DAYTON EATS: Waffle Shop, a 92-year-old holiday tradition, is happening this week

The 4-day event will be carry-out, a format started during COVID-19 pandemic.

Every fall, Waffle Shop at Christ Episcopal Church opens for a wonderful four-day fundraiser offering up homemade waffles, sausage, soups, sandwiches, salads, desserts and drinks.

Now in its 92nd year, it continues to be a popular once-a-year holiday tradition that offers a wonderful lunch that benefits good causes.

“Waffle Shop is Christ Episcopal Church, Dayton’s signature fundraiser. This four-day event is an expression of our faith: welcoming the stranger, loving our neighbors, caring for our community. One hundred percent of Waffle Shop profit is given through grants to small, local nonprofits that benefit people living on the margins in Dayton,” Emily Joyce, Parish Administrator of Christ Episcopal Church, said. “Waffle Shop is a labor of love, serving delicious meals and raising funds to invest in our community.

“Because the money raised is given through grants to support the Dayton community, Waffle Shop is more than a delicious lunch. It’s a way to enjoy the holiday season with a good meal and know that you’re caring for your community by doing so, it’s a way to be part of a longstanding legacy of generosity and hospitality in the heart of downtown Dayton,” Joyce continued.

ExplorePHOTOS: Waffle Shop returns for 92nd year in Dayton

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

The event moved to a carry-out format in the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic instead of the traditional dine-in with a craft bazaar, bake sale, raffle and more. The carry-out format continues this year with the event scheduled for Nov. 15-18.

“We take seriously our call to ‘love thy neighbor’. While we wished to return to our traditional set up, we know that offering Waffle Shop as a ‘To-Go’ event again this year is the best way we can love our neighbors, taking seriously the health and safety of customers and volunteers alike,” said Joyce.

The Waffle Shop had around 400 orders last year, and are hoping to exceed that in 2022, Joyce said. Online ordering is now open and orders can be placed at https://daytonchristepiscopal.com/waffle-shop.

“The Great Lady of First Street,” by Catherine F. Booker and Rosamond McPherson Young says Waffle Shop began in Nov. of 1929. “During the Depression year of 1932, the Waffle Shop realized a profit of $300.” according to the book.

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

Credit: CONTRIBUTED

Last year the event awarded $16,000 in grants to local organizations.

“Little did the women of the Parochial Society know what they were starting in 1929″, said Joyce. “They served an average of 149 people per day, for 12 days. Funds from the first Waffle Shop helped support the Parish House. Their legacy of social responsibility and service continues today. Aspects of Waffle Shop have evolved over time, but what has always remained is the warm welcome and hospitality that you’ll find here at Christ Church.

In 2022, Waffle Shop distributed $16,000 in grants to 13 organizations. They include: Blue Star Mothers, CARE House, CityHeart, Dakota Street Center, Dayton Urban Ministry Foundation, Eagles’ Wings Stable, Gem City Diaper Bank, New Homeowners Initiative, Project Believe, Soroptimist International, The Westwood Right, WC Operation Share Christmas, and Zeta Phi Beta Sorority’s The Stork Nest.

This event is special for so many reasons — the longevity, the good causes it supports and the reasonable prices — you can eat well for under $10.

Credit: Contributed

Credit: Contributed

My favorite reason to mark my calendar for Waffle Shop however is the sausage. I love them so much I order extra and take them home to freeze for the next several months — they are delicious.

“For years Waffle Shop’s sausage was delivered to us by an Amish farmer in Englewood. Guests loved it, but when he found his farm chores kept him busy enough, he advised the sausage provided was butchered and blended at Landes Fine Meats on Haber Road in Clayton, and that he was sure they could take care of us. So our order was placed directly with Landes and the rest, as they say, is history. Guests often ask about the source of our sausage, and we are happy to pass along the details. We say that when you get to the Landes meat counter, ask for the breakfast sausage. In the counter it will be in bulk, not in links, but that’s easy to tend when you get into your own kitchen,” said Tom Schaefer, Christ Church parishioner and former Waffle Shop Chair.

The menu this year is $8.50 for waffle and sausage, $4.50 for an individual waffle or sausage, $5 for a sausage sandwich on a hotdog bun. There are also $5 turkey, ham or tuna sandwiches ($3.35 for a half) and $5 for a bowl of soup or $3.75 for a cup (chicken noodle on Tuesday and Thursday, vegetable beef on Wednesday, French market on Friday and potato soup every day). Slices of apple, cherry, lemon meringue, pumpkin and chocolate cream pie are $3 a slice.

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Organizers say offering Waffle Shop as a to-go event allows them to engage with the Dayton community in a COVID-safe way versus having nearly 2,000 people dining in-person over the course of the four days. Patrons will order online and pick up at the church and head somewhere to enjoy food knowing their purchase went to help small local non-profits that work to support the marginalized and poor in the region. It’s a great lunch for an even better cause.

When the menu is homemade waffles, sausages, soups, sandwiches and pies and your lunch goes to support others you know you can’t go wrong.

Dayton Eats looks at the regional food stories and restaurant news that make mouths water brought to you by contributing writer Alexis Larsen. Share info about your menu updates, special dinners and events, new chefs, interesting new dishes and culinary adventures. Do you know of new exciting format changes, specials, happy hours, restaurant updates or any other tasty news you think is worth a closer look at? E-mail Alexis Larsen at alexis.e.larsen@hotmail.com with the information and we will work to include it in future coverage.

HOW TO GO

What: Waffle Shop at Christ Episcopal Church Dayton “To Go”

Where: 20 West First St., Dayton

When: 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Nov. 15-18, orders must be made in advance online

Upcoming events at Christ Church: The annual Downtowners Christmas Concert will be held on Dec. 14 at 1:30 p.m. in the Nave at Christ Church. The concert is organized by Percy Jones, Jr. featuring local vocalists and instrumentalists.

More info: 937-223-2239 or make online orders at https://daytonchristepiscopal.com/waffle-shop

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