By Mark Drinkard, Staff Writer–
After taking a leap and following a personal dream, Donta Franklin plans to take UTC by storm with his cooking and share some of his hometown culture with the campus.
Franklin, a junior majoring in computer science and minoring in business administration, recently started his own wing business called WingsWithTae, and has been promoting his food through social media, mainly utilizing the platform Twitter.
Although he has only recently started marketing his creations, cooking has always been part of his life. He credits his family as the reason behind his interest in cooking.
“I come from a household where my grandma cooked, my mom cooked, and my dad cooked, so it’s always been instilled in me, so why not learn something that could bring potential business down the road,” Franklin said.
The idea to expand his hobby into a business began his during freshman year. He said he would often cook for his friends, and they found the plates he served so good that they would offer to pay for them.
Although his friends and family might be why WingsWithTae began, he cites his hometown of Memphis, TN as one of his largest influences during the process. His goal now is to share that culture to Chattanooga through his food.
“Memphis is kinda like the central location for hot wings,” Franklin explained. “I don’t think you could go anywhere else and find wings as good. So why not bring that to a place like Chattanooga where they don’t have that influence or culture.”
The Memphis influence is most obvious in the flavors of wings that he sells. He offers honey gold flavor, a famous and authentic taste that has become a Memphis staple. He also offers his own twist on honey hot wings, which adds a little bit of sweetness to the classic spicy flavor.
For now, Franklin would like to keep the business relatively small, as he does not have the manpower for many clients, but when looking to the future, he has high ambitions for his brand.
He would like to begin catering small events soon and eventually grow WingsWithTae into a full franchise.
“Hopefully I can open a couple of wing joints kinda like Wingstop if, God willing, it becomes a big franchise, but a more realistic goal for the near future would be to open up my own food truck.”
To see what Donta Franklin has to offer or to try his wings, customers can reach him on Twitter at @Wingswithtae1. His story will certainly one to follow in the future.