Portland food cart expands to mall after Food Network challenge

Portland food cart expands to mall after Food Network challenge »Play Video
Charlene Wesler's and Michael Susak's food cart, "Gaufre Gourmet," will get free rent for a year at a mall in Kelso after it beat out the competition on the Food Network's show, "Food Court Wars."

PORTLAND, Ore. -- A Portland food cart business just got a lot bigger. "Food Network" gave "Gaufre Gourmet" free rent at the Three Rivers Mall food court in Kelso for a whole year.

We spoke to the local celebrities about being the newly crowned "Food Court Wars" champions.

Charlene Wesler and Michael Susak have been serving decadent waffle creations through their food cart window three years now. Business is good and is growing. But Charlene describes the last few months as "a crazy ride" after a "Food Network" scout got them on the show, "Food Court Wars".

The couple took on fellow local food truck "Pressed."

"Food Court Wars" is a competition to win free space at the mall. It was tough.

"We had a lot of downfalls in the show," said Charlene.

But they came up from behind on Sunday night's show with the most sales. They won the space and avoid a year's worth of rent -- worth $100,000.

"The biggest advantage though of being in a mall (is) it's enclosed space. So we have people smelling waffles all day long!" said Charlene.

"And our kitchen is like 400 square feet; it's like five of these things; it's vast!" added Michael. "We're really excited to become a part of that community."

Their new "Gaufre Gourmet" restaurant at Three Rivers Mall in Kelso will open later this week.