Press a few buttons on your phone and moments later you hear a knock at the door. It’s a man from the next suburb delivering some piping hot homemade pies.
Dial up a classic home cooked meal. Photo: Marina Oliphant
That’s the future envisioned by former Menulog bosses Gary Munitz and Tim Chandler.
After selling the restaurant ordering app, Munitz, Chandler along with co-founder Ben Lipschitz have designed a new online marketplace app, FoodByUs, for home cooked and small batch food.
Ben Lipschitz and Tim Chandler, two of the three co-founders of FoodByUs.
They’re calling it “Uber for home cooking”.
The sharing economy expands
Vendors are able to cook the food they choose and set their own prices, with the website already showing $12 for a vegan lasagna or $30 for a homemade raspberry cake.
The service is only in Sydney, but will be in Melbourne by the end of the year. It will bring together the kind of cooking that is usually on show at community markets or farmers markets.
“We only accept top makers and every purchase on FoodByUs must get rated by the buyer so everyone gets the best quality,” assures Lipschitz.
As part of the approval process, FoodByUs conducts taste tests to approve vendors going onto the site. The promise to consumers is that these aren’t widely available commercial products. But not all of them are exactly home cooks.
One example of a FoodByUs maker is Brooklyn Boy Bagels’ founder, Michael Shafran, who says he started the business because Australian bagels weren’t up to scratch for his New York palate.
We only accept top makers and every purchase on FoodByUs must get rated by the buyer so everyone gets the best quality.
FoodByUs co-founder Ben Lipschitz
“We actually do a two-day process to make the bagel,” he explains in a video on the website.
“I think people are quite surprised that the ingredient list is not that complicated. We source our flour from smaller farms and mills, some in the Flinders Ranges out to the central table lands and northern New South Wales.”
Two million dollar head start
Lipschitz, Munitz and Chandler began work on the project in early 2016 after receiving $2 million in cornerstone from a group of private and institutional investors.
The trio expect the business to bloom in an environment where the sharing economy is growing so strongly that many platforms report a shortage of supply.