A Culture of hospitality and generosity

The team behind Homevyte is as unique as the home cooks and guests on the platform. Together, we are working to immerse communities in authentic, cultural cuisine, one meal at a time. We are a testament to the American dream!

Our family immigrated to the United States from the Kurdistan Region of Iraq in the early 90s. Although life in Iraq was filled with the daily struggle for existence, the Kurdish culture is rich in hospitality, generosity, and love of people. In fact, extending generosity and hospitality to our guests is a sacred responsibility. Those who live up to this standard are said to be rwu spi, “the dignified and respected in the community.” This spirit of generosity and cuisine as an expression of cultural identity is the heart and soul of Homevyte.

The Kurdish proverb and core value, mehvan mehvanet Xwedene, means that every guest is a guest of God and must be hosted with care and dignity. In fact, in Kurdish culture a Karwani (traveler) may knock on the door of the first house he comes across in a Kurdish village. He will be invited into the home wholeheartedly to join the family for dinner, with the host insisting the guest enjoy the best seat at the table!

Homevyte is modeled after Ibrahim’s grandfather, a well-known and highly respected elder who always welcomed guests into his home.

In American Hospitality, We Found Home

Upon leaving the refugee camp in Turkey and arriving in the United States, our family was greeted and welcomed by the community. Ferhad’s family was sponsored by Mrs and Mr Rodgers and they developed such a bond that the children adopted the Rodgers as their grandparents

The rest of us were temporarily housed at the Calvary Methodist Church in Nashville, Tennessee. On the morning of our arrival, the church members were incredibly welcoming and friendly, significantly lessening our culture shock. Our first lunch in the States was a delicious oven roasted turkey rubbed with sweet barbecue sauce made for us by a generous woman in her 70s. It was the first time we had ever tasted such wonderful, yet very different food. Although we were strangers to one another, we were comforted by how Americans made us feel welcome and at home. Of course, a common connection was forged-love of food and hospitality for the traveler, or newcomer.

We fell in love with America through the church community who showered us with kindness, hospitality, and food-a shared core value we’re determined to introduce to the American public through Homevyte.

Test-Driving the Idea (Literally!)

We knew embarking on such an idea would be a considerable investment of time and resources, so we decided to test-drive the concept. I drove for a ride-sharing company and shared the idea with nearly every passenger I picked up. I received an overwhelmingly positive response from 350+ people. We realized there was an audience for Homevyte and decided to pursue the idea whole-heartedly. In 2018, new California legislature made it possible for anyone to sell homemade food from their homes. We knew the time had come for us to make a difference. We immediately set to work creating the Homevyte platform.

Having already built and run two restaurants, we knew the power food has in bringing people together. Food provides much more than nutrition and fuel for our bodies–it is a cultural driver, connecting us to our families, friends, and community.

The inception of Homevyte

Azad Tayar, one of Homevyte's original co-founders, was just eight months old when he immigrated to the US. His mother maintained much of our cultural customs of sharing, regularly cooking extra food to give away to our neighbors. Kurdish food was new to these neighbors, but they loved it so much that they often asked her if they could pay her for the authentic dishes.

In 2017 Azad came up with the idea of making and selling homemade food and we immediately saw the potential in connecting communities through the sharing of food. Although Azad was initially reserved about inviting strangers into our home for meals as we did in Kurdistan, sharing and experiencing the culture and authentic home cooking is in our blood. Sharing food and conversation could be our contribution to the growth and interconnectedness of American communities. We hope to bring everyone together as a people and a country once again! We offer pickup and delivery, but we encourage Trusted HomeCooks to invite guests into their homes; hence the evolution of the name: homevyte from home envyte.

Meet the Team

Ibrahim Ariyan

CEO & Co-founder

Ferhad Suleiman

VP Business Development & Co-founder

Zana M. Saleem

CTO & Co-founder

Shelan Ahmed

Web Dev. & Co-Founder

Zheen Ali

Web Dev & Co-Founder

Alan Ayoubi

Graphics Designer & Co-Founder

Bring People Together !

Homevyte offers authentic American ethnic food–a reflection of the cultural tapestry that makes this country so unique and interesting. For many Americans who have lost their family’s ancestral roots years ago, this is an opportunity to reconnect to the past–or simply discover world flavors and culture right in their backyard.

America’s act of caring, kindness, openness and accepting of persecuted people has culturally enriched our nation. This tradition has made the United States vibrant and strong. It continues to unlock innovation and makes our country prosperous. Inclusiveness and community are the values that bind us together and make us strong and exceptional. As children of immigrants ourselves, we want to continue to contribute and further enrich Americas very beautiful and diverse culture. What better way to do this than bringing people of different backgrounds together at the dining table over delicious cuisines from around the world.

The best way to introduce and integrate immigrant populations into their communities and preserve their culinary heritage is through the variety of delicious foods each culture brings to the table.

Our vision is to bring people together over delicious food and to empower passionate cooks to serve it right from their dining table, in their homes. The spirit of generosity, togetherness and cuisine as an expression of cultural identity is the heart and soul of Homevyte. As strangers sit across from one another, break bread together and exchange cultural and familial stories, they are no longer strangers or foreigners. They are part of a community of generous, welcoming, accepting and wonderful Americans.

Our Roots

The following are several stories shared by real people who have had first-hand experiences of Kurdish hospitality and been invited to dine with families they’d just met.

Visual storyteller and award winner Maude Plante-Husaruk of Hasruk (http://husaruk.com/kurdistan/) describes the “unbelievably picturesque view over the valley” in Hawraman, the “few timid smiles welcome [at] them,” and how “quickly enough [they] are talked into staying and eating a full meal with four jolly [Kurdish] women.” Hasaruk and her team gush about “good manners and open hearts by the ton,” when reflecting on the unyielding Kurdish hospitality they received.

US Army Engineer, Sergeant Bill Spaulding, describes “experiencing Kurdish hospitality firsthand” in his submission to The Kurdish Project (https://thekurdishproject.org/my-experience-kurdish-hospitality/). He explains how Shanaz, “a very young…, smiling, Kurdish girl walked up to me–a 44-year-old foreign soldier with an automatic rifle–and introduced herself. She encouraged me to come to her home,” and after some convincing, “I accepted her offer. Her family of 7 sisters, 2 brothers, a mom, [and] her dad…adopted me into their family. Her sisters cooked dolma, biriyani, and other delicious Kurdish food.”

“Food can be such a connector of people and culture,” explains a member of Nashville, Tennessee’s Servant Group (https://servantgroup.org/kurdish-hospitality/). She describes “the vastness of Kurdish hospitality floors” and “if you go to someone’s house they give you the best food, the best seat, and make you eat everything until you don’t think you’ll be able to move. I can’t count the number of times that students, parents, friends, or neighbours have brought me food for no reason at all [including] homemade jam, green onions from their garden, sweets their grandmother made, giant pots of dolma or muklubah or biriyani rice.”

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