A fantastic story about the fantastic food delivered to your door! Željka Maras, Founder of the Jedem doma (English: Eating at Home) shared with us how she grew her business from a service to a product and service. Currently operating in two product-based models and one service model, the common denominator is great quality food on any occasion.
Don’t feel bad if you don’t have time or inspiration to cook, or if you just want to focus on enjoying a great dish with your friends and family with no fuss! This concept might feed you and inspire you at the same time!
How was this idea conceived and what inspired you?
Jedem doma (English: Eating at Home) story began in 2015 when due to a combination of circumstances, I worked from home and had extra free time. I used to go to the market every day and cooked almost twice a day, and noticed that very few of my acquaintances and friends did the same, either because of a lack of time or because of a lack of will or culinary skill.
I have heard countless times: ‘I wish I could just come home from work and that cooked meal awaits!’.
The idea was born and I founded Jedem doma, a grocery and cooking service. The service employed chefs who went shopping for customers all over Zagreb to Dolac, and then cooked in their home. At the time we provided a household help service, specialising only in quality cooking. From 2015 to 2019, we cooked in about 150 households in the city of Zagreb.
In the beginning, your business was mobile, but was the next milestone your professional kitchen and a different approach?
While we were cooking in our client’s homes, they really liked the way our Chef cooks and prepares a whole range of dishes for them, so that they can easily just heat them up or put them in the oven for the coming days.
So for the second time, the idea was born: why wouldn’t we produce and offer these premium semi-finished dishes to a much wider market than before?
In 2019, we made a major transformation of the business from service to production, invested in equipping a large professional kitchen and hired new people. This is how Jedem doma, the first premium semi-finished dishes, was created.
These are dishes that are pre-prepared to the point that they only need to be heated or baked. The range of dishes varies, from traditional dishes of local cuisine to functional diets such as keto and vegan.
The common denominator is top-quality foods from small producers, extremely tasty recipes, and avoiding white sugar and white flour, i.e. using their better substitutes. The dishes have a shelf life of 5 to 15 days and are without any additives or preservatives.
What was your launch strategy?
We put the transformed business on the market in the fall of 2019 in parallel on three product lines:
- Functional office meals, Lunchboxes colloquially a delivery of meals to the workplace, but made according to the above quality principles.
- Business catering in the same style.
- The above-mentioned premium ready meals for the home.
How did COVID-19 affect the business?
In the corona crisis, we completely turned towards the segment of pre-prepared meals for home, and in the fall of 2020, we opened our store in Ilica 76.
In this new business model, we have 7 employees including myself. It’s always difficult to find good employees, but we’ve been lucky, I guess we recognise easily those similar to ourselves.
Do you also offer special dietary meals?
Our clientele very often, for various reasons, whether health or worldview, is careful about what it brings into itself. That’s why we also have options for people on a gluten-free, low carb or vegan diet.
The one really handy thing is that your clients can gift their friends with your service & products!
Yes, gift certificates are a popular option for all occasions, Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries. Our customers buy through the webshop on a weekly basis, and in our physical store on a daily basis.
What’s the most popular range?
Semi-finished dishes for home use are our best-selling range, especially specialized packages for our traditional holidays like Christmas and Easter.