Nicolas studied the Graduate Diploma in Management at WelTec after researching the best places to study business in Wellington - for him, WelTec’s classes really stood out. He was able to keep working at his banking job part time while he studied full time, which was important for him. Six years after graduating, he set up his business, La Belle Waffle, based on Manners Street in the heart of Wellington. From marketing and design, to accounting and making the actual waffles, Nicolas and his wife are hands-on business owners. For Nicolas, building his waffle business is a personal dream come true as waffles feature in many of his fondest childhood memories back in Belgium. During his time at WelTec he learned how to make a business plan, and in a few years, he was able to put that plan into action, helping him to turn his dream into a reality.
Nicolas says that one of the main things he learned at WelTec was how to be reactive, meaning he’s able to overcome challenges (like a pandemic), while managing and operating his waffle shop. The theories and practical knowledge he learned at WelTec have allowed him to grow his business in a short time, but he credits his tutor Cyril as having the biggest influence on him. Cyril was always available to answer Nicolas’ questions, and over the years, their student-teacher relationship has grown into a true friendship. Nicolas may have come to New Zealand eight years ago from Europe, but it was opening his own business based on his passion for food that has really helped him settle here. He loves being able to share his love of waffles with Kiwis, and his favorite part of his day is interacting with customers.
With business booming, Nicolas currently employs a full time and a part time employee and his dream is to expand into cafes and other regions of the country. His product is versatile and delicious, and he’s so confident about his business management skills that he knows he’ll be successful. His advice for anyone thinking of starting a business is to get a business mentor. “Don’t do it alone.”