In the fall of 2014, Danbury resident Wendi Spraker decided to store her recipes digitally, in the form of a blog she named Loaves and Dishes.
Little did she know her online presence would go on to garner 64,000 monthly page views, 6,000 Pinterest followers, and the attention of such notable sites as People.com, Buzzfeed, Elite Daily, and Food Gawker.
Spraker said she’s loved to cook for as long as she can remember.
“I was usually pretending that I was cooking something while playing in my sandbox as a child. I think my dad and my grandmother are my biggest inspirations. I mean, seriously, my grandmother’s cherry pies, fried chicken or her fried okra were out of this world. I get my willingness to try new recipes and to create new tastes from my dad, I’m sure. We ate some crazy things when he was cooking, but they were always tasty!”
As she grew older and became a wife and mother, Spraker appreciated how food brought her family together.
“With three growing children, a farm to renovate and a tight budget, I couldn’t very well afford to go out to eat often. So, if I wanted good food, I simply had to cook it myself. Learning to cook from scratch has saved me a ton of money over the years but beyond that, cooking is good therapy. I can’t imagine the mental health bills I might have amassed by this point without cooking!”
Now, as a young grandmother, she understands how today’s women are trying to balance the feverish demands of life. Her blog offers a variety of recipes for all skill levels and charming photos to make the process simpler.
“I hope my blog readers will see that cooking isn’t difficult and is within their grasp to learn, even if they’ve never cooked before. If I can cook, believe me, anyone can. I am a very human person and I am extremely honest about all the things that can and do go wrong in the kitchen. No worries, we just go with it,” she said.
Spraker’s transparency and conversational writing style draws in ladies of all ages from around the globe.
“I’m surprised each and every time someone tells me about trying one of my recipes. Seriously, it is a huge honor and I’m humbled by people’s kind comments. It is fair to say that Danbury is a country place, right? A reader commented that she had made my White Mushroom Spinach Lasagna and took it in a cab across New York City to a party to share with her coworkers and they all loved it! What a surprise. I felt like my very own child had grown up and gone to the big city!”
Another recent surprise came when Spraker’s recipe was featured on a popular site, iseeidoimake.com and her web traffic soared so high it broke the server for several days.
“I’ve been joking that Kim Kardashian and I broke the internet, except she didn’t do it with her Tennessee Onions,” Spraker quipped.
While the entrepreneur’s blog may have hit its sweet spot, Spraker is quick to say she and her business are a work in progress.
“I just do the next most important thing and don’t worry about the rest. My tombstone will not say, ‘She had such a clean house and manicured lawn.’ However, my children and grandchildren will say, ‘”I know for a fact that she loved me.’”
For more information about Wendi Spraker and her blog, Loaves and Dishes, visit http://www.loavesanddishes.net/.
Amanda Dodson can be reached at 336-813-2426 or on Twitter at AmandaTDodson.