WACO, TX — The Waco Area Food Lovers card (WAFL) was created by a Baylor student who loves food but also loves saving money.
Noah Mendoza wanted his community to start supporting local but wanted to do it in a way that was a win-win for everyone.
The WAFL began last year right before the pandemic began, but that didn't stop Mendoza from reaching out to local businesses.
"Studying accounting and finance, having a budget has always been something that is really important to me and keeping that budget budgeted can be very hard when you're a foodie," he said.
When you purchase a WAFL card, you receive discounts at 27 different places ranging from 10% to 20% off.
"For every $100 you spend locally, about $68 stays within the community because those businesses are interacting with other small businesses," Mendoza said "So, Waco Area Food Lovers really puts an emphasis on staying local, having the money stay within our economy."
Huaco Eatery is one of the many that have chosen to be a part of the program. Owner Adriana Sanchez says she loves that someone is working to shine a light on small businesses.
"I thought it was a really great idea, especially because he's kind of promoting our restaurant and a lot of people don't know about Huaco Eatery," Sanchez said.
Within her six months of participating in the program, she's already seen benefits as well as returning customers.
"I had a customer the other day, and he had his discount card and he was really excited because he was getting 20% off with us," Sanchez said.
Currently, 27 businesses are taking part in the program, but Mendoza says to "just wait" because there are many more being added to the list.
"We're just trying to get as many small and local businesses as possible because the more the merrier," Mendoza said.
Being a Baylor student, he knows he won't be in Waco forever. Right now he calls Waco home and has no plans to leave soon, but when the time comes, he hopes to pass the WAFL business down to other Baylor students.
"They're getting intern credits, and they get paid, and they get food," Mendoza said.
When you purchase a WAFL card, you can use it as many times as you want, and it lasts for one year. A card costs $10.