She Made the Uber of Home-Cooked Food

pull up a seat

If you could use an app to find home-cooked meals nearby and have that food delivered, would you do so?

Camille Baker is betting you would. She is the developer and founder of Pull-Up-A-Seat: think of it as the Uber of home-cooked meals, currently available in the App Store.

Baker describes the app as, “A private community marketplace that allows anyone to sell home cooking on-demand to any and everyone.”

Some use-case scenarios for Pull-Up-A-Seat:

  • A professional who has to leave work late, and doesn’t have many delivery options after they get home.
  • A budget-strapped college student, who misses home-cooking.
  • An older, single person, who loves to cook and may want to share their meal with someone.
  • A tourist that wants to experience an area’s local cuisine.
  • A home baker, who wants to start selling baked goods.

Those preparing and sharing meals can charge and keep 100% of the money they make. Baker’s company makes revenue through transactions and in-app ads.

The 24-year-old recently graduated Florida A&M with a degree in business. Although she isn’t a computer science or engineering major, she coded the app herself. “I went to preparatory school. They taught us [computer] languages, but I took it a step further. Being a black girl in an all-white school, I found a lot of the community online, and people who were into hacking and coding.”

Recently, Baker was accepted into an accelerator called eFactory. The accelerator is helping her take her business to the next level, and it even supplied her with additional funding. She was actually accepted into a number of accelerators with her app, but eFactory “offered the most money, with [taking] the least amount of equity,” she explains.

Baker’s goal is to provide “on-demand home cooking for anyone by anyone.” Since launching in August, she has already seen clever uses. “We saw a sorority using it to do a food drive. People who couldn’t stop by were buying through the app.”

About potential trouble, such as less-than hygienic home cooks or someone receiving tainted food, Baker credits her parents for insisting she hire a lawyer as well as utilize an intense vetting process for food preparers—or “hosts,” as they are called in the app. “When you sign up, you can sign up as a foodie or a host,” she says. “Hosts go through background checks—someone actually goes to the home and checks it out.”

Additionally, hosts can build their portfolios within the app, showing past food they have made. As with many services of this category, hosts are subject to the community’s ratings and reviews, with those with the best ratings being sought the most.

Baker says, at the accelerator, she was advised to make sure anything concerning liability or insurance issues was “airtight.”

Currently, the app only caters to the Florida area, but Baker is very focused on building an active user base. Eventually, she hopes to offer some kind of subscription model, “but nothing to drive away current or new customers,” says the business major.

Merrill Lynch Has Uncovered Why You’re Not Saving Enough for Retirement

5 reasons you're not saving enough for retirement

Everyone knows they need to put away some serious money if they want to enjoy their golden years. Yet despite this knowledge, most people are not saving enough for retirement.

“People have good intentions. They think they should be saving roughly 25% of their annual disposable personal income,” said Kevin Crain, head of Workplace Financial Solutions for Bank of America Merrill Lynch, in a media briefing.

“And yet, people are saving just one-fourth of that,” he continued. “Americans are actually saving only 5.5% of their disposable personal income.”

Those findings are part of a new report, Finances in Retirement: New Challenges, New Solutions, conducted by Merrill Lynch, in partnership with Age Wave.

So, why is there such a big gap?

“We saw that there were five barriers that are obstacles for people trying to save for retirement, which will need to be overcome or removed,” Crain said.

The report is the result of data collected from 50,000 respondents over, four years, via eight different studies. The holistic studies focused on life priorities beyond finances, such as family, giving, health, and home. So, here’s why you’re not saving enough for retirement, as reported by Finances in Retirement: New Challenges, New Solutions: 


1. The Struggle to Pay Basic Expenses


More than 40% of respondents say the cost of basic expenses has prevented them from saving more for retirement.

5 reasons you're not saving enough for retirement Finances in Retirement: New Challenges, New Solutions


2. The Belief That Talking About Personal Finance is Taboo


Personal finances are a private matter, according to 57% of respondents, and 72% of retirees are uncomfortable discussing their retirement savings candidly with friends.


5 reasons you're not saving enough for retirement Finances in Retirement: New Challenges, New Solutions


3. A Lack of Positive Financial Role Models


Half of pre-retirees say they don’t have a role model, when it comes to financial planning.


4. A Lack of Understanding of Financial Jargon


A full 90% of Americans want basic financial management to be taught in school, and 65% say the language of finance is confusing.


5. A Lack of Confidence When Making Financial Decisions


Americans over age 50 second-guess their financial decisions more than any other decisions, grading themselves at only a “C-minus,” when it comes to financial behaviors.

5 reasons you're not saving enough for retirement Finances in Retirement: New Challenges, New Solutions


“As Americans gear up for longer retirement experiences, the responsibility for funding these later years is landing much more on their shoulders,” said Lorna Sabbia, head of Retirement and Personal Wealth Solutions at Merrill Lynch, in a press release.

“To navigate this new landscape, today’s retirees and future generations will need to play a more active role,” she said, “which includes closing the savings ‘intention-action’ gap, planning ahead to meet their retirement goals and regularly course-correcting along the way.”