Three University of New Mexico alumni have a sweet business — a creperia in the Uptown Albuquerque shopping plaza.
Their restaurant, Crêpeology, like their pastry, has a rich flavor from its beginning.
In 2017, two of the three founders travelled out of state and brought their experiences of crepes and street food back to Albuquerque. An evening get together with friends and a few beers later, Crepeology was born.
“We got together and at that point we were like, ‘Why not — why can’t we do this?’” said Jeff Rieder, Crepeology co-founder and a former UNM mechanical engineering major. “We brought our heads together and started with a food truck first.”
Javier Manriquez, a UNM biology major and Crepeology co-founder, said their first challenge was retrieving their food truck from the East Coast, which was left abandoned at a gas station in Virginia.
“That was the first taste of many disappointments of being an entrepreneur,” Manriquez said.
Other disappointments, Manriquez said, included the permit and license processes for their food truck and restaurant.
“For a corporate client, it’s not a big issue… but when it’s a small owned business, it kind of causes a lot of headaches,” Manriquez said.
Despite the business’ first obstacles, Nick Chavez, a Crepeology co-founder and former UNM marketing major, said when the food truck hit the streets, they received positive reception, especially at the 2017 Expo New Mexico State Fair.
“That was our first major event,” Chavez said. “I swear at one point we had at least 10 to 15 people in a row... ask us, ‘Hey do you guys have a shop in town?’”
In January of 2018, the trio acquired a lease for a location at the Uptown Albuquerque shopping plaza and opened their doors to the public on June 23.
“(Crepeology’s reception) has been awesome,” Chavez said, adding that he is excited for the business in the upcoming spring.
Crepeology’s menu consists of mostly crepe based entrees that have fruit for those with a sweet tooth for breakfast, but also lunch and dinner crêpes with meat and veggies.
“Instead of going the traditional route of just being like a dessert shop, we really wanted to hone into the savory options and make it more into an all around food as opposed to just a dessert,” Chavez said.
Melissa Castillo, a UNM senior majoring in computer engineering, said she visits the crêperia almost once a week. Castillo keeps coming back for two reasons, she said.
“Well, one, it’s really convenient and fast, and two, it’s really good,” Castillo said. “Can’t get better than that — fast and delicious.”
For Reider, he said he thinks that customer service has helped make their business successful.
“What we really sell is an experience — food aside, it’s more of an experience,” Rieder said. “I want these people that come in here to have the best experience possible and so I think that’s what stands us out.”
The future of Crepeology, Manriquez said, is to expand their business into other states. For the uptown location, the restaurant hopes to have student nights.
Anthony Jackson is a staff writer and staff photographer for the Daily Lobo. He can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @TonyAnjackson.