It all started in 2016, when I met Loubna Ksibi during an internship: we decided to create Mama Cook’in to help housewives make a living from their cooking skills. Both of us had grown up with these women who, despite their talent, were never put forward. We see them at home, behind the stove, but never in the great kitchens of chefs. Then, another founder joined us, Youssef Oudahman, and we gave life, a year later, to Meet My Mama. Our project is written in several stages: first of all by the inspiration part, where we try to create clicks in these women, then the training part with the Mama Academy. It is both a school and a company where innovative courses are created to enable participants, from Latin America, the Middle East or even Europe, to become chefs.
Overcome everyday obstacles
The important thing is to succeed in freeing them from many obstacles: lack of self-confidence, the fact of being a woman in a man’s sector, the absence of a network, of financial means, problems related to childcare children, transportation, language. We schematize our project through Maslow’s pyramid, a representation of the hierarchy of needs. Once their needs are met, they can then undertake more serenely. Then, the next stage is an incubator, in which we help for one to two years women already trained, with us or not, to become caterers. They have access to professional kitchens, coaching, administrative or social assistance. We have accompanied more than 300 women and more than 2,000 mamas have already knocked on our door. Unfortunately, we do not yet have the means to support them all.
Services in exceptional locations
To finance this academy, we have developed a catering business, often with major CAC 40 groups, from BNP Paribas to Facebook. Like a culinary travel agency, we guide our 2,500 customers to dishes from around the world. One of our greatest successes is seeing our mamas at events where we didn’t expect them, from Versailles to the Louvre. For Google’s 20th anniversary at the Petit Palais, one of our chefs signed the menu on the theme of Algeria, dishes that were then made by the Potel and Chabot teams. During these events, the mama speaks, tells her story, her culture, removes prejudices. Then, during the Covid, we had to adapt. We have thus launched an operation called Les Mamas solidaires, where our chefs have cooked more than 12,500 dishes from unsold products to give them to the most disadvantaged. This allowed the mamas to have an allowance and to continue to meet their needs.
We make every mom aware of the challenges of sustainable development. From the culinary part, by inviting them to use organic, seasonal products, to the packaging, designed from bamboo or palm leaf. We are also working on the carbon footprint by pooling our deliveries and on preventing waste by redistributing food after events. We want to be the first eco-responsible caterer in France. And in the future, thanks to about fifty employees, we wish to complete our training program, to open it beyond the mamas, and to establish ourselves, after Paris and Marseille, in other cities of France.