Joe Nedza was born in Roswell, GA and moved to Gwinnett and then Gainesville, where he graduated from North Hall High School. He came to Athens for college and graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in Business Management in 2016. While working for other people, he decided he wanted to open a concept that let him implement his own ideas and do something he loved. Joe started Nedza’s Waffles in 2016, his last semester in college, as a food truck. With each order he included a personalized compliment. Nedza’s just opened as a brick and mortar business in Five Points, serving upgraded comfort food and desserts in the form of gourmet waffles, ice cream, donuts and specialty biscuits. He lives on the Westside of Athens with his wife Madison.
What do you love about your job?
I love my employees. They are amazing. I have realized that the biggest problem here is me, and the way that I lead. I have learned about leadership in the last month because I have never had to train people on the scale that I do now. I have always had to do everything on my own. It is completely reliant on me as to whether the product is perfect or terrible. I typically am a perfectionist in what I am making. The Nedza team has embraced that mindset and run with it. Its been a blast.
What is your favorite thing to do in Athens on a day off?
To go on a walk with my wife and get a great cocktail somewhere.
If you could see any band, dead or alive, anywhere, anytime who would it be and where?
I would see the Lumineers at Red Rocks.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Start sooner. And, failure is beautiful. Embrace failure and grow.
What book do you find yourself rereading, referencing or gifting most often?
Love Does and Everybody Always, two books by Bob Goff. They are amazing; he is amazing. He and I are very similar. He just kind of goes for things, which I love. But, he also loves people and Jesus very well, which I think is beautiful.
What is your favorite movie or the first movie you remember seeing in a theatre?
I love movies. I love Braveheart Last of the Mohicans. But, there have been some new movies I have seen recently that were wonderful! Life Itself is one of the most beautiful movies ever made. I cry every time I watch it. It takes a minute, but the way it all comes together blew my mind.
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?
There are two places. I would love to go back to Bali with my wife because we went there on our honeymoon, and it was a nightmare because I got sick and we got hit by a car. It was crazy. But, I would love to just go to Europe and do Spain, Paris and take my time there. I would like to have enough money to do cool things and not have to stress about splurging. The tapas in Spain, the beaches in Spain, the bread in Paris, the desserts and pastry shops in Paris, the mountains in France, the beaches in France and everything would just be awesome.
What is something interesting about you that most people don’t know?
I guess some people don’t know that I am Type 1 diabetic.
If you could have lunch with anyone dead or alive, who would it be and where?
I would love to have lunch with Anthony Bourdain and pick his brain. See what he knows about food, see what he knows about the world.
What are three words or phrases that come to mind when you think of the word “home”?
My wife Madison, I call her Mad Dog though. So, Mad Dog, my mom and a cold day with Chili. I don’t love chili, but for some reason when it is cold and football is on all I want to do is have the door open and eat chili.