Breaking bread with the unknown. The Eat With Me story.

By Rebekah Lambert | Sep 25, 12 09:09 AM

The wave of collaborative consumption. Just the tonic needed for an Australia that keeps being told its poor, in environmental crisis and disconnected.

There is a new startup wave that is not driven by getting what you have ready in order to sell off for a profit or make waves in the usual sense. The co-founders who work on it aren’t imagining Ferraris in the garage or floating themselves for millions on the stock exchange, although some do dream of connecting with the world’s charities or sipping tea with Richard Branson. These new entrepreneurs want to create community, encourage sharing and get us thinking about what we do and how to do it smarter. It is the wave of collaborative consumption – and it’s just the tonic needed for an Australia that keeps being told its poor, in environmental crisis and disconnected.

Here are just some of their stories.

Breaking bread with the unknown. The Eat With Me story.

Ever been to a new town for business and felt like a complete Nigel no friends as you ate because you didn’t have anyone to catch up with? Or maybe you’ve wanted to hold a sumptuous dinner party and known it’s going to be lost on hubby and the kids? Liisa Vurma and Bethany Jones understand these pains, and that is why they have started Eat With Me- a collaborative consumption business where you can find other people to eat with.

Giving people common ground through the humble art of consuming food, Eat With Me is about all kinds of food related experiences. Making new friends, having conversations and even exploring the cuisine scenes of an alien city are part of the Eat With Me appeal. From being able to meet new people at restaurants, picnics by gorgeous views, cook for people in your home and show off your own skills, skill-sharing through wonton making and bread baking events, Eat With Me has brought together countless new friends with a passion for food on terms that suit their lifestyle and needs.   

Like most collaborative consumption businesses, Liisa and Bethany have faced the inevitable “but is it safe?”

“Eat With Me provides you the opportunity to meet with people you click with. It does seem a little odd at first to dine with a group of strangers, but the same can be said of first dates or couch surfing. You can build up friendships around a love of food over time and take it at your own pace. A lot of first time members go to events that are held in public places and take their friends- and end up really, really enjoying themselves,” explained Bethany.

The Eat With Me trail is very strong in Melbourne and starting to grow in all kinds of corners of the globe- including Amsterdam, Milan and Buenos Aires. All are united by the idea of meeting for a good feed, good conversation and something great to talk about later on. But Eat With Me didn’t begin as a world conquering startup.

“I didn’t understand I was making a startup. I didn’t even really think of it as a business. This was my passion and what I wanted to do was connect people over food in a meaningful way. We all eat, we all network in one form or another. So it seemed right to bring the two things together,” said Liisa.

Support from women is an intrinsic part of Eat With Me continuing to along the road to success. Through bringing together women who wish to expand their business or friendship networks, who share passion for food and cuisine, who are new to a city or town and want to reach out to foodies who want to share their passion with other like minded women, Eat With Me dream of hearing from women all over Australia who have had wonderful dining experiences via their platform.

To find out more about Eat With Me, you can browse their site and sign up your interest here. Or you can follow their journey on Facebook  or Twitter or through the official Eat With Me blog.

Check out other awesome businesses using collaborative consumption:

Anyone got a jukebox they can lend me? The Open Shed story.

 Thanks to this lasagne, I can now surf. The MamaBake story.

Rebekah is a Premium member of Business Chicks, request her online business card and connect with her here.

Rebekah Lambert is a writer, marketer and all round creative pursuits lovin’ gal who channels both her creative and work life through her solo operation Unashamedly Creative.


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