Omnom

Omnom is your trusted food companion. It stores shopping lists for your favorite meals, allows you to compose a menu, then creates a consolidated list with just one tap.

Background

“Bread is three ingredients – flour, water, and salt.” Michael Pollan narrated casually at the start of the Air episode of his documentary Cooked. “Amy, can you pause for a second,” I said as I jumped out of bed. I marched to the kitchen to inspect the loaf of whole-grain bread sitting on the counter (the good stuff – the healthy choice at the grocery store). My eyes widened as I read the ingredients on the label with new eyes. I marched back to the bedroom, bread in hand. “Then what the hell is all this about?! Why is there sugar in our whole grain bread? Cellulose Fiber?!” – yes reader, there is paper in your multigrain bread – “What is Soy Lecithin?” I went down the list that was much longer and less pronounceable than just flour, water, and salt. Next up for inspection were the granola bars we ate for breakfast every morning—same story.

It became clear that pretty much everything we were eating, while food-shaped, wasn’t food. It explained a lot — I had struggled with my weight my entire life, often not having enough energy to get off the couch. Amy rarely got through a full meal, stopping because she felt sick to her stomach. As a result, she had to deal with the chronic headaches of being malnourished without understanding the cause.

We knew we needed to change our approach to food, so we started to cook more — a lot more. We armed ourselves with cookbooks and got some better pans. Quickly we discovered that eating well takes a considerable amount of effort. We learned how to bake our bread and make our granola bars.

Amy took charge of meal planning, which took literal hours before we could even go to the store. It was unsustainable but we had no choice — we had already started to notice a quality of life improvement. I had noticeably more energy and Amy didn’t have a headache for the first time in years.

So we did what designers do. We started studying the problem and made an app to help us cut down meal planning from hours to minutes. We started with a web-app prototype in 2018 and have been improving it ever since.

Goals

Omnom is a crucial piece of life infrastructure for us. The primary goal is to help others achieve a better life through food. To me, that means providing fast, intuitive, and trustable tools that turn eating well into a shared project for everyone in the family. Omnom is not an app for everybody. It's for people who want to eat real food but also have other stuff to do.

Financially, the goal is to achieve $20,000 in monthly recurring revenue sustainably without raising outside capital. I intend to use, maintain, and improve Omnom as long as I'm able. Longevity is everything.

Beyond that, I hope to build Omnom into a brand that raises awareness of various food issues in a fun and approachable way. Today's food system is an existential threat to the planet. While we can't change the world in a day, we can show a better, more sustainable way to incorporate food into our lives.

Updates

October 2021

This month brought a slew of updates:

  1. The ability to tag recipes by season. An addition that will make menu building even faster.
  2. Pull to refresh support for lists, menus, and recipes.
  3. I implemented a new custom-built design system fully supports dark mode and multiple screen sizes which will support multi-platform development.
  4. UI refinements have been made throughout the app.
  5. Full-fledged iPad support!

September 2021

Omnom experienced its first-ever downtime due to a server upgrade at our hosting provider. A quick upgrade righted the ship and brought me back to the original code base for the first time in over a year. I realized that I preferred it to the in-progress rewrite. It was pretty easy to scrap the new work and return to a codebase that has proven to be a very stable foundation.

August 2021

After four years of relying on Omnom with fairly limited investment, I decided that I'd put in the effort to share this work with the world. Work has begun on an all new app with a redesigned API that will allow for more customization and control over the app.

To follow along with development you can visit our new landing page and sign up for updates or follow along on Twitter or Instagram for our favorite recipes, tips, and more.