Made in Michiana: Carbon's Golden Malted Waffles
SOUTH BEND, Ind.—This week’s Made in Michiana brings us to Carbon’s Golden Malted in South Bend.
“Everybody knows our brand. Everybody knows our product and everybody who knows truly does love it,” said Mike Mckeel, Vice President of Operations for Golden Malted Waffles.
Chances are, you’ve seen the name and heard of its notoriety at numerous restaurants and hotels around the world.
The waffle baker and mix were made famous years ago by one Michiana man with an uncanny vision.
“In 1937, Fred Carbon developed a mix. He took flour and added vanilla and malted barley and other ingredients to come up with a mix,” Mckeel said.
Back then, the flour was made in Buchanan and Carbon would carry it to different cities in the Midwest to sell it door to door.
“He had seen Belgium waffles at the World’s Fair and he said ‘wow, I can make that machine,’” Mckeel said.
The waffle game as he knew it, would change forever.
Now, the world’s biggest brands use Golden Malted products, including Disney, Denny’s, Perkins, Marriott, and Hilton.
“In 1999, we moved over to South Bend and we’re still part of the community. Many of the people that worked for us there came with us,” Mckeel said.
Sixty of the company’s 250 employees still work out of the South Bend location.
“We are by far the largest in providing waffle baker program in the world and we are very proud of that fact. To think that this started in the little town of Buchanan, Michigan and here we are today worldwide,” Mckeel said. “People ask, what do you do? Well, I sell waffles. They say, can you make a living selling waffles? Well sure, you can make a living selling waffles because we sell an awful lot of them!”
All because of the work of one Michiana man, the company has seen over 50,000 customers and over 240 million waffles per year.
“I get emails and Facebook posts from people who travel throughout the world and they stop in a restaurant and there’s a Golden Malted Waffle Baker there,” Mckeel said. “They’re excited that those are made right in our hometown. Those are made in Michiana.”