IF YOU'VE forgotten what it's like to have your Mum whip up your favourite dishes whenever you want, there's another Mother who will do just that, without nagging you to do the dishes after.
Mother is a food delivery service with a twist - she can either cook for you, or prepare everything you need to make your own meal.
Ready-to-cook fresh ingredients are packed in eco-friendly 'cook-it-yourself' kits with recipes included and delivered to the doorstep. All you have to do is throw the food together following the instructions and voila, an instant home-cooked meal.
Explaining that eating at home with the family is a fast-disappearing trend, Christine Lim, 33-year-old founder of Mother, says: 'I feel that there is a need to go back to traditional values like talking and connecting over a proper meal.'
For Ms Lim, starting Mother is a far cry from her previous career as advertising account director. The turning point for her came when she was recovering from cancer in 2006 and was housebound for six months.
Irked by the fact that she couldn't venture out to shop for ingredients, the idea was born. 'It was porridge and more porridge every day!' she says, with a laugh. Once she was on the mend, it was time to decide what she was going to do.
Hence, the idea for Mother became a reality. 'I really wanted a change from work,' she says. 'I'm a person with a thousand ideas, and so I thought, hey, this is my chance to do this food delivery that I've always wanted. It cost $100,000, which is about half of what an MBA would cost if I went overseas. So if it fails, I tell myself that I'll consider this as having done my MBA. So really, this is a cheap MBA.'
When asked if her lack of formal training in the culinary arts has discouraged her, Ms Lim shrugs it off. 'I'm not here to create gourmet dishes for foodies,' she explains. 'It's about preparing fresh, wholesome food together, and enjoying it.'
Ms Lim places emphasis on healthy, low-fat options that do not use artificial flavourings, MSG or trans-fat. 'Just like your Mum's cooking!' she quips. The menu features more than 50 dishes from starters to desserts - all of which can be served within 30 minutes.
Her base of 250 clients now comprises mostly busy executives - who don't have full-time maids - introduced by word of mouth. She estimates that 10-15 per cent of them order regularly.
Business is just picking up, but Ms Lim plans to acquire a full-fledged kitchen and open a retail store. She hopes to expand her clientele to families, even those with maids, because she believes cooking is for everyone.
'There is a real communion in cooking,' she says, recounting how her grandmother would cook for the family every night, to reward them for a day's labour. 'No one should forget how it's like.'
To find out more about Mother, log on to www.ilovemother.net.