Lab Dispatches

Dispatches from the Lab – Founders Corner

Post by Daniella Raposo, Manager of the Columbia Startup Lab.

Hungry for another venture feature?  Without further ado, I introduce you to EasyFeast, the CSL start-up offering personal chef services, accessible to you.

We all know the only thing we cook up here are million dollar ideas, so while you go conquer the world, let EasyFeast worry about dinner.

Hear from founder Emily Magid ’14BUS about her journey:

My “Ah Ha” Moment

The birth of my first child, combined with working a full-time and demanding job, made finding the time to cook for my family a near impossibility. Ordered takeout felt unhealthy though – plus it never tasted that great.

My “ah ha” moment came one Sunday, when I hired a babysitter to watch my son so that I would have time to cook (my husband worked most Sundays.) It turned out to be a gorgeous day, and she asked me if she could take my son out for a walk. I immediately felt jealous because I wanted to be the one to enjoy the beautiful weather with my son – especially after working a long week. On top of that, the turkey burgers that I made that were meant to last us for the week turned out really bad, so we only ate them for one night and the rest got thrown out – so I had that to feel guilty about as well. When my husband came home later that day, I told him we needed a personal chef and we both kind of laughed about that because we didn’t think it was something we would ever be able to afford. But it got me thinking, and one thing led to another.

What I needed were delicious, nutritious, and tailored home-cooked meals waiting at home for me and my family after our long days. When I couldn’t find the service I needed in the marketplace – except at exorbitantly high prices – EasyFeast was born.

I would not have had the tools to start EasyFeast without my experience at Columbia Business School (MBA Class of ’14)– including the unbelievably supportive alumni network and the Columbia Startup Lab–and for that I am tremendously grateful.

My hope for EasyFeast is that, beyond cooking delicious meals, we’ll help make it just that much easier for our customers to balance it all, be healthy, and feel proud of the way they’re parenting. Plus, the restaurant industry is notoriously grating, and I’m proud that we’re able to help our chefs do what they love in a meaningful and pleasant work environment.

How EasyFeast Can Help You

EasyFeast makes it simple to book a personal chef to cook in your kitchen and stock your fridge with personalized meals.

Tired of the same old, sad takeout? Need to get the picky eaters in your family to eat their vegetables? Or simply want to serve your household high-quality home-cooked meals, tailored to your dietary restrictions and preferences, without sacrificing your time (and sanity!)? EasyFeast is for you!

By centralizing and standardizing certain aspects of the personal chefing process, we’re able to deliver our customers a luxurious service at an accessible price point. And, by helping our chefs manage pretty much all aspects of the process–outside of the cooking itself–we enable them to pick up extra work, hassle-free.

The Truth About the Daily Grind

I’ve found it to be a bit scary to put myself out there and start this business, because if it fails, it is so publicly on me. The one thing that helped me increase my confidence was getting my first recurring customer.

Also, when I started, my Dad–who has started a few companies – told me to be prepared that everything takes 3x as long and costs 3x as much as you think it will. He’s been right!

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