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(1,339 posts)
Mon Jul 11, 2016, 01:27 AM Jul 2016

The Food-Sharing Economy Is Delicious And Illegal—Will It Survive?


Renee McGhee, a 59-year-old grandmother of nine, was at home recuperating from a bicycle accident when she opened her neighborhood newsletter and saw an advertisement for home-cooked meals. A few clicks later, she learned that the neighbor who posted it had joined Josephine, an online marketplace that helps home cooks coordinate small takeout-food businesses. McGhee’s last job as the manager of a cake bakery had required heavy lifting. After breaking bones in both hands, she’d crossed anything like that job off of her list of potential employment options, but cooking for Josephine sounded like a way to pay her rent once the disability payments stopped—work she could do at home while she babysat her grandkids. She filled out the online interest form.

A few days later, two Josephine employees visited her apartment—part of a "four-plex" in the Loris Neighborhood of Berkeley, California—and she made them pulled pork sandwiches on ciabatta rolls. They inspected her kitchen using a checklist: Did she keep all food six inches above the ground? Was her refrigerator set at the correct temperature? Did she have a California Food Handler Card? Josephine, she learned, provided training, advertising, and insurance for up to $1 million in liability. Everything seemed too good to be true. "I said, let’s just cut to the chase," she remembers, "What is it going to cost me to be able to do this?" Josephine would take 10% of her sales, they said. McGhee couldn’t believe it: "I almost fell over. I was like, I’m in."

Every Thursday for the next nine months, she cooked lasagna, pulled pork, lemon chicken, and a variety of desserts for Josephine while she babysat her 7-year-old grandson. Most of her customers were neighbors. "They would just pass before," she says, "and now they were coming into my home and having conversations." One 79-year-old customer walked from six blocks away to pick up her meals. Another woman drove from Emeryville, usually arriving 30 minutes before the serving window, at 4:45, so she could "beat the traffic." A friendly couple regularly showed up with a bottle of wine to share. "It was like family," McGhee says.

Josephine had signed up about 75 cooks in the San Francisco Bay Area and, like Renee, many of those cooks' customers had warm feelings toward the startup. "When I opened the door, it really did feel cozy, like I was entering into a warm home, full of laughter and good music," one user wrote on Yelp. The Atlantic called Josephine meals "utterly reliable generators of smiles and warm feelings" and Business Insider declared the company one of the "50 coolest new businesses in America."


Josephine: Home cooked meals from your neighbors.

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The Food-Sharing Economy Is Delicious And Illegal—Will It Survive? (Original Post) AntiBank Jul 2016 OP
Cooking meals at home to give away is allowed but not daily yeoman6987 Jul 2016 #1
Agreed awoke_in_2003 Jul 2016 #2
New yorkers are doing this also. Apartment restaurants Liberal_in_LA Jul 2016 #3


(14,449 posts)
1. Cooking meals at home to give away is allowed but not daily
Mon Jul 11, 2016, 10:38 AM
Jul 2016

Cooking meals to sell is a big no-no. This should stop immediately.

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