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Friends Who Started Waffle Sandwich Delivery During Pandemic Open Passaic County Breakfast Spot

Salt Pepper Ketchup is open in Hawthorne. Photo Credit: Salt Pepper Ketchup Instagram
Rey De La Cruz and his son Greyson, 2. Photo Credit: Contributed
Wagner Mateo, left, and Rey De La Cruz. Photo Credit: Contributed
Waffle breakfast sandwich Photo Credit: Contributed

A pair of friends who started a waffle sandwich delivery business after one lost his job during the pandemic have opened a Passaic County breakfast joint.

"Salt Pepper Ketchup" opened last August on Central Avenue in Hawthorne.

It all started one January day when Rey De La Cruz, 35, of Paterson, lost his longtime job at Best Buy.

"I had to figure out a way to feed my 2-year-old son," he said. "I opened my fridge and saw I had waffles, bacon, Taylor ham, eggs and cheese."

He threw together a waffle breakfast sandwich, and posted photos of it on social media.

It wasn't long before De La Cruz was getting messages from friends, then strangers, asking if he delivers.

He and his toddler son hopped in the car, and began making deliveries.

"It started with only 2 or 3 orders a day," the Newark native said, then became 8 or 10 orders a day, six days a week."

By then, it was too much for him to handle alone, and so he reached out to longtime friend Wagner Mateo, of Nutley.

After months of deliveries, the friends -- who have known each other for 14 years -- decided it was time to take the next step.

They scouted a place on Craiglist and after a few weeks of talking about it, made their move. 

On Aug. 23, Salt Pepper Ketchup opened its doors.

The menu boasts breakfast and lunch options -- with twists. 

Sure, you can have a basic tuna melt. But have you tried the spicy tuna wrap? Taylor ham, egg and cheese on a roll is a classic -- but have you ever wondered what it tastes like between two waffles?

SPK is open every day at 230 Central Ave., Hawthorne.

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