Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Benedicte Engen, Founder of Viking Waffles, located in New York, NY, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

My business, Viking Waffles, is the world's healthiest waffles from a Norwegian waffle tradition. They are pre-packaged protein waffles, low in carbs, sugar, and calories, and free from gluten, baked freshly from my bakery in Manhattan, NYC, and shipped all over the US.

Our customers are health-conscious consumers, often busy professionals who care about what they eat but are too busy for complex food preparation, families and kids, top athletes, people on a weight loss journey to maintain a healthy weight, and diabetics loving the ability to indulge in sweet baked goods without the added junk and sugar.

Tell us about yourself

Being born and raised in Norway, the Norwegian waffle was a huge part of my upbringing and a part of many fond childhood memories. Being a soccer athlete and also studying one year of medicine in Norway and learning more and more about nutrition, I experimented with my own diet to create a healthier version of Norwegian Waffles with health benefits that I could eat every day.

I dropped out of Medicine school and traveled to NYC to study entrepreneurship and business English. Even though my plan was to go back to Norway, I saw the opportunity to start Viking Waffles in the US, where the sugar and obesity rate is much higher, and the need for healthy alternatives is bigger.

Happy customers motivate me and remind me why I do what I do, and thanks to social media and seeing genuine souls and waffle lovers posting about how we are a part of changing peoples eating habits and capturing the essence of healthy and enjoyable eating motivates me. Building Viking Waffles with positive, passionate Viking Waffle bakers and teammates also helps me stay motivated in ups and downs.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

There are a few. Setting up my own bakery in Manhattan. Being able to give back to the community through Viking Waffles as we created a meaningful collaboration with Hall of Famer Shannon Sharpe, in 2022, where we together developed a new waffle flavor and donated 100% profits to Big Brother Big Sister America, helping create mentorship opportunities to underprivileged kids.

I'm deeply thankful for teammates and employees along the Viking journey trusting me and choosing to be a part of this Viking adventure. Also, having built a 7-figure business without investors.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

The financial responsibility.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Know your customers and create a product/service. Be open to feedback and changes along the way, guided by your customers.
  2. Reduce your risk. Think: What's the product/ prototype/launch you can create with minimal risk and investment at the start but at the same time be able to test the viability of your business.
  3. It's a mentally challenging journey, find ways to see the humor and stay light-hearted through failures, surround yourself with positive and supportive people who have a can-do attitude, and as a business owner, you will constantly be solving problems, so find a way to enjoy it. :)

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

My TikTok hobby - having fun and sharing a few Norway tips and cultural differences. You can check it out at

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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