There’s nothing tired office workers hate more than a spread of stale sandwiches from the cafe down the street during meetings or other office events, a well-known fact that has seen Sydney catering startup You Chews thrive since it graduated from the second muru-D accelerator intake earlier this year.
You Chews, founded by Liz Kaelin and Phil Doran, is an online catering service allowing customers to order food from a curated group of small businesses in the local food scene and have it delivered direct to the office. It’s won support from clients like BlueChilli, Shoes of Prey, and Anchor, and is now gearing up for the busy Christmas party season by ‘brownie bombing’ the city.
Taking a leaf out of Uber’s book, the startup’s ‘Chewsy Crew’ will be hand-delivering free boxes of brownies to a number of Sydney startups from now until the week before Christmas, an initiative Kaelin said is a way for You Chews to thank the Sydney startup scene for its support, the “single biggest reason You Chews has been able to grow and scale.”
“It’s really just a nice way to thank some of our existing customers for the support they’ve been providing us and the awesome vendors on our platform who make great food,” Kaelin said.
Rather than target big corporates, the startup’s eye is firmly on the startup and technology scene for the time being, a space in which it is doing well: aside from the funding obtained through the muru-D program, You Chews has not yet raised investment, and has been profitable now for quite some time.
The original premise of You Chews was to be like the ‘Pandora of catering’, where instead of ordering from a theme or menu as they do now, customers would simply order for a number of people and be surprised by the food that then turned up. Though You Chews made money from day one, the muru-D program helped it pivot to its current model after the founders realised they could deliver fresh alternatives to stale sandwiches while still giving customers a choice.
Kaelin has told Startup Daily that any future investors would have to align well with the company’s vision. This vision has seen You Chews stick to the Sydney market since it was founded two years ago; it declined to take part in the muru-D trip to China earlier this year, wanting instead to focus on getting every aspect of the platform and service perfect in Sydney first before expanding nationally.
Its curated group of food vendors, or ‘artisans’, includes businesses ChateauViand, Croquembouche, Brewtown Newtown, Hello Pizza, and Zeitgeist Cuisine.
You Chews will be brownie bombing the city until December 17. If you want to get in on the action you can tag #YCBrownieBombed on the social media channel of your choice and the Chewsy Crew might just swing by.