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HOBBYCOOK - The Home Food Market

In coversation with the founder & CEO at HOBBYCOOK, Neel Shah, an IIM graduate with over 10 years of experience including 4 years in Food & Nutrition, responsible for Business Alliances & Growth Strategies.

"After air and water, I realized that food is the most frequently consumed item and provides a huge opportunity for businesses dealing in food. We also looked to use a high potential yet under-utilized resource – HOUSEWIVES to provide us freshly made, hygienically packed, healthy home food. We aim to create self-employment opportunity for thousands of women across India and give them identity, income and independence."

How does HobbyCook work?
HOBBYCOOK aims to be the HOME FOOD MARKET where we connect customers to authentic regional cuisines, traditional ingredients and age-old family recipes. We look to sell home cooked food across the globe and create a brand of healthy & tasty food for daily nutrition.

"We started with delivering lunch packs to working professionals in Ahmedabad and have now expanded to snack items, sweets & desserts, customized party menus, school meals, etc. We now have 35+ home chefs on board who have listed 450+ interesting and innovative food items from cuisines across the country and the world."

Why you have chosen to have home chefs on the board, as you might have many options for that?

I realized that there are resources available in the world and for real inclusive economic growth, one such resource was HOUSEWIVES. We wanted to use their existing skills and cooking was one of them. We wanted to give a platform to passionate home chefs to showcase their skills, work from their own home and earn money. On the other hand, food is a recession-free, frequently consumed item that gives a chance for subscription model and getting a customer on-board for monthly / quarterly packs. Clubbing deliveries during lunch hours also helps get better unit-economics and aim for better RoCA (Return on Customer Acquisition).

HOBBYCOOK aims to give complete flexibility to chefs in terms of what to cook, when to cook and how much to cook. The chefs decide the lunch menu for the day which is uploaded by us on the site. Customers come to the site for the menu of the day and place orders as per need in the morning. Chefs cook the meals & pack it in containers given by us. We pick and deliver to customers before lunch time.

We also deliver brunch / snack / meal options in bulk to organizations and schools as per requirement. These are either packed in bulk or individually as per requirement. We also deliver sweets & desserts for celebrations / events / festivals for individuals or corporates.

With a growing economy like India, we see a lot of urbanization and people working away from home. With the increasing pace and competition, food is often neglected and most people fail to get balanced nutrition. While there are multiple options available for junk food, home food is the best in terms of nutrition, health and taste. Home food is also that you can consume everyday. Having multiple home chefs on board gives customers variety in taste, cuisine and budget.

Can you share one incidence where you feel overwhelmed by the review you got for ur efforts?

While the reviews matter, but our biggest satisfaction is when we have chefs earning over Rs10,000 in a week. We feel happy, proud and satisfied to have given the business to the chef and impacted a life, one at a time. While we look to earn money ourselves, we are more passionate about building this awesome community of home chefs.

"On the product side, SweetJars (Jars with traditional sweets), Dal Baati, Thepla Combos, Frankie, Pizza Rolls are items appreciated by all. Repeat orders are a sign of trust on our service and appreciation for our efforts."

How you manage connecting customers to passionate Home Chefs?
Connecting customers to home chefs looks difficult but getting both home chefs and customers on board was easy and equally exciting. We have been pleasantly surprised to see the passion and commitment of housewives in providing us some delicious items. We have a policy of keeping chefs at the centre and empowering them. If they happy, the food will have a special ingredient – LOVE, that adds to the value proposition and makes the meal offerings worth consuming regularly.

How you encourage home chefs to be a part of HobbyCook?

For housewives, the most comfortable place is their own home and even further, their kitchen. We ask the chefs to cook from their own kitchens while we take care of the rest. The chefs do not have to invest anything as we do the sales, marketing, pick-up, delivery, etc. For lunch, we also assure them a minimum business and for other categories, we try to give them business atleast once a week to keep them interested and motivated to experiment. We also plan to conduct chef meets, celebrity chef sessions and other activities to further enable and empower the hobbycook community.

How one can be a Home chef in HobbyCook?

If you are passionate about cooking and want to serve some awesome meals to various people, we provide you the perfect platform. Visit our website, click on the tab “Become A Chef” and fill up the form on the link. Alternatively, you can directly go to this link - or contact Neel Shah (+91-9099005451 |


Publised On: Oct 12, 2016

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