On September 13th, 2019 the 3rd annual Taste of Witt Event commenced. Over 400 people attended the free event. Both vendors and students who attended the event shared positive experiences. Taylor Benford (’22) stated that the event was “iconic” because he “really loves free food.” Another student, Caleb Austin (’21) said that it was not all about the food, but “the event connects students with the community,” while also having fun and meeting new students and faculty on campus. Along those same lines Emily Wile (’22) said that it gave her “the opportunity to talk to the owners of these businesses about their journey and how they came to be what they are now.” She added, “it was perfect for students looking to start their own business”.
Featured vendors included Tim McCarthy, Wittenberg Class of 2002 from Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers, Tim Poulos from Tropical Smoothie Café, Scott Griffith from Lee’s Famous Recipe Chicken, Debbie Titus from Mad Sweet Heat, and Sara Addis Montei from Station One.
“I was very pleased with the student turnout for this event,” said Scott Griffith of Lee’s Famous Recipe Chicken. “I had several conversations with some very interested students and will gladly do this again if asked. The students I spoke to had specific questions and were genuinely interested in my opinions and experience. These were not just ‘fill in the blanks, I have a paper to write’ discussions; students were definitely wanting feedback on career choices they are making, and I’d encourage more interactions like this.”
Debbie Titus from Mad Sweet Heat said “What a great event to showcase local businesses to students and faculty who were as interested in the story behind the business as the food they were sampling. Numerous Wittenberg students shared with us that they too desired to one day own their own business. We felt they appreciated our candor about what it takes to really believe in yourself, your ideas and have the gumption to put it in motion. It's great when the business owner can walk away feeling as though they too gained as much insight from this exchange as the audience it was intended for". Mad Sweet Heat is a small family owned business producing candied jalapenos and jalapeno relish. Their product is in about 60 stores across Ohio, including 10 restaurants in Springfield.