CO-FOUNDER | SWEET COMBFORTS | TRADE, IRVINE
Geoff Manila, Co-Owner of Sweet COMBforts has a long list of delicious, inspiring and downright exciting notches on his culinary belt. First, finding his passion at the ripe age of 13 during a culinary class with all his friends realizing this is it, food is where it’s at. Then, working in cafes throughout high school building his resume and learning the ins and outs of restaurant kitchen life and what it takes to make a business work. Then networking, building relationships and finding the right partners to do business with. Then working so hard that he joined them on an epic adventure on Food Networks The Great Food Truck Race, and experienced life as a race on wheels making good food. Then, while working on all the different concepts he has helped open and is going to open, Geoff is in the midst of going to school to study the culinary and hospitality industry and plans to graduate with a BS from Long Beach State this Spring. Now, Geoff is currently taking on Sweet COMBorts, Belgium Liege waffles with a twist that checks all the experiential boxes: taste, convenience and of course, the most perfect Instagram photo-op.
Geoff has always been passionate about creating new and exciting culinary experiences for the public and is constantly challenging himself to progress and stay in line with food trends. With social media at the forefront and documenting every experience, Geoff knows people aren’t choosing places to eat just for the palatableness. They are also there to be part of something and exercise all of their senses to really be immersed in the culinary experience. But, in order to give customers the best time possible, there has to be respect in house. One of Geoff’s main goals is to take care of his employees, and when he takes care of his employees, the employees take care of the customers, and when the customer’s are taken care of and happy, business booms and thrives. Without this chain of respect, his businesses would not be as successful.
Geoff gives a lot of credit for his accomplishments to a lot of people, both business partners and family, and knows without their support, and all the advice, hard work, and trust they’ve given him, he would not be where he is today. He thanks each and every one of them individually because they’ve all given him something different he can take with him and continue on his journey. He is also so proud of all the accomplishments he’s made thus far and being able to check off boxes of culinary bucket list dreams. He loves collaborating with friends and is so happy to have helped open up successful restaurants. He is also so excited to graduate this Spring with all the knowledge he’s gained throughout his studies and propel that into future projects.
Geoff is so excited to be part of TRADE and bring Sweet COMBforts to the culinary table. He wants the customer’s of TRADE to have an unforgettable time and to keep them coming back. Geoff’s goal for Sweet COMBforts is to create a place where people are gaining something positive from being there, whether it be the perfect photo, delicious treat, or overall experience. Geoff is going to make sure Sweet COMBforts spreads the experience of fun through the undying love and joy through fluffy, warm waffles. YUM!