WICHITA, Kansas – Wichitans are showing their respect and paying tribute to a woman who inspired a lot of people in the community.
People have shown an outpouring of support outside of Tanya’s Soup Kitchen. Flowers and pictures have been left outside of her business.
We talked to numerous people today. Customers and friends say Tanya made a huge impact in the community much larger than her soup kitchen.
“She was a bit of a free spirit. She’s extremely kind, but she was dedicated to giving back to the community,” said Tanya’s Soup Kitchen employee Annie Arnett.
Friends say Tanya Tandoc made a huge impact in the community, one plate at a time.
“It’s so cliché, you could taste it in the food. She knew… God she was smart,” said customer at Tanya’s Soup Kitchen Sean Thompson. “She knew food science that I just wish I knew.”
“Really, Tanya was a huge influence on my wife’s decision to go to culinary school. She saw her as being the really first strong female culinary presence in Wichita,” Butler Community College Executive Chef John Michael said.
Impacting people through her place of business and on the dance floor at Amira Dance Productions.
“She was great on stage. You could feel her energy come across. She had great stage presence,” said Amira Dance Productions Director Patricia Baab.
Baab says she was supposed to dance at Riverfest Thursday, but she never showed up.
“There were quite a few of us, since Wednesday actually trying to contact her through various forms, even going by her house to see if she was there and we did not get any responses,” Baab said.
Her friends, coworkers and even customers want her presence to be remembered for years to come.
“She had a really lively personality. So I think that’ll be talked about for years and years. She’ll be missed,” said Tanya’s Soup Kitchen customer Jessica Wasson.
The support from the community is incredible. You can see it on her Facebook page. One guy even came out her to drop off soup for a neighboring business for everyone to enjoy. He says that’s what Tanya would do, feed people and put a smile on their face.