Three Shoreditchers cook up a cottage industry

Zifeng Wei, Bar Segal, Daniel Kaplansky of eatro in their Shoreditch London flat © david.altheer@gmail.com

PERHAPS it’s taking retroism too far but then Shoreditch has always been forward in going backwards (progressing, overall, of course.) Now three guys from ShoHo are reviving the idea of the cottage industry. Talk about Industrial Revolution.

They have recruited what they call homechefs – amateur cooks who make takeaway dishes in their home kitchens for office workers bored with the staff canteen and  local cafés. So far they have signed 30 cooks.

With startup funding of £25,000, eatro started in the E1 and E2 areas this week. Founders Zifeng Wei, Daniel Kaplansky and Bar Segal, who are all in their twenties, say they “aim to disrupt the fast-food industry by bringing back healthy, authentic and tasty homemade food”. Ambitious, eh?

Eatro also enables homechefs to profit from their cooking abilities. Meals cost £5 to £7 a dish and eatro takes 12% of every transaction; eg, on a £6 meal the remaining £5.28 into the cook’s online account.

The men met as children in Budapest, Hungary, after their families emigrated from China and in two cases Israel. Now the three live in a tiny flat in Brick Lane, pictured. Ever entrepreneurial, they sublet a room  via a short-stay rental agency, cutting their accommodation costs to zero.

Segal explains how eatro works for clients: “They browse the website to order and collect dishes prepared by local homechefs.

“Every homechef is personally verified before being accepted.

“Customers are encouraged to review and rate the chefs and their dishes online.”

Feeling hungry?

Hamish Scott 230114  

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