Updated: Jul 12, 2021
Chefly is a game-changing new app connecting customers to professional chefs, based on their preferences and location. Chefs and cooks can be hired privately to create one-of-a-kind personalised dining experiences, to do the weekly meal prep, host cooking classes and more.
We caught up with Co-Founder, Esmeralda Karlsone, to talk about her exploration through food and her experience creating Chefly. In this conversation, she shares tips on how to pursue your wildest dreams, what motivates her and how she plans to shake up the chef industry.
Chefly is democratising access to a personal chef, and there’s major benefits for both the consumer and the chef.
How did you come up with the idea for Chefly?
Having a personal chef is not a new concept. What is unique is the way that Chefly offers this service, and how it is packaged up for the consumer. We have made personalised dining more accessible to more people, breaking down the stigma that it is purely a luxury, or just for a special occasion.
The personal and private chef industry is very segregated and there’s this old school notion that chefs have to work for someone else. Chefly is forging a new platform upon which they can build their own business.
It’s the perfect pairing of our hospitality experience, chef network and never ending love for food. Plus, we spotted a huge gap in the Australian market to offer something innovative. And so, with the help of friends and family Chefly was born!
The Chefly app is launching soon - what is your favourite feature of the app?
The app has so many amazing features that benefit both the chefs and customers, but my favourite definitely has to be the chef’s profile. They can add their own images, bio and recipes, giving them the freedom to express themselves creatively, to showcase their personality and the dishes they want to make.
And what is your role within the business?
Since we are a small team, generally we have to wear a number of different hats and learn/ be able to do everything. As a personality I am more of a creative thinker, so I enjoy and focus on marketing, communications, and the customer experience side of things.
What do you hope to achieve with the app over the next three years?
People have changed the way that they experience food over the last few years. This is evidenced by the increase in food delivery apps like UberEats and Deliveroo, and cook-at-home meal kits like Hellofresh.
The Chefly app is the next natural step - providing a quality in-home dining solution, without the hassle. Customers want to enrich their food experiences and quality has always been a huge factor.
This tradition of personalised dining has been a staple in families with high annual income for many years, but Chefly is making it more affordable, and more attainable for Australians from all walks of life.
Our first mission is to build up the chef community, empowering aspiring chefs and the more experienced cooks to become their own small business owners. We want to get people comfortable with using the platform and for chefs to embrace it.
Longer term, we will shift our focus to sustainability, in particular how we can leverage Chefly to help chefs (and consumers) minimise food waste. We want to ensure that we’re providing chefs with the right resources and support to empower them to succeed on the app and in their career.
Let’s break it down now, what are the benefits of being a personal chef with Chefly?
For chefs, it provides a platform designed with them in mind, offering a smorgasbord of tangible benefits including:
Easy sign-up process
Personal recipes with images to drive bookings
Control of individual calendar and availability on the app
Direct chat with the customer - answer questions quickly
Payouts when you want them, tips go direct to you
Personal relationships with your clients
Freedom to be creative and to network
Career options with great earning potential
New experiences - every day!
Become part of a growing chef community
Freedom to work in a residential kitchen - less heavy lifting and gruelling work environment
Manage your own work schedule - get your social time back!
Building business and independence
How do you bring ideas to life?
My Co-Founder Daniel and I talk a lot. We talk to each other, to friends and family. Once we form the initial idea, we put it down on paper and then go back to talking it through, again. We spend a lot of time researching and connecting the dots, until we have finally shaped the plan into something we are ready to bring to life.
What inspires you?
Stories of failure to success always inspire me. It reminds me that every success story has their embarrassing first effort, a slip, a mistake, a setback and challenge that was almost impossible to persevere, until it was done.
People who are creative, brave and who will stop at nothing to make a positive difference to other people’s lives always motivate me.
I am also an avid reader which is my constant source of inspiration, expanding my imagination and broadening perspective.
What has been the proudest moment of your career?
I am proud every single time I overcome a hurdle. I have my “I am not sure I can do this” moments, but I manage to get past them which develops a stronger resilience each time. While it’s not a particular moment, I am proud of the constant ambition and determination.
And finally, what advice would you give to other budding entrepreneurs?
Enjoy that challenge. Remember why you're doing it and celebrate the small wins along the way.
Your values and beliefs will evolve, and while always looking forward, you might miss some crucial opportunities in life, so enjoy where you are right now, everything will fall into place eventually.
Find out how to become a Chefly chef here.