Carla Martinesi: Redefining Sustainable Dining in HK with CHOMP's Innovative Food-Saving Solutions
Updated: Oct 20
Carla Martinesi：CHOMP 創新的食物節約解決方案為香港重新定義可持續餐飲
In the world of sustainable food and beverage practices, Carla Martinesi shines as the fearless visionary CEO/Founder of CHOMP and a Forbes 30 under 30 honoree for Social Impact. With Swiss roots steeped in eco-conscious living, Carla's move to Hong Kong in 2019 spurred her mission to combat food waste. Leveraging her F&B expertise, she pioneered CHOMP, redefining the city's sustainability landscape.
This exclusive interview with the founder offers a glimpse into the origins of CHOMP, its pivotal role in mitigating food waste, and the ambitious aspirations that continue to fuel its mission of fostering eco-friendly practices in the region.
在可持續食物和飲料實踐的世界中，Carla 作為CHOMP的無畏願景的創始人和福布斯30位30歲以下社會影響力榮譽成員而煥發光彩。憑借在瑞士生態意識生活中扎根的背景，Carla 於2019年搬到香港，激發了她對打擊食物浪費的使命。她利用自己在飲食業的專業知識，開創了CHOMP，重新定義了這座城市的可持續發展格局。
Personal Journey and Inspiration
1. What inspired you to start CHOMP, and how has it changed over time?
CHOMP was inspired by my love of food and the drive to protect our planet. With a background in F&B and hospitality, it was a natural path for CHOMP to be born. Since we’re almost 2 years old, at its core, CHOMP hasn’t changed that much. We’ve grown with more restaurant partners and more users, but we’re still the same baby start-up!
2. Can you share a memorable experience from your journey with CHOMP?
Our first-year anniversary party! In November 2022, we celebrated turning officially one year old. We threw a big birthday bash with over 300 people attending, our incredible vendors, and great sponsors from companies who believe in our mission like Sephora and Flash Coffee. To promote our birthday, we also collaborated with HK Tramways, where we wrapped a huge tram! I had never seen so many people support our small biz in one room together.
3. How do you balance work and personal life while running CHOMP?
Toughie, some days I feel like I manage to balance, and some days I definitely don’t manage. However, I have found that incorporating regular exercise into my routine helps me stay focused and energized throughout the day. Whether it's going for a run, practicing yoga, or hitting the gym, exercise allows me to clear my mind and prioritize my well-being. Additionally, spending quality time with my support system is crucial. Whether it's having dinner with loved ones, going for a walk with friends, or simply having a phone call with my loved ones, these moments help me maintain a sense of connection and perspective outside of work. Balancing work and personal life as a young and busy entrepreneur is an ongoing journey, but by prioritizing exercise, spending time with my support system, and recharging, I find it is the best combo.
CHOMP's Impact and Future Plans
1. Can you briefly introduce CHOMP, its mission and what makes it unique?
CHOMP is Hong Kong's food-saving app with a mission to reduce food waste by connecting F&B businesses, like restaurants and cafes, with customers who can purchase discounted meal boxes containing unsold items. Since 2021, they’ve saved over 3000 kg of edible food from going to landfills, partnering with 140+ establishments, including renowned brands such as Maxim’s, Shangri-La, Flash Coffee, and more. Their efforts have garnered attention and recognition from various media outlets, including Forbes, SCMP, NowTV, Ming Pao, and Tatler, further spreading awareness about the importance of reducing food waste.
1. 能否簡單介紹一下CHOMP的使命以及其獨特之處？ CHOMP是香港的「節約食物」應用程式，致力於通過連接餐廳、咖啡店等餐飲業與顧客，提供折扣餐盒內含未售食品，以減少食物浪費。自2021年以來，他們已經挽救超過3000公斤食物，避免被丟入填埋場，並與140多家知名品牌合作，包括美心、香格里拉、Flash Coffee等。他們的努力受到福布斯、南華早報、NowTV、明報和達文西等媒體的關注和認可，進一步提高了減少食物浪費的重要性。
2. What inspired you to start CHOMP?
With a background in F&B, I saw firsthand how much perfectly edible food was getting discarded on a daily basis. Growing up in Switzerland, I was so used to living sustainably with home composting and package-free grocery stores. When I moved here in 2019, I was shocked by how behind we were in sustainability. I felt like I had to do something instead of unlearning all my practices.
3. How does CHOMP tackle food waste and promote eco-friendly practices?
CHOMP tackles food waste by utilizing its app to connect F&B businesses, such as restaurants and cafes, with customers who can purchase discounted meal boxes containing unsold items. Every order on CHOMP is about 1 kg of food saved from going into HK’s landfills!
4. Could you share some key milestones or successes that CHOMP has achieved in its mission to reduce food waste?
We recently signed with Maxim’s Homebake in Central, which was a big goal of ours. I also got awarded with Forbes 30 Under 30 and Tatler’s Gen T. Honoree, which was a huge milestone this year. This really solidified our standing in the F&B community that we’re serious and that we’re here to stay with our mission.
5. What are CHOMP's plans for the future?
Moving forward, CHOMP has exciting plans to expand its impact in two key areas: hotels and education. Reducing food waste for hotels and spreading awareness and knowledge through corporates, schools, and universities. The goal is to empower students and future leaders with the understanding and skills to make sustainable choices and combat food waste.
Advice for Aspiring Entrepreneurs 創業者的建議
Any tips for individuals wanting to start on their entrepreneurial journey?
Yes, yes, yes, do it! I really believe hesitating will get you nowhere. Do your research, ask your friends, ask your mentors, and take the plunge and go forward.
As our conversation with Carla drew to a close, it became evident that CHOMP's journey is a testament to the power of determination and a commitment to making a tangible difference in the world. Through the lens of this innovative food-saving app, we witnessed the impact that a well-crafted idea and unwavering dedication can have on the community and the environment. With a passionate leader at its helm, CHOMP continues to forge ahead, leaving a trail of reduced food waste and heightened environmental consciousness in its wake, inspiring others to follow suit and become agents of change in their own communities. make it short and clear.