How this 10-year-old 'Chef on Saturdays' grew his business during the pandemic

The appetite for Rayyan Husain’s homemade chicken pot pies has grown so much it has ignited a weekend business for the 10-year-old during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Grade 5 student Rayyan Husain embraces entrepreneurship through selling homemade dishes

Meet the 10-year-old who started his own business, ‘Chef on Saturdays’

2 years ago
Duration 2:41
A young entrepreneur from Mississauga has kept busy during the pandemic by starting his own cooking business. Ten-year-old Rayyan Husain started Chef on Saturdays, which offers cooked meals like chicken pot pie and taco buns — and now his sales are growing. We spoke to Rayyan about his inspiration for the business, and what comes next.

As Mississauga student Rayyan Husain spent more time at home during the pandemic, he started cooking meals for friends and family. 

"It all started as an activity. He baked a pie, which was really good. He asked, 'Can I sell it?' And with all the TV and screen time happening these days, I said, 'Sure why not?' Anything to keep you away from the screen," said his mom Muniza Akhtar.

Word of mouth from those who loved his food began to spread and Rayyan got more inquiries about his chicken pot pies and pull-apart taco bread — sometimes up to 10 orders a week.

That's considerable for someone who is only 10.

Rayyan now calls his business "Chef on Saturdays" because he can only cook on weekends and advertises on Instagram.

"When I was little, I used to cook with my mom and grandma because I used to be a picky eater," said Rayyan, who is in Grade 5. "So I would cook and get excited about what I made." 

He's mastered recipes and can make full meals without his mom's help.

With every order comes a personalized "thank you" note as a way for him to practise handwriting.

During Ramadan, he's making iftar platters.

Husain has also picked up financial and life skills along the way. He's learned how to budget for groceries, manage his preparation time for meals, and reduce food waste while cooking. He's saving his earnings and also donating to local food banks. 

He was a finalist in Wednesday's "Money Fair" hosted by the Canadian Foundation for Economic Education and came in second place. 


Sannah Choi is a multi-platform journalist with CBC Ottawa. She previously worked at CBC Toronto and The Fifth Estate. Contact her at