Order food from experienced local cooks

Another great business, which combines delivery of takeaway food prepared by local cooks and online community.

Housebites in the UK offers restaurant quality food, cooked by chefs in a local area, delivered to your door. You can browse the daily menus by a local chef and read their biographies and customer feedback. For dinner parties Housebites recommends that you order at least a day in advance if catering for large numbers. Breakfast, brunch, lunch and pre-cooked food are in the pipeline according to their website.

It is a nice concept to connect the community with great local cooks and their food, while increasing their exposure, business, and flexibility in work arrangements.

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Restaurant quality takeaway

Restaurant quality takeaway

Good food, cooked fresh, delivered fast

Deliverance has 5 gleaming state-of-the-art kitchens, 48 specialized chefs, a dedicated fleet of 120 bikers who know and deliver to 78 square miles of London on time according to their website. What Deliverance serves? Delicious dishes from around the world using great ingredients, transparent on where they source it from.

What a fantastic business. I have always thought a concept like this must work in today’s world. People are pressed for time, juggling many activities in one day. Yet, they want quality food for the right price without time-consuming chores such as grocery shopping, doing the dishes and so on. As if a friend cooks a couple more servings and brings it over when you get home after a busy day.

Any more such businesses around the world? In Sydney, Australia, would be great.

Customize a can of Coke sighting

The Share a Coke campaign from Coca Cola spans both online and offline.

Via Facebook you can share a virtual Coke with friends. Create a bottle specifically for a friend, by choosing from 150 different names, and add an individual song. But if your friend’s name is not in the list of 150, then go offline and into a shopping mall near you to customize a can of Coke.

Today I witnessed a massive queue of people who wanted to create a personalized can. Yes, even when there is a limit of one per person. The person who the can is intended for must be a special someone.

» Check out the iPhone images below.

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DIY: Chocolate

Not only in the fashion industry you can design yourself, also in the food or confectionary industry; customize your own chocolate!

There is one thing evident when the economy is not going well; people have to eat and love comfort food, such as chocolate. Combine that with a trend showing continuous growing online retail sales numbers as well as a trend of custom-tailoring or personalizing products and the idea for a business was born: Chocomize. Create your own chocolate bars, combining ingredients, from a selection of over 100, like nuts, fruits, spices and candy with dark, milk or white chocolate. After you have designed the bar the way you like it, they will make and ship it (with ice packs if needed).

Customize your chocolate bar

Others playing in this area: German custom chocolate company Chocri.com, which was founded before Chocomize, and two smaller startups Chocbite.com and Choccreate.com.

Some great articles to read on Chocomize in the Wall Street Journal by the Small Business, Big Innovation Blog (short company profile and innovation background), New York Times by Amy Wallace (what happens when entrepreneurs suddenly get so much media exposure that it results in exponential growth), Forbes by Ed Zitron (interview with topics covered: production, staffing, profitability, plans for growth) and CNN by Jacque Wilson (again more background, benefit of writing a business plan and check out the 10 weirdest orders on the left sidebar)

More entrepreneurial customization initiatives to be reported on…

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• DIY: Fashion

Mikado @ Wagamama – Antwerp

Mum always said “don’t play with your food”. We did not play with food but had fun playing many games of mikado with our chopsticks at Wagamama in Antwerp, Belgium. Positive eating + positive living!

MikadoDid you know that Mikado the game originated in Hungary and brought to the USA in 1936? Amazing what Wikipedia knows on this topic

Holyfields – Berlin

We unfortunately found the Guggenheim museum on Unter den Linden in Berlin closed because of renovations. But there was an upside. Across the street we stumbled on this restaurant that looked appealing and was full of surprises: Holyfields.

The building, interior and food are beautiful as you can see on their website. There was also a touch screen to order your food and drinks, which provided a nice user experience but also good customer experience with German efficiency.

The idea behind Holyfields is that they serve their guests time. Time to enjoy. Time for conversation, good food and nice drinks. Time to be in the unique space and savour the atmosphere.

Overall, a wonderful lunch experience at Holyfields in Berlin.


Food can be a work of art

Vegetarian food is sometimes amazing in restaurants but only occasionally that it looks like a work of art. Yes, it can truly be art.

The complete vegetarian “surprise menu” was actually divine and delicious, in taste and appearance. All credits to the chefs and artists at 1910 in Eindhoven, the Netherlands.

This sets the benchmark for other restaurants.

Food = art

Apologies to the creators, the iPhone 3GS photo quality does not do justice to the beauty of this dish.