Any college student knows that eating well on campus is a constant struggle. For many students, this is the first time that they have been charged with the task of feeding themselves. They can no longer rely on having dinner waiting for them at the table after late-night practice in the gym or the theater. And between juggling five classes, sports practice and club meetings, sometimes a bar or your 6th ramen bowl of the week seems like the only feasible meal available to you in college.
Despite these set backs, there can be a healthy marriage between college life and food if you set your mind to it. And that is exactly what Georgetown student Mike Dee MSB ’13 and his partner, Nick Devane, decided to do. Dee and Devane’s new app, Homemade, intends to create new food experiences by allowing local chefs to sell home-cooked meals to their neighbors.
The initial inspiration for the app came from Devane who wished that he could share his grandmother’s famous yellow cake with chocolate frosting with his peers. While the food market is perhaps one of the fastest growing and most dynamic, Devane noticed that there lacked a marketplace for homemade food. Solution: Dee and Devane decided to build it themselves.
What makes their app different from other food service apps is that Homemade’s focus is on creating new food experiences. Other apps like Seamless, OpenTable or Blue Apron work to optimize convenience, either by delivering food to your house, helping to make reservations, or providing pre-portioned ingredients for home-cooked meals. Dee and Devane hope to take the food service game a step further by combining convenience and experience.
“Picking up food from someone in your community is a unique experience. Eating food that comes from a 3-generation-old family recipe is special. It is entirely different from eating at a restaurant where you almost never know the person that is cooking your food,” says Dee. The app also breaks down the barrier between consumer and chef by giving users the opportunity to meet the men and women in the kitchen.
The app hopes to appeal to those individuals who lead busy lives but do not have the time or skill to whip up a freshly cooked meal each night. Cue college students: between all of our on-campus commitments we often have to settle for cheap food for convenience. Homemade hopes to ease the pressure placed on students to suffer through the monotony of college campus meals by creating a marketplace for home-cooked food.
The price of full meals range from $8 – $12, which is actually competitive with most food options in Georgetown like Sweetgreen and Chipotle. The difference is that the meals offered through Homemade are more diverse in taste. Plus, the app has a strict acceptance policy for chefs. The people at Homemade vet their cooks by tasting all the food featured on the app and by checking out the kitchens of all registered cooks.
Homemade is looking to increase its presence on college campuses, and the service is heading to Georgetown this month. Anyone can sign up to cook or purchase these meals by just downloading the app and ordering! #Byeleos
As for next steps, Mike explains, “Our plan for a college campus rollout is to find one lead community manager, then build a small team of people interested in helping Homemade launch at their school.”