That is a question I hear just about every day. It’s never the same thing twice and it’s really hard to answer. Perhaps it’s best I start with the conception.
After years of making more mistakes than I can count. Through my own blood, sweat, tears and reflection I knew I was capable and ready for something new.
Starting my life over again; I went back to school, worked multiple jobs in the hospitality industry and rented out my spare room on Airbnb. Having so much going on in my life at the time for an end-goal that I wasn’t sure of came the desire to do something right and meaningful. It was during this time that the idea of Chez Dine was conceived.
Thanks to Airbnb you can stay in a stranger’s home. Thanks to Uber you can catch a ride in a stranger’s car. What if you could dine in a stranger’s home? Why would one do that, share a meal with a stranger, in their home?
The sharing of food has always been part of human history. With food we make friends, court lovers, and count our blessings. Why not incorporate that into an ever changing world where connections are being made online?
As a creative person the wheels began to turn. The sharing economy could really use this idea. Breaking bread with others isn’t a new thing. The way I was proposing to do it is. The sharing economy and the online world finding a harmonious balance, bringing people together and cultivating relationships.
In the beginning of the 2017 the plan was to build the app first then launch it quickly to the public. I learned along the way that I needed to build a team and community first. A little backwards from most tech start ups, but it just felt right. The plan was to physically connect with others while we organically grow. I choose to lead with my heart and follow my gut!
Behind the scenes our team is busy building the online marketplace to serve our community best. I’m very blessed to work alongside such a dedicated caring group. We collectively share and create this vision for inclusiveness, connections and nourishment around the globe.
- Go to www.chezdine.com
- Search for a meal. By location, genre, date and menu.
- Review host feedback from previous Chez Diners. Chat with the host if necessary (allergies, restrictions, general inquiries )
- Book your meal, pay, attend, have an AMAZING time, leave a review, repeat.
- Become a Host or Local Founding Member if you wish ☺
Just like Airbnb doesn’t have beds of their own to rent out, and Uber owns no cars. Chez Dine cooks nothing, doesn’t own a kitchen or sets a single menu.
Our amazing Hosts make those decisions and bring everything to the table. Take Chez Dine Host Melissa for example. Every month she opens her home to 8 people. Sets a vegan menu (her specialty), lists her day, price, time, duration and any other special instructions. Chez Dine supports all of these decisions with insurance, best practices, food safety handling measures and marketing. We connect her online, help her build her profile and provide exceptional service and support to make a five-star experience for Melissa and her guests.
The creativity and culinary passion of our hosts continues to amaze me. The variety of dinners, events and experiences are all unique, special and of course delicious.
Hosts welcomed guests in a numerous ways: multiple in home dinners and restaurant experiences were had. Everyone having their own flare and fun.
One commonality however they all share is what happens at all of these dinners. Often times when people attend these dinners or events they don’t know each other. Food is the medium, the people are where the magic happens. In a recent article on food trends. Tom Colicchio, chef, founder of crafted hospitality, and Top Chef host was quoted saying
“More meaningful connections around food…less about Instagram and more about the deeper issues we face and how food is involved.”
I have the privilege of being in this space with our growing community. Hospitality gifts happiness and it’s pretty awesome serving humanity by connecting with others.
Personally and professionally this past year has been one of courage, lessons, reflections, sacrifice, faith and a whole lot of hustle.
In a few short weeks we will be launching our web app. This milestone would not have been possible without the support and guidance from our community.
Thank you for creating the heart in – A Taste of Togetherness.
- Jen Stokes