How many times have you dropped the idea of cooking a recipe, because all the ingredients are not immediately available? It happens to me very frequently. Cookfresh, founded by Anshul Narang and Raghav Kohli aims to solve the problem by home delivering all that you need to whip up that perfect food.
Story behind the Startup
“As students in college, we would often have house parties where we cooked for our friends and regularly tried new recipes. However, post college, we found less time to ourselves as a result of which we ended up cooking only on weekends. We figured this is a major reason why most people become disenchanted with cooking and decided to do something about it. Hence, Cookfresh”, starts off Raghav.
The idea at Cookfresh is to make cooking a fun process rather than a headache. The team does all the legwork – choose the recipe and shop for the ingredients, which are then washed, portioned, chopped, labeled and delivered fresh to our customers. All the customer has do is cook using the recipe card that CookFresh sends them.
Anshul and Raghav have been friends since school days at DPS. Anshul has a bachelor’s degree in business, post which he worked for 4 years with a consulting firm. On the other hand, Raghav holds a Master’s degree in Economics and last year founded an ecommerce startup Barmonkey, which retails bar furniture and bar accessories.
The journey so far
On the market research done before starting up, Raghav says – ” We did a brief survey to study cooking habits and found that the nuisance of sourcing ingredients or finding the right recipe deters most people from getting back into the kitchen. Even though most ingredients are now readily available, it makes little sense to buy a bottle of rice wine when all you need is a tablespoon.”.
Cookfresh was launched in February and the response so far has been fantastic. The team has received dozens of calls from people to congratulate and wish them luck, which in itself is very encouraging. The team maintains their own kitchen in VasantKunj (Delhi) and have their own delivery vehicle. All the vegetables and meat are sourced fresh everyday. Cookfresh is 5 people strong, including the co-founders.
The startup ran a Facebook campaign two weeks before launching, and got their first few customers from there.Currently, cookfresh team is delivering an average of 10 boxes a day and that number shoots up during weekends, says Raghav.
Cookfresh is completely bootstrapped. The startup is one month old and Raghav tells us that their singular focus right now is on building a solid base, post which they will look for funding.
Challenges of a foodpreneur
The biggest challenge has been in differentiating the product from ordering in from a restaurant. The Cookfresh team caters to people who are not only foodies, but also find joy in cooking. A Cookfresh box includes everything one needs for the meal, right down to the rice and olive oil. All you need are some basic utensils in your kitchen. They are not competing with restaurants and strongly believe that they have a distinct market. The team has created a product that enables people to use their hands and gives them a greater stake in what they eat.
The Cookfresh team doesn’t see the customer base as limited only to women. Apart from the routine stuff like marketing on social media, newspaper flyers, print advertisements etc., they’re also looking to partner with chefs and recipe authors to increase visibility for the brand while promoting the recipes and books. In addition to this, the Cookfresh team will be participating actively in food exhibitions and flea markets across town.
An encouraging sign is that they’ve also been receiving very good word of mouth and many of the customers have come back to place repeat orders.
Cookfresh was launched with 18 recipes and the team is now in the process of revamping the menu. In the near future, they plan to introduce a salads and desserts section. Eventually the team will also be introducing a subscription model wherein a customer will receive 3 boxes on a weekly basis with new recipes each week.
TTP’s take on Cookfresh
What Raghav says is very true – while I do have the time and many internet recipes on cooking, the actual problem comes down to finding exact portions of the ingredients according to each recipe. With lot of women earning and bachelor’s rise in preference to cook rather than eat out, cookfresh would come as a delight. The word of mouth looks good for a month old startup, and revenues are a validation of the idea. However, the team has to plan out logistics of delivery very well, as the orders scale up. We wish cookfresh team all the best!