Rayhana Jiffry of #FEEDMEFESTIVAL holds webinar on growing your home food business online
By Naveed Rozais
Adversity breeds innovation is the old adage, and in these uncertain times, home cooks have seen an opportunity to make a name (and a living) for themselves. Our months-long lockdown in March saw many new home cooks pop up on our delivery apps and our social media feeds. This boom in the food business led to the founding of #FEEDMEFESTIVAL, a food festival curated by two friends that focused solely on showcasing home chefs and small food businesses that started or thrived during Sri Lanka’s Covid-19 lockdown.
#FEEDMEFESTIVAL Co-Founder Rayhana Jiffry, who is also the founder of the online jewellery brand Glitteray, shared that the success of #FEEDMEFESTIVAL, which showcased over 20 small food businesses to over 500 people, led to her mentoring a small group of home chefs. While the #FEEDMEFESTIVAL had been incredibly successful, many of these small businesses found that their sales were dropping and were looking for support on growing their businesses.
“A few home chefs individually reached out after #FEEDMEFESTIVAL,” Jiffry explained, adding: “I had already assessed their capabilities and I began meeting with them on an individual basis to help, tweaking their business models, strengthening their brand stories, and similar things. The home chefs were sharing their passion for food, but what ultimately sells food is the story behind the brand, how it started, the ingredients they use ,and what drives them.
“I worked with these brands on how to engage with customers and tell their story, and after some mentoring, their sales started growing, as did their engagement, with customers frequently leaving reviews. These home chefs were slowly becoming business owners. My expertise is in e-commerce; my main business is my online jewellery brand Glitteray which I started as a home business six years ago and have scaled up to the operation it is today. With food businesses, you need to be a little business savvy to take your business out of the kitchen.”
Working with small businesses like this and seeing them grow, Jiffry decided to launch a webinar series where she can link with home chefs and small food businesses to help them take their businesses to the next level. “The webinar covers setting up an e-commerce business with your current capabilities and how you can grow with the resources you already have. It talks about how to position your product and tell the story behind your brand and how to create things like reordering systems to keep your business going smoothly,” Jiffry said, adding: “The webinar will also talk about how to create a market and demand for your product and how to make your customer base secure.”
Other topics covered in the webinar include basic branding, how to maximise social media, the type of content needed for successful marketing, engaging with customers meaningfully to create a niche market, and how to select customers.
“The first webinar in the series is already sold out, because numbers are very limited in order for the home chefs participating to get the most out of the webinar,” Jiffry said, adding: “Each home chef will receive individual mentoring from me as well as be able to connect and learn from other home chefs.”
Jiffry shared that it is more important than ever for home chefs and small flood businesses to learn to differentiate themselves in a market that is becoming increasingly competitive. “The home chef market is a growing market,” Rayhana said, adding: “It’s like a massive pie with everyone taking pieces out of it so it’s also saturated. There’s no one place that a customer can go when looking for home chefs to see reviews. That’s why bigger food businesses like Fab and the likes have an edge. Because they’re at the top of your mind. For home chefs and small food businesses to get to the top of their customers’ minds, like, for example, Butter Boutique or The Cake Factory, it takes a lot of hard work and consistency This is where I’d like to help.”
Rayhana Jiffry’s first webinar on “How to build a food business online” is to take place on 15 November and is sold out. If interested in being a part of her second webinar which is to take place at the end of November, please reach out to Jiffry on her Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Brandswelovetobuy/.