The Danish website startup Cook With A Local enables people with a specific talent in the area of food and beverages – could be the execution of a favourite recipe, wine tasting, chocolate making or brewing to name but a few – to teach others and earn money in the process. Though still in its infancy, the founders of the concept are not shy about their ambitions.
“We aim for Cook With A Local to become the go-to site for food and beverage classes,” co-founder Inger Gislesen told the Copenhagen Post.
After signing up online, which involves a short approval step, users can immediately begin to either host classes for as little as five dollars per person or search for classes in the surrounding area. Money matters are handled through the use of PayPal, with hosts receiving payment two days after the class has been held.
The concept came about whilst two of the founders were enrolled on a cross-disciplinary course – a co-operation between the University of Copenhagen, KADK, Wonderful Copenhagen, Det Gode Naboskab and Socialsquare.
Whilst conducting research in the Blågården area of Copenhagen, they found little interaction was going on between locals and tourists.
One day by chance, during an interview with a local grocer, the owner invited the pair to an impromptu cooking class in which he taught them how to cook his favourite recipe whilst swapping stories and anecdotes about life in general. It was here that the first seeds for Cook With A Local were sown.
“The experience was so memorable to us that we wanted for others to have the same experience.” explained Gislesen.
2014 would prove to be a busy year for the founding team. In May, Cook With A Local was selected to participate in Infoshare, one of Europe’s largest tech and media conferences held each year in Gdansk, Poland.
The experience gave the website valuable exposure, and following a summer of testing and development, Cook With A Local launched locally in August for a small closed group before celebrating its global launch last week on Wednesday.
“The response has been largely positive and we have received a lot of good feedback along the way,” enthused Gislesen.
The website enters a competitive market where many companies operate under an advertising business model, offering content for free, but this hasn’t deterred the team.
“We think that Cook With A Local can be a way for many people to empower themselves by teaching their skills and earning money, thereby establishing themselves as micro-entrepreneurs,” said Gislesen.
“The experience you have when cooking with a local is very different from watching the same recipe being taught on YouTube.”
Cook With A Local is more than just a portal for teaching and learning how to cook, it is a means of getting to know other people and experiencing other cultures across the board, from developed to developing nations.
Have no fear
And if there are any budding entrepreneurs reading this and thinking of starting their own company, Gislesen has some advice.
“Don’t be afraid to start a company. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. It’s hard work and there will most likely be many setbacks but also many victories. It is a great journey.”
Head on over to Cook With A Local to find out more.