The Uber of Food: Yumamia Turns Egyptian Housewives Into Entrepreneurs
There’s nothing quite like Egyptian food, and we’ve all gotten home after a long day of work and craved a warm, homemade meal – a little ma7shy; some molokheya perhaps; a plate of fattah never hurt anyone. Often times though, you’re just way too tired to actually cook it – or you’re just a really bad cook who can just about make toast. Maybe you just got married, and mama didn’t give you the bamya recipe but you’d kind of like to have some hearty bamya weh roz on the table for your husband when he comes home – y’know, instead of ordering the processed misery that is fast food for the fifth night in a row. Or maybe you’ve spent the entire day running after your kids trying to get them to put pants on and you’re too exhausted to cook but you still have to feed them because they haven’t developed robots to do that yet.
One of Yumamia's talented bakers whipping up a batch of cupcakes.
Authentic food is where it’s at and no one can disagree that the best meals are the home cooked ones, but unfortunately everyone is too busy to actually cook. And that’s why Yumamia was born; a digital platform that caters authentic meals cooked by Egyptian homemakers. Belal El Borno and Mahmoud El Maghraby came up with Yumamia for people to enjoy, explore, and connect through the wonderful world of food. “We wanted to have a platform or a place where we can reach out to good Egyptian homemakers who can cook excellent meals,” El Borno explains.
Who wouldn’t love getting a taste of home? Once you start adulting, all those luxuries you had when you were living with mom seem distant – but with Yumamia, they are not so far fetched anymore. The platform has carefully curated the best of the best in the culinary sphere to whip up some of their delicious meals. You can have your bamia and eat it too! You want a delicious meal for when your in-laws come to dinner? Done. Even if your children have a huge birthday party, all you have to do is buy the piñata and order the wara2 3enab from Yumamia through the website (or call). Also, if you’re dreading driving by 6,000 different bakeries for a cake or dessert, you don’t have to; one simple call to Yumamia is all it takes to solve that problem. Life has never been easier.
Beyond being a marketplace for good food and great cooks, Yumamia is invested in turning each housewife into an entrepreneur by doing what she loves. Many startups claim they want to support and help women by giving them a decent income, and that’s exactly what they do, but what if you want to go beyond just cooking and making money? Yumamia not only gives Egyptian housewives the opportunity to become entrepreneurs by utlising their skills in the kitchen, it also invests in its cooks by offering them cooking and food hygiene classes (with a certificate); an everyday homemaker would usually not be able to do all of that on her own as it’s rather costly.
“With us you start making your own money and you get to see if people will like your food,” El Borno explains. “We provide the cooks with food hygiene and safety training, as well as legal and financial advice on how to manage their own business should they want to open one.” It’s a push-start; not everyone has thousands of pounds to invest in the risky business of opening a restaurant. Yumamia can then serve as a platform for trial and error for each homemaker before she goes ahead and opens her own venture – plus, they would be getting the tools and experience they need to improve their skills, one plate at a time. “We changed the concept and the website is launching sort of like Uber,” El Borno explains. “You order your food and the request is dispatched to cooks around your area; when someone accepts the request, it informs you and sends you a notification with the cook's name and picture so you can get to know the person a little bit.” From Molokheya and ma7shy to cakes and desserts – Yumamia is not only empowering women, it’s basically bringing all of your favourite home cooked (or baked!) dishes right to your doorstep!