Adventures in LlamaSite: My pandemic baby…

Melissa Hill Dees
4 min readDec 6, 2021

In the last several months, I have been overjoyed to welcome so many new #babyblazers (as we call them in the #trailblazercommunity) to the world! In March of 2020, we all thought the pandemic would be short-lived, right? By November of 2020, we wondered if we would ever NOT be in the pandemic. Time became both short and long and strangely elastic. I think we all stopped taking people and relationships and small pleasures for granted. And, that is when a lot of the “pandemic baby boom” began.

Everyone seemed to be looking for some comfort. Having lived in the southern United States all my life, food is just another way to spell comfort. And it seemed everyone else thought so, too. In every culture, food brings people together and getting together is just what we needed when everyone was feeling so isolated. So #foodforce was born.

My pandemic baby started as a Twitter hashtag. Then Sarah Orens took up the challenge and we created a Twitter account to share all the comfort food everyone was cooking. Meanwhile, I had a real job with a brand new app getting ready to launch. Maybe you’ve heard of it? LlamaSite. I was super busy with grand plans for how easy LlamaSite would be for customers to use as an alternative to Digital Experience for Volunteers for Salesforce, Outbound Funds, support interfaces, case management, events, and more.

As more and more people started cooking and sharing their photos and recipes and stories around food on the Twitter account, Mike DeMaria mentioned one day that he had built a prototype for a Salesforce cooking app. Together we spent one evening building on a LlamaSite I spun up from scratch. Literally, 2–3 hours later, we had a working site! No code, no maintenance, no upkeep. The most difficult part was deciding on and purchasing the domain.

How did we create in an evening? Let’s take a quick look.

Step 1.

Mike installed his Cooking app in Salesforce. Super simple. And pretty.

Step 2.

Recreate this experience for everyone to be able to submit recipes and to search for recipes. We installed the LlamaSite app from AppExchange and chose Template design 5 to get started. We added a couple of graphics related to Foodforce to the landing page and created the menu.

Step 3.

We needed an easy way for folks to share a recipe. So we used the form functionality in LlamaSite to create a form with fields mapped to the Recipe object in Mike’s Cooking app. You can even upload a photo of your delicious finished product. Share a recipe with us!

Step 4.

Great! Now we’re collecting all those delicious recipes from everyone. How do we share them and make them easily searchable, regardless of what it is you remember about the recipe? LlamaSite’s answer is the Listing Block, the most powerful tool you may not have known you needed.

Simply add a Listing Block. Choose the Salesforce object and listview you want to use. Choose the format in which you want it to render, e.g. data table, map, grid. Finish the details for the fields. And, voila, you’re done! Try the recipe search to find recipes by the cook, an ingredient, even the minutes to make.

Step 5.

Cook! And share your recipes as well as give us feedback. On the roadmap soon, we want to be able to rate recipes and translate between imperial and metric measures. Plus, right now we are looking for your very best vegan recipes. Ines Garcia is the resident vegan expert. Let’s cook together soon.

And that, my friends, is the story of our pandemic baby.

Melissa Hill Dees

Partner @handsonconnect @llamasite Founder @Nonprofit Dreamin #SalesforceMVP Champion of #domoregood #WiT #EqualityForAll 9X @salesforce certified. #speaker