The lockdown period caused by the ongoing pandemic has seen an upsurge in the number of home chefs and demand for home cooked food. Three friends JR Mugil Vanjinath, G.Gurukalyan and Saagarika Sivakumar took note of this trend, put their heads together and out of this friendship blossomed FoodShip. They started this initiative in August 2020 while they were pursuing their final year of graduation.
Now that they have completed their degree, they have plunged into the business full time. While Mugil and Gurukalyan graduated from Madras Christian College, Saagarika graduated from MOP Vaishnav College.
They started it as a page on Instagram @foodshipofficial but the overwhelming response and the positive feedback they received from many quarters made them take this initiative to the next level.
This initiative is aimed at building an end-to-end ecosystem of tools, resources, support and opportunities for home chefs and to assist them in monetizing their culinary skills. It is basically a platform for home based chefs to display their culinary talents, widen their reach and help them earn in the process.
“An app will be launched by the end of this year to connect home chefs to customers with ease” says Mugil.
The pandemic has thrown normal life out of gear. People have become more health conscious and prefer to consume home cooked food. It is here that FoodShip steps in as it is a one stop connection point for people who wish to cook and bake from their homes and sell their stuff to people who wish to purchase home cooked food.
They operate through a chef community manager who contacts home chefs from all over Chennai. Around 75 chefs have approached FoodShip so far and they have worked with around half the number. The chefs are of all ages with the eldest being 80 years and the youngest being just 12 years old.
Orders are placed either through Instagram or through Whatsapp. Their mouth watering menu ranges from Indian fusion items like Spaghetti in creamy tandoori sauce to French delicacies and even Russian cakes. Some other items on their menu are momos, cheesecakes, chaat items, Korean style burgers and gluten free desserts.
They have registered as a company in February this year. FoodShip has also forayed into corporate gifting and festive gifting. Here, gift boxes containing goodies curated from different home chefs are delivered to customers.
Their innovative venture bagged them an award at the MCC Entrepreneurship Innovation Contest conducted by MCC on behalf of the MCC Entrepreneurship Ideation Club in February/March 2021. Student entrepreneurs were invited to take part in the contest. Out of 30 entries, 6 were selected for the final round and FoodShip went on to win the contest. They won a cash prize of Rs 15,000/ and also got shortlisted to do an actual pitch for funding.
If your taste buds are tickled by the mouthwatering, scrumptious delicacies featured here or if you are one who can rustle up yummy food items, you can get in touch with FoodShip.
The cornerstone of a healthy diet is to eat wholesome meals. Virginia Woolf rightly puts it “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.’’
Juliana Sridhar is a lawyer and columnist
Wow! How the world has changed! During our days we couldn’t even imagine such enterprises . We had limited visions of aspiring for jobs in famous companies in far off Bombay!(Uncles in my village were known as ‘Tata Ramachandran, Firestone Mani. Dunlop Ambi etc!) .Teaching was considered a low paid profession a few decades ago. And now look at start ups like Byjus! Good luck!