The UK is a nation of food lovers and a melting pot of culinary cultures, drawing from flavours and techniques from around the globe. Technology has allowed us to tap into an exciting encyclopedia of cuisine at the touch of a button, bringing the world to our kitchens. Impact Incubator member Yuru Guo and her business Hey! Food is Ready is at the forefront of this ready-made revolution, creating an ‘Airbnb’ for home cooks with her innovative online platform.
Hey! Food is Ready, an online food marketplace which connects certified home cooks with customers seeking authentic, freshly made meals. The platform is a menagerie of cuisine, culture and communities, providing an opportunity for refugees, immigrants, stay-at-home parents and retirees to generate a meaningful income, whilst also providing delicious delights for “foodies” across the UK.
Developed whilst at University with partners Frankie and Kiki, Yuru and Hey! Food is ready is on a mission to diversify the UK’s gastronomy and bring timeless recipes to new households. The trio have received several awards, including Young Innovator of the Year, The Pitch UK finalist, and the Digital Impact Award and have appeared on local radio to spread the word about their innovative new venture.
“I left home to study in the UK for my undergraduate degree. At that time, I was living with three girls in a shared house. Our household tradition is to have a girls' potluck night every Friday where all of us cook one dish from our home countries. I got a chance to try the most authentic Portuguese food, German food, and Polish food from recipes that have been passed from generation by generation”
Joining the Newcastle Impact Incubator in 2020 Yuru quickly became a key member of the group, engaging with the PNE support team, accessing free workshops, office space and advice and becoming a regular at weekly stand-ups. The incubator cohort has become inseparable since forming, regularly meeting up outside of the space and supporting each other at events and on social media.
“The weekly stand-up meeting held in the office gives me the opportunity to meet all the other entrepreneurs and listen to their business progress. With all the people from the same cohort in the incubator, we grow together as a community, but we also grow individually as a business”.
Looking to the future, Hey! Food is Ready has just launched its website and the platform is now online. Yuru and her team are looking for new and exciting opportunities to take the business forward, including exploring a recently acquired mentorship with Apple. Giving some parting advice for those considering starting their own business, Yuru says: Always think big and make it happen, because thinking big can widen the horizons of your life and bring you greater opportunities and greater success. Never be too shy to reach out to people for advice, because you never know who will open the door you’ve been knocking on for a while!"