DishDivvy has spent this year waiting. Waiting to see what would happen with California’s Homemade Food Operations Act (AB 626), which would make home based food businesses legal. With Governor Jerry Brown signing the bill into law this week, DishDivvy is no longer playing the waiting game and can fully launch its home cook marketplace.
Based in Glendale, CA, DishDivvy is a mobile app that connects hungry people with pre-approved home cooks selling food in their area. Right now, the app only works in certain parts of Southern California including Glendale and La Cañada.
Before cooks are allowed on to the platform, DishDivvy vets them with interviews and on-site inspections. Additionally, each cook must provide proof of food safety training and a California Food Handlers Card. There are additional health and safety regulations spelled out in AB 626 that home cooks must adhere to as well.
CEO & Founder Ani Torosyan told me she was inspired to start DishDivvy by her Armenian mom, who was always making food, and making way too much of it. For Torosyan, DishDivvy is a way to connect neighbors and communities through food, and to provide an authentic cultural alternative to many areas that only have generic chain restaurants as dining options.
Torosyan worked with COOK Alliance and was active in lobbying for the passage of AB 626. With the law in the books, DishDivvy is now free to scale up its operations.
DishDivvy currently has 45 cooks on its platform, which the company works with to help establish meal prices. When an order is placed, DishDivvy takes a 15 percent cut, leaving 85 percent for the home cook. The company also charges a five percent convenience fee to consumers on top of the order. Right now orders are only available for pickup from the cook’s home, but Torosyan told me that DishDivvy is partnering with DoorDash, which will soon facilitate delivery of home cooked meals to other homes.
As Spoon founder, Mike Wolf wrote in June:
“California often leads the country when it comes to forward-leaning legislation and if AB 626 passes it could open the door for nationwide legalization and give a framework for home food entrepreneurs (also known as the ‘cottage food’ industry), and b) I think home cooking is the next big micro-entrepreneur space to open up, much like home sharing and ride sharing did over the past decade.”
DishDivvy, which is currently hiring and closing its first seed round, has positioned itself nicely to ride any impending home cooking trend that AB 626 unleashes. And that was something worth waiting for.