Eat Kochi Eat: How a Kerala Foodie Community Got Funding From Facebook

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With so many cuisines and budget choices, eating out is irresistible for newcomers, says Amruta Vijayakumar, a newcomer to Kochi, Kerala. Then I thought why not join a gourmet party and meet fellow lovers at meal time? “Eat Kochi Eat (EKE) ‘s food tours came as a great way to explore the local cuisine that I probably won’t find myself.

As one from Bihar, I used to believe that every Kerala eats rice and dosa three times a day, says Akash Kumar of Chapra. Posts about original Punjabi mutton biryani from Sethi Da Dhaba and Shantilal’s Kachari and Dokhla from Kochi have amazed me with the variety of our cuisine seen in this foodie group, Kumar said. Following the EKE page, Kumar now knows the diet of his countrymen.

Food Explorer and social media are naturally appropriate – this is what inspired Karthik Murali, a degree engineer and marketer by profession, to start an EKE page on Facebook. The page connects people across the city to engage in gluttonous conversations and discover the city’s best food and drink. Sharing tastes, asking for advice, and helping with advice is the key.

“When I started the group, the agenda was very easy for me to empower food enthusiasts and share bills with like-minded diners,” Murali said. Now, the group has been recognized by Facebook in the latest version of its Community Accelerator program.

“This year’s participating communities have demonstrated the impact and power of scaling. Through this program, they will receive growth-related training, hands-on mentorship and funding to grow their community and influence, ”Facebook said.

Facebook’s flagship initiative is designed to help communities around the world build leadership skills and maximize their community impact. The global program, announced by Facebook in May 2021, aims to build leaders to harness the power of their communities to turn ideas into action. It lasts eight months and participants will receive training, mentoring and funding to invest in an initiative that expands the positive impact of their community.

Of the 13,000 communities that applied for Facebook’s Global Community Accelerator program, 130 were selected. 13 of them are from India. Through this selection, EKE will also receive initial access to all new Facebook products, a series of mentorship sessions, and financial support for future community activities and events.

Facebook will work with GlobalGiving to help participants fund project plans and set them up for program success. In addition, Eat Kochi Eat will receive up to $ 50,000 (approximately Rs. 3,785,500) for participating in their program and financing their community initiatives during the eight-month program and may be eligible for a share of $ 1 million (approximately Rs. 75,725,150). ) Additional funds available to further fund their community initiatives. Program participants will be paid up to a total of $ 7.5 million (approximately Rs. 567,641,625).

Eat Young Eat Facebook Page Image Young Eat

Eat young
Photo Credit: Facebook / Eat Kochi Eat

Brick Kochi Brick Community Formation

Murali moved to the city in 2012 as part of a career growth. Every time a new food joint is opened he wants to go and check that place.

“Everything about the city was new then and finding friends to share the bills was a challenge. So I thought about starting a group on Facebook so I could connect with people in the city and learn about the best restaurants and food in the city. The city.” Murali said.

At a time when Facebook was a less explored area for food reviews, in September 2015, Kartik started Eat Kochi Eat with healthy conversations about food and eating in the city of Kochi. Soon he started getting searches from a huge number of interested people and posts with their best cooking experience, which is a must try and list some of the mouth watering foods of the city.

Over the next few years, for the people of Kochi, this go-to community has been relentless with tasteful pictures of dining places and recent food reviews, and has grown with a large follower base of over 180,000 members. Interestingly, more than 60 percent of them are from the city.

“After forming groups and meeting like-minded foodies, we came up with the idea of ​​organizing an event every week where members can meet at a selected food joint and review the food and the environment,” Murali said.

The popularity of EKE has grown from casual community gatherings to food exploration trips. The members have already organized more than 35 events for food lovers and emerging entrepreneurs in Kerala. The group regularly announces its upcoming food trips via its Instagram page. Currently, it is run by a group of six members who all meet online through the common ‘love of food’.

“It’s been three decades since I started cooking,” said George VM, who runs an unnamed food shop in Vaduthala, Ernakulam. After showing my signature food on Eat Kochi Eat, people from all over Kerala started coming to taste them. I am happy to be able to serve people from different parts of Kerala now. ”

During the COVID-19 lockdown, EKE created video content like ‘Bachelors Kitchen’ to keep their community base engaged. The community was also active in launching Suigi in Kochi.

When people started trying the featured food on the platform and it seemed good, the community became an instant hit. “Mainly because we were very organized from day one with strict guidelines,” Murali said. The brand’s social media pages discourage other posts and follow a no-negative review policy. The growing follower-ship and diversity of content has paved the way for many brand collaborations.

The community seeks to contribute to the city’s growing food scene for locals as well as food for travelers from around the world. Immediate plans for the community are based on all the cities, says Karthik. Expansion in the field of cooking and advising more entrepreneurs is underway.


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