Photo courtesy of Ainor Elgamal

By Lauren Serrato | June 25, 2021

Ainor Elgamal has filled a niche in Avondale with her Crepella Crepes.

The family-owned cafe offers a wide selection of sweet and savory crepes and waffles. Customers can also choose from a variety of cold or hot drinks, including cappuccinos, lattes and smoothies.

“We’re unique in that we serve crepes. And on top of that we serve waffles, and I don’t think people generally think to put those together,” says Elgamal, one of Crepella Crepes’ co-owners.

“It’s the perfect combo for breakfast. If you want something savory you can also come at lunch or at dinner. Or you can add ice cream to the crepe or waffle and have some for dessert.”

The menu offers more than 45 options. The most popular items include the Crepella Waffle served with two waffles, bananas, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, honey, Nutella, ice cream, powdered sugar and whipped cream; and the Love Crepe with bananas, strawberries and Nutella inside, topped with bananas, strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, one scoop of ice cream, powdered sugar and whipped cream.

Since its opening in August 2020, Crepella Crepes has served nearly 50,000 customers. However, its start as a business was slow, as it struggled to attract customers during the pandemic. Its grand opening was delayed, as it intended to open in March.

“With everything that happened as a result of COVID, we’re actually doing really well now, and we have been serving thousands of new customers since we’ve opened. I think that’s way more than we could have expected when opening in a pandemic,” Elgamal says.

The Elgamal family has faced a lot of adversity since their restaurant’s opening, but have since grown in popularity, which Ainor credits the food and the friendly staff.

“You get a really unique feeling when you eat at our café and the environment that we try to create is one that’s very special. And so I think if you were to give our café a try it would be a different feeling than stopping by any regular restaurant that isn’t local or family owned,” she says.

Elgamal says the café is sure to satisfy a customer’s sweet tooth, but there are many options to have more of a savory experience. Those include chicken breast crepe served with chicken breast lunch meat, mozzarella cheese and tomatoes inside, topped with parmesan cheese and a dressing of choice and a side of spring mix, cherry tomatoes and pickles.

“When we started, we didn’t have very many people who even knew how to actually make the crepes,” Elgamal says. “Now, we have found a way to be able to train every employee to make the crepes. I think that’s what makes us special is that they always turn out very delicious, they’re always very tasty, regardless of who makes it.”

The café is looking to hire multiple part-time and full-time positions. Elgamal says they’re looking for someone who is hardworking, kind and a team player.

“We do look for people who are motivated and determined to learn everything,” she says.

“We like to teach our employees everything. We like to teach them how to make crepes, how to make drinks, how to run the cash register and just how to be very sufficient in understanding the way that our restaurant works.”

The Elgamals have lived in Avondale for 13 years. With dreams of opening a restaurant, they couldn’t have thought of a better place than to set up shop two miles away from their home.

Based on the success of the café so far, the owners have plans of expanding their business. The Elgamals plan to open four more locations across the Valley.

“We genuinely could not have asked for anything more in the middle of a pandemic since we have seen how hard this has been on the food industry as a whole, especially on small businesses,” Elgamal says.

“We love and appreciate every customer who walks through our doors and gives our food a try.”

As the 19-year-old continues to attend ASU and take charge of the social and PR aspect of the business, she said she is excited to see her family’s cafe continue to grow and gain additional support from the community.

“I think it’s really important to get a personalized feeling when you walk into a place, so I think supporting locally owned businesses, especially family-owned businesses, like us, gives you that unique experience. You feel like you’re at home and you’re being welcomed and greeted by people that know what it’s like to just be in a family. We want to treat all of our customers like their family,” she says.