I’m on the bus back home. I can already smell the aromas of my mothers home-cooked meals. The cream that bathes at the bottom of my most-loved dishes, the mango that teases my sweet tooth, and most memorably, the inevitable bargaining with my sister over the last spoon of our favourite recipe. I miss the comforts of seeing my loved ones around the dinner table. And just like that, I’m back in reality on the bus, my heart melts in the loneliness of my store bought lunch. Maybe I don’t have to wait until the holidays or a visit to mum to taste my home-cooked favourites. Chachi’s Food, an app for passionate foodies, makes it possible to bring those loving meals to my busy desk. It makes this small wish a reality.
Every week starts with the ambition of giving myself more time to cook. But it’s not that simple; the problem with home-made food is three-fold. Such a meal requires time, knowledge of recipes, and a passion for cooking. As a busy professional, it can be difficult to overcome these obstacles.
Kamal Saini overcame these challenges for the sake of his wife. When she was sick, Saini was hampered in the kitchen grateful to his friends and family for bringing home-cooked meals to his rescue. Seeing his wife come back to life with the nourishment of home-made food made him want to share this experience with others. That was beginning of Chachi’s Food. The app now operates in tribute to his wife, Sharon Singh, who runs the business.
Singh had a lot to contend with in the success of this app. Home-cooked food was dying. So said the 2015 Washington Post article, ‘The Slow Death of the Home-Cooked Meal.’ It shook the internet with this controversial statement. According to a national survey conducted in January 2019, by Presidents Choice Eat Together Campaign, almost 1 in 3 Canadians confess to spending over 4 hours of free time in front of the screen every day; time that could be used to create fresh and healthy meals. It’s as if we know something we love is dying and are doing nothing about it. Singh couldn’t fathom that. This app is her heart-felt call to action. It solves our obstacles and connects foodies with independent private chefs who offer authentic home-cooked meals. Launched three years ago, it unites people in their passion for healthy food.
Eddie Yoon’s survey in the 2017 Harvard Business Review says, only 10% of Americans professed a love of cooking, 45% hated it, and 45% teetered on the fence. “I’ve come to think of cooking as being similar to sewing”, says Yoon in the review. [As recently as 20 years ago, people made their own clothing]. The tiny minority who still buy fabric […] do it mainly as a hobby.” For those who miss home-made food, prefer the couch to the kitchen, and want a healthier lifestyle, this app is one solution. I live in the reality of these statistics. I’m so lonely in my kitchen that my cat claws spike out when someone else enters (and I only cook once a week). On the positive side, the promising 2017 ReportLinker survey, in the article ‘Most Americans Prefer to Cook at Home’ says, 15% of millennials already turned to self-cooking services that year. And 95% of Americans admitting a preference to home-made meals over store-bought dishes. Home-cooked food may be dying, but the desire for home-cooked food is still alive. Chachi’s Food keeps it alive.
This desire resonates not only with millennials but foodies of all ages and ethnicities. With Chachi’s, anyone can offer their homemade dishes. And the customer can enjoy old favorites while discovering new ones.
Masood Rafee, a middle-aged man in the fashion industry, says he signed up after being disappointed in the Pakistani curry he found in a very famous restaurant in his neighbourhood.
“It just wasn’t the taste we had in my part of the country,” he said. “It was something my mother made. Something I used to have, loved, and couldn’t find anymore.” The reality is that many immigrants or millennials born of immigrant parents, raised with cultural food, start independent lives without much time to cook.
“There is just something different about food cooked at home with fresh spices by people who have been making those recipes for years,” says Rafee. With Chachi’s, home becomes closer than ever, either a block away or delivered straight to your door.
“Something interesting is happening,” says Tom Goodwin in a TechCruch article referenced in Christian J. Ward’s novel Data Leverage … “Uber, the world’s largest taxi company, owns no vehicles. Facebook, the world’s most popular media owner, creates no content. Alibaba, the most valuable retailer, has no inventory. And AirBNB, the world’s largest accommodation provider, owns no real-estate.” Chachi’s Food operates in a similar fashion with the potential to surpass capabilities of existing food delivery companies. It’s a network without inventory, connecting foodies to local freelancers who can provide them the endangered service of a home-made meal. Fresh & Uber Eats have gone a long way toward making healthy, clean food accessible. Chachi’s goes further and makes home-cooked food accessible while minimizing food waste with pre-planned meals. The app offers shared economies, reduced marketing headaches for private chefs, and delivers nostalgic dishes, all the while eliminating processed oils and foods provided by restaurants. It’s possibly the Uber, Facebook, or AirBNB of tomorrow.
The world is changing. And Chachi’s Food is the future for working professionals who don’t have time or the expertise to cook. The facts say it all. The love for home-cooked food is vastly alive. It resonates in the hearts of passionate foodies. It’s cries for my love on my bus-ride home. Let’s save our nostalgic taste-buds. Let’s save our health. Most importantly, let’s save home.