Reviving the ‘Kampung Spirit’ with A Taste of Home

By Siddiq Poh Bin Shahabidin Abdullah, SMU School of Accountancy

Growing up, I have always thought my mother was the best cook in the world. She can cook anything from Kung Pow Chicken to the best Mee Soto I have ever tasted. While enjoying her meals, I often wish that more people could experience her cooking, especially when demands for home cooked meals are on the rise. This is seen from the growing prominence of Tingkat Services in Singapore, where working adults or parents cater daily meals to be delivered on a regular basis as they do not have the time to cook for themselves at home.

Siddiq Poh Bin Shahabidin Abdullah

Heartland Chefs founder and CEO, Siddiq Poh Bin Shahabidin Abdullah

I believe that there are many housewives or caregivers like my mother, whose impressive culinary skills are sure to attract long queues should they open their own F&B stores, but lack the resources or know-how to do so. I eventually formulated a plan to build a social enterprise that provides a platform for people to buy and sell home cooked meals, with a good friend from School of Accountancy (SoA), Hahn Dong Seok.

Hahn Dong Seok

Heartland Chefs Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer, Hahn Dong Seok

After much deliberation, Heartland Chefs was formed. Heartland Chefs is a platform for people to buy and sell home cooked food within their neighbourhood.

Heartland Chefs

The platform aims to achieve three objectives:

(1) Provide greater and healthier food options for consumers instead of just the existing meals available at hawker centres and shopping malls

(2) Provide a source of income for housewives and caregivers through their passion for cooking

(3) Foster greater social and cultural interaction within communities and residents, in other words to bring back the “Kampung spirit”

The tremendous response towards Heartland Chefs thus far has not only served to validate our idea but also motivated us to work harder towards seeing our goals come to fruition.

 

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