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5 questions with Kristyn Smith

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Thursday, June 5, 2014, at 12 a.m.

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Kristyn Smith wants you to put your money where your mouth is.

Smith, 22, is a Wichita entrepreneur creating Tasty Tradition, a website and app that would allow families to share their recipes with one another online and create digital family cookbooks.

Last weekend, Smith and her team won the Community Choice Award for the idea at Wichita’s third Startup Weekend. The 54-hour event allows entrepreneurs to team up, create business ideas and write computer code before pitching ideas to local business leaders.

“Startup Weekend has been such a great experience,” Smith said. “It opens up your mind to new ideas, and you get to meet new people. It’s a good networking tool.”

Right now, the Tasty Tradition website allows people to sign up at no cost and upload unlimited numbers of recipes.

Although Tasty Tradition is in its infancy, Smith and her team plan to add new features to the website over the next several months.

Smith’s Tasty Tradition team includes Paul Daemen, marketing coordinator; Landon Cline, developer; Seth Etter, developer; Nathan Pogue, designer; and Brent Madison, business and marketing.

Smith recently graduated from Wichita State with a bachelor’s degree in graphic design and will intern this summer at Baseline Creative. She enjoys the outdoors and sports and was vice president of the WSU chapter of the American Institute of Graphic Arts.

Q. Where did you get the idea for Tasty Tradition?

A. I’d been thinking about my life as a single girl, cooking for myself, and how I always really want to cook my family’s recipes, but when I look up things online they’re nothing like what my aunt or grandma cooks.

I don’t want to call up my aunt in Texas at 2 p.m. on a Tuesday and bug her for recipes, so I thought it would be cool if I could just (develop a website), go online and see that my aunt uploaded a recipe.

I know online you can find recipes everywhere, but not your family’s recipes. Entire families can put recipes into one digital cookbook and anyone can get it from anywhere across the world.

Q. Can you describe the process for the project and how long it took?

A. Before the Startup Weekend I didn’t know the other people in the group. We were all strangers. But we thought about what we could get done in one weekend, so we made a fully functional website that right now has no cost and people can upload unlimited recipes.

Q. What’s your favorite family recipe?

A. That’s a tough one. My mom always makes chicken noodle soup – but it’s made with love. When I make it, it’s OK, but my mom’s is way better, and she says her mom’s was way better. Nobody has written it down. It’s simple: dumplings she makes by hand, chicken stock, pulled chicken she baked. She always does mashed potatoes, but mine will never be as smooth.

Q. What makes the project different from others?

A. We’re more focused on the family aspect and keeping it within your family. A lot of people don’t want to share their recipes with the world. On all other sites you upload your recipe, and it’s blasted on the Internet and anyone can look at it. But some people want to keep it our secret meal with tradition and be able to customize their own cookbook.

Right now, you can share the link to your cookbook (on social media) or you have the option of just sending (the link) to whoever you want to see it. In the future, we’ve talked about people getting to decide if they want other people to see it or keep it within their family.

Q. What’s the next step?

A. We need to decide how to monetize it with advertising on the website and within the digital cookbook. If you want to print a cookbook, we need to set a price range. We plan to make an app that can access the cookbook on the iPhone.

We plan to have it so you can sign up and get five recipe uploads for free or sign up for $1.99 a month for an unlimited amount of recipes to share with family. From there you can customize recipe cards with a template and get that printed.

Farther down the line, we want to connect with a local vendor to send you the ingredients. … We would do things like the spices and the oils and on the packaging it would say “Just add fish,” “chicken” or whatever you need.

Reach Kelsey Ryan at 316-269-6752 or kryan@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @kelsey_ryan.

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