Most data analysts find their niche in fields such as science, medicine, or finance. It’s rare to come across one who also has the drive to pursue something drastically different. For Ashourrina Auz, her passion to manage a waffle business places her in this rare territory.
Auz was born in Chicago and grew up in a suburban neighborhood. She received her bachelor’s degree in data analytics at Benedictine University before going for her master’s degree at the University of Chicago.
She’s utilized her degree to become a data analyst for Power Construction. However, in the midst of her career and the pandemic in 2020, Auz also started working in the kitchen of a bar. It helped her discover a love for cooking she didn’t ever give much attention to in the past. This was the first step in Auz taking this passion to the next level with her own business.
“My husband and I went to this food truck festival in Hawaii,” Auz said. “We saw a woman working there with her son. They were making waffle hotdogs on a stick. I didn’t try it because I’m a vegetarian, but my husband kept talking about how great it was. We thought it would be a great idea to bring that concept back home.”
In May 2023, Auz began working on the development of Will It Waffle. She’s aiming for the business to open in early March and serve as a place that everyone in the community can appreciate.
“Waffles have always seemed like a big breakfast idea to me,” Auz said. “It’s usually something people get on special occasions or when they’re staying in a hotel. Being able to bring that to Crown Point and people in the community is a part of this experience that I’m excited to do.”
As someone who loves interacting with the community, Auz is excited about all the opportunities to bring people together through Will It Waffle.
Of course, it takes strong organizational skills to get everything together for a new business. For Auz, keeping herself busy has never been a challenge. On top of her current job and assembling the waffle business, she’s also a realtor for Horizon Realty and an owner of Signature Rental Properties.
“Last year, my friend and I opened up this brokerage for Horizon Realty,” Auz said. “It was a crazy month because we were launching that business together while I was starting to work on Will It Waffle. We managed to get through it though and being able to work with friends and family has been a huge plus in handling different tasks at the same time.”
Auz also credits her friends and family for supporting her dreams along the way. She encourages those who have always wanted to open their own business.
“It can be scary transitioning to trying something new,” Auz said. “I live in two different worlds from doing data analytics to the waffle business. The easiest way to get started is to just do it. The process might be exhausting, but it’s definitely worth it. Even if things don’t work out, you can learn from it and that can guide you on the next thing you want to do. I’ve run into problems myself but never let that discourage me. I don’t believe in failure.”
Auz can’t wait for Will It Waffle to come to fruition this year. She hopes to purchase a trailer to do catering at events throughout the Region once the wheels get rolling on the business.
Aside from work, Auz loves being around her husband and their two dogs. She’s hoping to spend more time doing activities such as bowling and ice skating soon.