A new UAE food app giving home cooks the power of business

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Image only for illustraion purpose
Image only for illustraion purpose
Image Credit: Katerina Holmes, Pexels

Good things take time, at least a fresh, home-cooked meal does. And, it’s a home run if you can order in your favorite home-cooked dish, right to your doorstep.

Meet a budding entrepreneur – Baishali Debnath, who is connecting local home kitchens in the UAE with people wanting to eat home-cooked food. She is the co-founder of, EMAR EAT, a food application that on boards licensed home chefs who prepare meals, snacks, savories and condiments like pickles and sauces in the UAE.

The name EMAR is an Arabic word that translates to “building something”, says Debnath.

Adding to this, she says “we are on a mission to promote and empower entrepreneurs especially women and ninety per-cent of our entrepreneurs or home chefs are women,” says Debnath.

We are on a mission to promote and empower entrepreneurs especially women and ninety per-cent of our entrepreneurs or home chefs are women

– Baishali Debnath, co-founder, EMAR EAT

How these apps are changing the game for home entrepreneurs?

Image used for illustration purpose only
Image used for illustration purpose only
Image Credit: Alexander Suhorucov, Pexels

Cooking is a life skill, but selling food, is business. Two very different skills on a spectrum that are acquired over a period of time and a lot of practice. Apps like EMAR EAT, which promote only home Chefs and local home grown brands are different from cloud kitchens, says Debnath.

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So, what is EMAR EAT’s business model 

With a mission to promote entrepreneurs, EMAR EAT’s business model allows home chefs to choose from flexible to monthly plans. “Entrepreneurs can either choose a commission based model or fixed monthly payment, depending on their convenience”, says Debnath.

Business plan for online home chefs
Image used for illustration purpose only
Image Credit: Lukas, Pexels

Being a C2C (consumer to consumer) business model, the co-founders at EMAR EAT understand the roller coaster of a journey an entrepreneur goes through.

They assist home chefs in obtaining food licenses, “because not many know that such licenses even exists,” Debnath said.

“Apart from this we also help home-based chefs with pick and drop of orders, marketing to gain visibility, customer support to handle queries and orders and building food menus, if required,” the Indian entrepreneur added.

Home chefs share

Talking to the Food by Gulf News team, Fatima Alhabib, the founder of City Bakery says that she was reluctant to join the app, initially.

Alhabib thought the process of taking her online food business to a third party food app would be troublesome; filled with paperwork. But to her surprise, the on-boarding was smooth and she is glad to have taken the decision. “It is helpful for my business because EMAR EAT gets orders for me, delivers, picks up food and basically they have made my life easy”, says Alhabib.

She also mentions that it is convenient to obtain a food license to start a home based business, especially for an Emirati. “Being an Emirati, it is easy to sell food products online, so this is a privilege that locals have with regards to starting a home based food business”, says Alhabib.

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Bakewell Tart by City Bakery
Bakewell Tart by City Bakery
Image Credit: Supplied

Adding to this, the Emirati entrepreneur says that the pandemic slowed home kitchen businesses as people were reluctant about the safety and hygiene measure but now online food business is picking up and it’s only upwards and onwards from here.

Being an Emirati, it is easy to sell food products online, so this is a privilege that locals have with regards to starting a home based food business

– Fatima Alhabib

UAE: Can I sell food that I have cooked at home? How you can become a food entrepreneur

Another home-based chef, and founder of Bedy Kaak, Asma Abdelmuhdi said: “EMAR EAT contacted and told me about the app and how it works. And that’s how I joined.” Asma has been cooking since 2004, as a hobby. In July 2020 she obtained a food license to sell her food products online and in November 2020, partnered with EMAR EAT “and now my business is getting better.”

Traditional Middle Eastern Basbousa dessert by Um zayed sweets and pastries
Traditional Middle Eastern Basbousa dessert by Um zayed sweets and pastries
Image Credit: Supplied

Shamsa Mohammed Ahli, who works with the Dubai Municipality loves to cook. She would often participate in food exhibitions, preparing different types of desserts. “My colleagues gave me hope to start a small business, seeing my passion, and I finally started my online food business in December 1, 2019, and named it UM Zayed, which translates to Zayed’s mother in Arabic; I named it after my son,” Ahli said

My colleagues gave me hope to start a small business, seeing my passion, and I finally started my online food business in December 1, 2019, and named it UM Zayed, which translates to Zayed’s mother in Arabic; I named it after my son.

– Shamsa Mohammed Ahli



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