09:00AM, Friday 19 November 2021
Dinesh Patil and Shabbir Mookhtiar
A food business venture started by two Maidenhead men which allows people to order home-cooked meals from chefs in their neighbourhood has expanded to the capital.
Dinesh Patil and Shabbir Mookhtiar started setting up Cook My Grub in December 2019, with the company registered officially in January last year.
Months of product development followed during the coronavirus pandemic before the business started trading in October 2020, just before the second lockdown hit.
Shabbir told the Advertiser that the idea behind Cook My Grub is to champion local home chefs who are able to cook meal batches and send food to those living nearby.
It also gives people a healthy alternative to traditional takeaways, with the food on offer made from fresh ingredients and by dedicated chefs looking to kickstart their culinary businesses.
Customers can choose from a range of different cuisines via the app and have them delivered to their front doors, with those making the food picking up cash for their creations.
The business has grown from about eight chefs and 100 customers to more than 100 chefs and 10,000 customers since it launched last year, with appetite growing for healthy food at the click of a button.
Shabbir added that the market during the COVID-19 pandemic – where people stayed at home a lot of the time – helped Cook My Grub take off at lightning pace.
“Because of COVID and everyone staying at home, user behaviour changed,” Shabbir said. “Somehow, by coincidence, our entire planning ended up being pretty good in terms of the market.”
Cook My Grub has also grown geographically having initially launched in Maidenhead during the early days
Home chefs are now creating food for customers in Slough, South Bucks, Reading, Bracknell, Langley, and even as far as West London.
To keep food hot and fresh, supplies are delivered to customers within a certain mile radius of the chef’s home.
Food creators are also inspected beforehand and must fill out food hygeine forms to ensure the products are safe to be consumed.
Shabbir said: “At a personal level, it is great to be self-employed and start your own business – but the great satisfaction is that this platform has given lots of chefs an income stream.
“They can make great food and we have given them the opportunity to start their own business. The stars of the show are the food creators.”
He added: “Some of the chefs have been on the platform since last October and have developed their own fan following.”
Shabbir now hopes that Cook My Grub can continue to grow despite lockdown restrictions being eased and people returning to their normal lives.
The rate at which the business has grown has also enabled him to take on full-time staff and other colleagues through the Government’s ‘kickstarter’ scheme.
Visit www.cookmygrub.in or search for Cook My Grub on Facebook to find out more.
There will be displays at Windsor Racecourse and Legoland, local fireworks in Burnham and Twyford and smaller displays at schools in the Royal Borough.