“Behind every recipe you love is a story you want to share.” With that philosophy in mind, longtime friends Bill Rice and Chip Lowell formed the Great Family Cookbook Project, a website for collecting recipes and creating cookbooks. What began 12 years ago as a way for Rice, a Wellfleet resident, to compile all of his family’s beloved recipes has turned into a successful business that has amassed more than 1.2 million recipes, and printed tens of thousands of cookbooks for customers across the United States and Canada.
“It really is a labor of love that we have been able to put together something that people can really use,” says Rice, who has worked in the Internet marketing industry for nearly 25 years. “One of the things that made this take off is its simplicity.”
Creating a cookbook through the Family Cookbook Project is as easy as signing up on the website to become a member (memberships start at $7.95 per month) and uploading recipes. Through the site, users can invite their family and friends via email to contribute recipes. Not only does this method allow everyone to get in on the cookbook-making fun, but it also makes the recipe-collection process much easier, says Rice.
“Instead of having one person submit 100 recipes, you have 10 people submitting 10 recipes,” Rice says. “We were one of the first [online cookbook publishers] to actually focus on families and build a tool so that all family members could come in and do it,” adds Lowell, a Virginia-based marketing professional and web developer who designed the site’s cookbook software.
Once recipes are uploaded, users can design their cookbooks by choosing from a number of templates and covers; savvy designers can even create personalized covers and customize recipe layouts. Users can also add photos to accompany their recipes and include the stories behind the dishes. When it comes time to publish the book, Family Cookbook Project can handle the printing (the cost of each cookbook depends on the total page count). The company also has an app that allows users to access their recipes from their iPhone or Android devices.
A family cookbook can be a meaningful holiday gift. “People love to give a personalized gift,” Rice says. “What’s more personalized than sharing all your favorite foods—the foods that came from your family traditions—with people, other than actually cooking it for them?” Many customers also use the site to create cookbooks to sell at fundraisers, Rice says. “It’s something different,” he says, “and it’s a community project that brings everyone together as well as raises money.”
To learn more about the Great Family Cookbook Project, visit familycookbookproject.com.
Haley Cote is the staff writer for
Cape Cod Life Publications.