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Podcast / Inspiring stories
Podcast / Inspiring stories

The refugee chefs taking Malaysia by storm

An innovative company in Malaysia is aiming to transform the lives of refugees in the country, through food delivery.

PichaEats, based in Kuala Lumpur, helps refugees who can cook to sell their food and make an income.

Suzanne Ling is the company’s co-founder and she puts it simply: “They can cook but don’t have access to the market. We have access to the market, but we can’t cook.”

And she is clear that this isn’t charity work. The chefs are paid more than they spend on ingredients, and PichaEats makes a profit too – after paying marketing and distribution costs – by charging customers even more.

“The chefs are partners,” says Suzanne. “They’re not employed by us.”

PichaEats is one of the food related Expo Live global innovators at Expo 2020 hosted in Dubai.

In this episode of the Table Talk podcast, Suzanne tells Stefan Gates about how she came up with the idea for the business whilst still a student, why making a profit is seen as an important driver for what they’re trying to achieve, and how the pandemic almost completely destroyed the business model.

Suzanne Ling, Co-Founder, PichaEats

Suzanne is the co-founder for PichaEats, an impact-driven business that aims to serve delicious meals and enable change among communities through food.

Founded in 2016, PichaEats partners with chefs from displaced communities, sharing their delicious cuisines from their home countries, including Palestine, Syria, Pakistan and Afghanistan to conferences, events, homes and more.

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