For many of us, cooking is as much about community as it is about food. That’s why Naan Americans co-founders Supriya Shekar, Anjana Chennagiri and Swati Sangwan are looking to connect home chefs with hungry, curious guests.
Founded in 2017, the Newton, Mass., venture has created an online platform where home chefs can invite local food lovers into their kitchens for lessons and a meal. “Cooking classes that are available are generally very expensive and too complex for everyday cooking,” the company’s website says. Likewise, online cooking resources can’t engage all five senses, while restaurants leave patrons out of the cooking experience.
Through Naan Americans — named for the Indian baked flatbread — startup veteran Shekar, food expert Chennagiri and marketing pro Sangwan give folks a new, nearby way to sample and learn about cuisines from around the world. Participating home chefs get a chance to earn an income by serving their foodie guests everything from sushi and spring rolls to pastries and paella, while teaching them how to make each meal in their own kitchens.
Though new, Naan Americans is already something of a local hit, having won both business grants and area news coverage. Now, the all-woman team powering it is crowdfunding to make users’ online experiences easier, safer and more fun.
The Money: The team has 31 days remaining on its iFundWomen campaign. By or before it closes, the founders hope to raise at least $25,000. The money will be used to improve website functionality and add a background-check system to enhance customer safety.