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


Amrita Vijayakumar, a newcomer to Kochi, Kerala, says that with so many cuisines and budget options, eating out is overwhelming for newcomers. Then I thought why not join the foodie group, and meet fellow food lovers over the course of the meal? “Food tours by Eat Kochi Eat (EKE) are a great way to explore local eateries that I might not have found myself. It does all the heavy lifting for me,” said Amrita Vijayakumar.

Aakash Kumar of Chapra says that as someone from Bihar, I believed that every Keralite was eating rice and dosa three times a day. The posts posted to this foodie group about real Punjabi mutton biryani from Sethi Da Dhaba and Kachori and Dokhla from Kochi’s Shantilal amaze me with the variety of our dishes, Kumar said. By following the EKE page, Kumar is now knowing the food habits of his countrymen.

Food explorers and social media are a natural fit – which is why Kartik encourages Murali, an engineer by degree and a marketer by profession, to start an EKE page on Facebook. The page connects people from across the city to engage in gourmet conversation, and discover the best food and drink in town. That’s its motto, to share tastes, to seek advice, and to help with suggestions.

“When starting the group the agenda was too simple to empower the food enthusiast within me and split the bill with like-minded foodies,” says Fife. Now, the group has been recognized by Facebook in the latest version of its Community Accelerator program.

“This year’s participating communities have demonstrated impact and potential at scale. Through the program, they will receive development-related training, practical counseling and funding to grow their community and impact,” 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, is set to shape leaders to harness the power of their community to turn ideas into action. Its duration is eight months and participants will receive training, mentorship 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. thirteen of these are from india, With this selection, EKE will also receive financial support for all new Facebook products, a series of mentoring sessions, and future community activities and events.

Facebook will work with GlobalGiving to fund participants’ project plans and help set them up for success at the event. In addition, Eat Kochi Eats will receive up to $50,000 (approximately Rs 3,785,500) for their participation in the program and will receive a share of $1 million (approximately Rs 75,725,150) to fund their community initiatives during the eight-month program. may be eligible for. ) additional funding is available to advance their community initiatives. In total, prizes of up to $7.5 million (approximately Rs 567,641,625) will be awarded to the participants of the program.

eat eat kochi
photo credit: facebook/eat kochi eat

Formation of Eat Kochi Eat Community

Fife moved to the city in 2012 as a part of a career growth move. Every time a new food joint opens, he wants to investigate the place immediately.

“Everything about the city was new at the time and it was a challenge to find friends to split the bill. So I thought of starting a group on Facebook so that I could interact with the people of the city and such Know about the best restaurants and cuisines in the city,” said Murali.

At a time when Facebook was a less searched area for food reviews, in September 2015, Karthik started Eat Kochi Eat with healthy conversations about eating out and eating out in the city of Kochi. Soon they started getting a list of some must-try and delicious dishes from the city to post with a huge number of interested people and their best recipes.

Over the next few years, this go-to community for Kochi people talked endlessly about places to eat out with delicious pictures and reviews of the latest eateries and with a massive follower base of over 1,80,000 members. Interestingly, more than 60 per cent of these are from the city itself.

“Soon after the formation of the group and meeting like-minded foodies, we came up with the idea of ​​holding an event every week where members can meet at a selected food joint and review the food and atmosphere there,” says Murali. can do.”

EKE’s popularity has grown from casual community meetups to food exploration trips. The members have already organized over 35 events for both food lovers and budding entrepreneurs in Kerala. The group regularly announces their upcoming food tours via their Instagram page. Currently, it is managed by a six-member group, all of whom met online through the common ‘love for food’.

George VM, who runs an unnamed eatery in Vaduthala, Ernakulam, said, “It’s been three decades since I started cooking. Eat Kochi After Eat my signature dishes were introduced, people from all over Kerala started coming to taste them. I am happy that now I can serve people from different corners of Kerala.”

During the COVID-19 lockdown, EKE created video content like ‘Bachelor’s Kitchen’ to keep its community base engaged. The community was also active in the launch of Swiggy in Kochi.

The community became an instant hit when people started trying the food featured on the platform and found it good. “It is mainly because of this that we were very organized with strict guidelines from day one,” says Fife. The brand’s social media pages discourage other posts and follow a negative review policy. Growing follower-ship and diversity in content paved the way for many brand collaborations.

The community is looking to contribute to the city’s evolving food landscape, catering to the preferences of local people as well as travelers from around the world. The immediate plans for the community are city-based, says Karthik. Expanding cooking and mentoring more entrepreneurs is underway.