Behind the screens with Waco Wise

Photo courtesy of Waco Wise

By Claire Van Zee | Reporter

Waco couple James and Kami Yasko are the brains behind the event and dining recommendation website, Waco Wise. Their slogan, “What. When. Where. Waco.” explains what visitors can expect to find on their site.

The regularly updated site is full of thoroughly researched recommendations for everything in Waco from the best happy hours and meal deals to the best antique shops and museums. According to its Instagram, Waco Wise is “The Good Time Curators of Waco!”

The site also contains a list of almost every event happening around the city for the next few months.

When moving to Waco almost six years ago, the couple remember wanting a place to check out what was going on al-around town.

“Back then, if you wanted to know who was playing at The Backyard, you had to go to their website and hope that it was up to date,” James Yasko said. “And then you had to go to Common Grounds to see who was playing there.”

With the creation of their own site, the couple wanted it to be a one stop shop for what was happening in Waco.

“We wanted it to be the place to go if you were wondering, ‘What can I do tonight?’” James Yasko said.

While the idea originally came to Kami Yasko six years ago when they first arrived in Waco, it took a few years for them to launch the site. During the summer of 2018, the Yaskos finally spent an entire week driving around Waco creating lists of businesses and curating Waco Wise.

“We eventually came to the decision that Waco is booming and it’s not going to stop booming anytime soon,” Kami Yasko said.

Kami Yasko said really what the site is about, is supporting local businesses.

“Where Texans love Texas, Wacoans love Waco,” Kami Yasko said.

Growing up Kami was taught to support local businesses and this idea is reflected on the site with the wide variety of happy hour and meal deal recommendations.

“All of those businesses are locally owned and run. Our hope is to not only highlight what’s good, but also what’s local,” Kami Yasko said.

What makes Waco Wise different from other informational sites is that their platform is self contained, meaning everything you need to know about an event is listed on the site, James Yasko said. The event name, place, time and cost is listed along with a short description of the event.

In the future, they hope to monetize the website. During the day, James Yasko is a high school history teacher and soccer coach and Kami Yasko teaches preschool and works as the host of multiple Airbnbs around town. Eventually, they would love to advertise on the site in order to actually profit from it.