With Gigamunch, Explore the Hidden World of Homemade Cooking
By Justin Stokes
Nashville has seen a few additions to the options on the menu for bon vivants wanting a new taste. Apps for organizations like the Nashville Originals dining aggregate and the Nashville Food Truck Association let food freaks know about what’s available in the mobile kitchens and fixture dining areas within the city.
Could such technology be used to put food-makers in direct interface with the same consumers that frequent restaurants and food trucks? Is a storefront or truck window necessary for selling food when apps like Etsy and TAKL let people sell goods and services without a middle man?
For Middle Tennessee at least, the answer the is “yes.” Gigamunch takes restaurant-quality food from the residences of experienced epicureans and finds a new home for it with app-users wanting a quick meal.
The app wouldn’t be as useful to people if the items being ordered were available anywhere else, so the edible selections found in the app are currently focused on international cuisine. Anyone wanting burgers and fries should skip the app, as it curates to buyers wanting to try food of varieties such as Jamaican, Italian, and Bosnian.
Founder Enis Cirak tells Forward Beat that it’s meant to be a way to “explore the hidden world” of homemade food. “There are so many many talented cooks out there who don’t work in a restaurant,” he says. “Send them a message. Start a conversation. You will end up meeting a really cool person and eating some incredible meals.”
Cirak appointed a team to run Gigamunch from his freshman year of college. Seeing viable co-workers through the best friends that helped him finish class projects, Cirak noticed that his group of friends all preferred homemade meals over the food served on campus. Knowing so many talented cooks that could work but limit food to being a hobby, services like Uber and Airbnb encouraged the team to create a food-sharing economy.
According to Cirak, anyone selling food through Gigamunch is classified as a “home catering operation,” which he shares allows for those in Tennessee to make food from home so long as certain parameters are met. Since worries about food safety were what prompted laws in the first place, the app uses a six-part quality control method to make sure that anything sold is held to some sort of oversight. All cooks must be interviewed by Gigamunch, they must pass background checks at the local, state, and federal levels, then they must acquire a Food Handler’s Card from the State of Tennessee.
Once those items are satisfied, Gigamunch employees do an on-site inspection to the kitchen that will be used, and later perform taste tests on the items to be sold. And when the chef is “up and running” as a Gigamunch food creator, those buying food may publicly rate the food. Just like how eBay lets the quality of the exchange decide who may buy and sell, this review system lets users keep chefs that have good ratings.
But the app’s team is also at the service of the chef, providing support with pricing, images, promoting the chef, and even making deliveries. Whatever issues the chef has, Gigamunch wants to keep them focused on making food, and tries to handle as much of the non-kitchen tasks as it can.
“My personal vision is to see thousands of talented home cooks selling their food through Gigamunch,” he shares.
“I want to see cultures and communities come together because of food. This is all about empowering people to make money doing something they love.”
The app’s growth over the next month should be able to provide even more food choices to consumers, increasing the number of chefs and food specialties in the app. Both cooks looking to earn up to $850 a week and diners trying to taste the more authentic food may find the app through Apple’s App Store or can sign up for service via the Gigamunch website.