WoodSpoon, an NYC-based service that delivers meals made by home chefs, announced today it has raised $2 million in seed funding. The round was led by World Trade Ventures with participation from Silvertech Ventures.
According to a press release sent to The Spoon, the funding round will help WoodSpoon expand both in the New York area and into other states in the future. The company’s platform connects home chefs — both professionals and hobbyists — with local customers who can purchase available meals in their area via a mobile app. WoodSpoon, which launched this year, says it now has about 100 chefs on its platform, including those who have worked at Nobu, Cipriani, The Modern, and other notable restaurants.
The legality of meal services for home chefs varies from state to state in the U.S., largely due to safety concerns. Speaking to the safety issue, WoodSpoon CEO and cofounder Oren Saar told me earlier this year that his company conducts a rigorous vetting process that includes interviews, evaluation of the food itself, and kitchen inspections. All chefs also have to be in compliance with NYC’s regulations and permit requirements, which vary depending on the type of food the chef plans to make from their home. Saar said many of WoodSpoon’s chefs, which include a number of individuals out of work because of the pandemic, will often use their own commercial facilities to fulfill orders.
The business for homemade delivery meals isn’t widespread in the U.S. yet, for the aforementioned legality issues. California is another state where it’s possible to make money as a home chef. To that end, a company called Shef, based in the San Francisco area, also recently raised a seed round of funding.
Back east, WoodSpoon is currently available in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Long Island City, Hoboken, and Jersey City. The service will soon expand to Queens and The Bronx.