Ted Miller is the co-owner of Cookbook People, which specializes in unique kitchen keepsakes that are perfect for the cook who has everything. We recently spoke with Ted about the importance of preserving traditional family recipes so that they can be passed on to future generations.
Tell us a bit about yourself. Why did you decide to start a kitchen keepsake business?
One day, I realized my own mom’s recipes didn’t exist anywhere but in her head, and if something happened to her they would be lost forever. I started writing a recipe book, but it was a pain and I thought there had to be an easier way. So my wife and I wrote some software to put together the recipe book, and we quickly found a market was out there for it.
From there, we’ve just branched out into binders, cards, recipe boxes, and more. Now, we’ve moved beyond that to other kitchen items. The focus on everything, though, has been making heirloom-quality products at very affordable prices.
What are some of the most unusual types of recipe books or binders that you’ve heard people make?
I’ve seen a few that went on for 700-800 pages in multiple volumes, which was pretty amazing to me. I’ve seen some focused on trains, dogs, you name it. Some of the recipes are frankly really, really bad; but you can see why they wrote them down, because even though a recipe was terrible, there had to be a story. I mean, what on earth is something with lime jello, popcorn, and mayonnaise good for?!
With so many young adults choosing to buy prepackaged meals or eat out, is there any danger of traditional family recipes being lost because they aren’t being prepared?
Definitely. It’s great to try new things, but food is an integral part of your family. Decades of tradition arise from what goes on in the kitchen.
Why might a “trendy” foodie be attracted to the old-style charm of your site’s recipe boxes or books?
There are a million recipes online for meatloaf, but there’s only one recipe written for your grandmother’s meatloaf. It may be written by hand. You can’t just scan it and throw it in the trash. It’s part of your family history. Put that collection in something beautiful that you can one day hand on to the next generation.
For the digitally-minded, how does the recipe software that you sell make collecting recipes easier?
It’s the only software specifically designed to help you write and print a family cookbook without doing anything but entering recipes. You get 27 different print templates to choose from just by clicking a button.
What gift from your website might be perfectly suited for a foodie?
People love our new spoon and spatula gift sets. We engrave your name on the handles of beautiful solid hardwood kitchen tools so that when you go to a potluck, everybody can easily identify what you cooked. It’s really an amazing product that doesn’t cost a lot.
Looking for other gifts for that special foodie? Check out our selection today!