Buy unique Homemade food from local cooks

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Hey Ben! Thanks so much. Homemade was inspired by my incredible grandmother, who we call Gaga in my family, and her amazing cooking. It was originally dreamed up as almost a digital bake sale for others to connect with her food, since she cannot get around super well. I brought this VERY rough concept to one of my best friends, Mike @IchabodDee and over the last couple of years we've refined it as a way for anyone with the core competency and interest in cooking to sell food to others.
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I love Homemade app, met with the team at Techstars and got to try out their food. Delicious. Best part is when we are having a long day (which is every day) in the office, we order from Homemade to boost the morale and get something refreshing for lunch. Highly recommended if you are running a startup and want to surprise/delight your team.
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I appreciate the concerns expressed, but I wouldn't be worried by them. Taxis used to to sell the value prop that they have superior knowledge of the city, qualifications etc. But now we see past that apparent value and use Uber. We realised that the 'trust' factor wasn't worth it. Exactly the same with Airbnb. I think this is stunning and am really excited by it. I don't know how this would look (could be a myfitnesspal integration), but if the cook could input nutritional data, that would be sweet. The fitness community would eat that up (see what I did there). Good luck. You're going to have SO many doubters, but I think it'll be so worth it.
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@dannylowney Thank you so much for the support Danny. We feel the same way. We've been looking at some various options to get the nutritional data up on the application easily. Myfitnesspal is great idea/option, also a service like Ingredient1 or something that can make accurate assumptions from our ingredient list. My impression is quality ingredients are the biggest factor to creating healthy and delicious meals. I would love to have you try Homemade out when we reach your community/neighborhood. We're coming to the Southern California area over the next few weeks.
@ndevane I absolutely love that you think I'm in SoCal... but let me know when you're in London! Proper ingredients absolutely are important. But fitness folk are interested with Macronutrients above all. If you offered that info, would make it super easy to track. I'm justing thinking of the emergence of healthy food delivery services :) P.S. Insta game strong. Awesome foodie influencers are gonna be so πŸ”‘
@dannylowney I think people are quite trusting and community dynamics will be able to fix the poor people quickly. To me it's logistics - if you don't nail that experience it can be the most frustrating aspect. I've seen a couple of other products in this space and it's the logistics of getting food from point A to point B that kills them.
I'm generally very positive about marketplaces and tech that encourage or enable people to create and ideally, make a living off of something they love to do; however, I'm skeptical that many people will be willing to buy and pickup food from a local stranger. Maybe people are more trusting than I expect (Airbnb has shown that millions of people are excited to stay in a stranger's home) but I cringed a little bit when the cook placed the delicious-looking meal in the box with his bare hands in this video:
Thoughts, @ichaboddee and @ndevane?
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@rrhoover I agree... I 100% know that in a restaurant you don't technically know what they are doing in the kitchen or how they are prepping your food but I trust a good restaurant will take necessary steps of being super clean etc. I don't think I'd be too comfortable not knowing who is cooking and preparing my meal.
@rrhoover Thanks for the feedback! My apologies, I responded below.
@rrhoover Totally, its something we've spent a lot of time thinking about and working to improve, and Homemade may have a long road to establish meaningful trust. We've found many people selling food off Instagram, hacked yelp/seamless accounts, and running pop-up dinners from their homes and uncertified spaces. Businesses like Eatwith, Dinnerlab, and Feastly have created fantastic solutions and businesses around similar behavior. Our rating and review system allows us to freeze any cook who's food receives negative feedback. Additionally, we have a long list of expectations for cooks and how they prepare food from a sanitation perspective. We provide this information to every cook and make it readily available on mobile, while a fast-casual restaurant in many instances only needs one person on premises to have a food handlers license. Coming from a restaurant background and knowing the way that the current system works, I am somewhat of the party that we collectively place a lot of trust in entities that are infrequently checked or certified. In New York for instance, you can fail a sanitation test and have horrible violations (like rats in your kitchen), but are allowed a full month to display a 'Grade Pending' rating before you get another shot to improve, if you still have not remedied the situation you can appeal and operate for a full additional month, all the while serving people regularly. Lastly, Homemade takes cooks and pulls their networks into our CRM which helps them market to their people, so the typical use case is really buying/picking up food from friends and friends of friends in their local community. We have not built a big business around strangers selling to other strangers at this point.
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@rrhoover I had this exact same reaction at first glance. I wonder if there is something about food that requires a higher threshold of comfort for use in this capacity. With transportation and living spaces, we interact with the service at a level of abstraction that can't exist when it comes to food. I can get out of the car or leave the apartment if I am not comfortable but I have to make a decision from the outset to trust the service because once I take my first bite, there's no bailing. The rating system is vital for increasing the level of comfort but that immediacy of buy-in to the service will be tough for me to swallow. (excuse the pun)
@kylenoble @rrhoover Lets get to the meat of the issue ; ) Food is tricky because of how poorly prepared food can cause harm and illness. It's an incredibly intimate thing and to your point, if you wake up in the middle of the night with your airbnb host overtop of you, you can in theory run away or call for help. Our view of growth and establishing trust starts with riffing off of existing networks, if friends and mutual friends are the start of a cook sharing food on Homemade, their reviews and ratings may create the necessary jump for less adventurous eaters. At some point, if dozens of people have said "You absolutely have to try Joe Dinoto's Chicken Parm", you may just be tempted by their reviews, friends talking about it, and seeing amazing pictures of the food (and cook). The best part of Homemade is actually when you do get to meet someone you don't know. We call it 'community through food' and it is a powerful way to connect with your neighbors.
Thanks so much for posting us @alexiskold Homemade is an easy way for people who love food to start sharing their gift with their networks and communities. We're interested in providing people a way to build a brand around their food in a low cost and easy way that takes advantage of the latent production spaces all around us. We are surrounded by lots of amazing cooks, both hobbyists and professionals, that are relegated to high-cost structures and an incredibly high-barrier industry. We allow them to come into our homes as caterers, cook other folks' menus at restaurants, and make low wages (20k a yr) when they're producing a high-value product. The real beauty and culture of food lies in the delicious meals individuals specialize in and have been passed through families and communities for generations.
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