people sometimes every day looking for some comfort food.”

Bennett McKiver recognized the opportunities associated with opening businesses in Central Texas when he began planning Waffle Den.

“We knew it was going to be such a new and dynamic concept that it would take people possibly a little time to warm up to it, but we already knew it was delicious,” he said. “I did studies before I opened it and I knew chicken and waffles was one of the top five foods in the U.S. anyway. So the next thing was just how to introduce it.”

Making the decision to expand to Harker Heights was easy for the McKivers, as their Killeen location was already serving customers from surrounding areas.

“We were already serving people from Harker Heights in our Killeen location, so it just made sense to bring it here.”

The Waffle Den is open from 7 a.m. to midnight Monday-Thursday and 7 a.m. to 5 a.m. Friday and Saturday. It’s located at 300 West Central Texas Expressway, Suite 101, Harker Heights.

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