A single mum from East London has ditched the 9-5 hustle to start a penis-shaped waffle business.
Zoya Winspear, 42, from Walthamstow, was working three jobs on the go before deciding to set up risqué waffle and merchandise business Dick on a Stick one year ago.
The mum-of-one was employed as a food consultant and an operations manager in Central London, all while juggling a food vendor gig on the side.
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“One day I sat my mum and my daughter down and I said ‘I need to tell you something’,” she told MyLondon.
“This is what I’m going to do: I’m going to make dicks on sticks!”
Zoya, who is originally from Bulgaria, currently lives with her mum and young daughter in Walthamstow following a divorce from her ex-partner.
After the split, Zoya transformed her home into the main headquarters for her business.
The standard menu available on Dick on a Stick’s website is not for the faint-hearted.
Waffle variations include ‘Bust a Nut’, a freshly baked penis-shaped waffle filled with Nutella, and the ‘Boris’, which is named after the Prime Minister and described as a “6.2 dick waffle filled with Nutella & white chocolate.”
“Don’t we all have a Boris in our life?” the description continues. “One that over promises and under delivers? A waffler.
“The time has come, Boris can eat a dick!”
All waffles are priced at £12.99 and come with a ‘finish it off’ vanilla sauce for those who dare.
“I also sell merchandise such as dick-related like mugs and wine glasses,” said Zoya.
“Customers can order anonymously so my waffles often get used as pranks, birthdays or for people they dislike.”
Zoya says the motivation behind for her bizarre waffle range is more than just rude-shaped fun.
She said: “I thought just how wonderful would it be to send those people who annoy you, or the people that hurt you or disappointed you, a gift anonymously just to tell them exactly what they are.
“We all know these kinds of people and either due to professional position, or because it’s a family member, you can’t just call them a dick.
“But I don’t want people to buy it just for the shape of it – I want people to like the taste of it too.”
Zoya has been working from home since she first quit her three jobs a year ago amid the raging Covid-19 pandemic.
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Now Dick on a Stick’s success has outgrown Zoya’s living room where she works from.
Though the arrangement has cut operational costs, she is currently on the hunt for shop space to enable real interactions with her customers.
“Working from home can be really discouraging and hard,” she told MyLondon.
“You don’t get to see the customers face-to-face and you don’t really know if they like the product or not.
“But when my customers make an effort to write emails to say just how much they love my products, it makes it kind of worth it.”
Ashley Stanton, a marketing executive for Walthamstow’s street food market Sunday Social, says Dick on a Stick has brought increased footfall to the market since it’s arrival.
“Having a trader like that at the market is absolutely fantastic,” he told MyLondon.
“The diversity and imagination that Zoya brings to the market has brought a lot of customers down and creates a wonderful atmosphere.
“Although the waffles are incredibly detailed, it’s not just about what the waffles look like but it’s also about the ingredients.
“We were in talks for almost a year before she presented a recipe that was ready for the market.”
But not everyone has the same positive view of her business – Zoya reveals that she once received a threat from a stunned customer after they opened their package.
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“A few days after I launched the website, I had received some orders and one came with a really long email,” said Zoya.
“It was a threat from someone who had received one of my waffles.
“He said he would call the police if I didn’t let him know who sent the waffle.
“But we state clearly on the website that senders must remain anonymous, and we don’t send invoices or order details, so I couldn’t tell him.
“He came back later and laughed about it. He has also apologised.”
Zoya dreams of making Dick on a Stick a hit on social media, but claims Facebook’s guidelines stand in the way.
She says that after spending time carefully crafting posts on her Instagram and Facebook pages, the posts are often removed by administrators.
“Finally Facebook have let me advertise my merchandise,” she said.
“But I still can’t even post more than 90 per cent of the products because Facebook has labelled them ‘adult nudity’.
“The mugs with the penises on them are still being rejected.
“The waffles have also been labelled a sex toy, which they say breaks their policy.”
Facebook has denied removing Dick on a Stick’s organic content.
But the social media giant says that ads for the products mentioned have been ‘correctly’ blocked for violating their adult content advertising policy.
A statement said: “We aim to strike a balance between allowing businesses and organisations to show ads that are genuinely of interest and value to people, while also making sure our global community feels comfortable.”
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