When it comes to eating healthy, preparation is key, and whilst we’d all like to believe we can make the time each week to go to our local farmers market and hand select top quality ingredients to use in our meals for the week ahead, the truth is that many of us just don’t! This is where the Mindful Chef comes into play. Boasting a selection of healthy recipe boxes delivered across the country, the Mindful Chef has set out with a mission to make healthy eating easy. This week, we caught up with the founders to find out more…
You’ve been described as the “Net-a-Porter” of food delivery services. What makes Mindful Chef so special?
We have deliberately entered with a high quality product at the premium end of the market. The key differentiator between us and other fresh food delivery businesses is that we don’t fill our boxes with cheap processed foods such as pasta or bread. Instead we load our boxes with high quality organic meat, sustainably caught fish and organic nutrient dense vegetables. Mindful Chef is as much a lifestyle choice as it is a food delivery service, what you put into your body is hugely important to your general health and wellbeing. Little nuances such as a carry handle being integrated in every box means we’ve gone that extra mile to ensure consumers have a hassle free experience from start to finish. It is these small touches along with some high profile people trying our boxes which has probably led to us being referred to as ‘The Net-a-Porter’ of food delivery services.
Who and what inspires you to come up with new ideas and recipes that’ll make you stand out from your competition?
We have a pile of recipe books from all the hot chefs out there right now. Each week we are flicking through these along with trawling the web for the very latest trends, foods and styles of cooking to ensure we keep our recipes extremely tasty and current. We are also constantly chatting with our award-winning suppliers in Devon who are experts in their field, full of tips and tricks about what produce we should be considering in our upcoming boxes.
Do you have any favourite cook books?
Tess Ward’s The Naked Diet is obviously up there, given her approach to simply enjoying the right healthy foods rather than eating a faddy diet which is unsustainable. Jamie Oliver’s new book interestingly fits with a lot of our brands core values of not including heavy processed carbs. It is interesting to note that after 16 years of selling comfort food style books he has decided that now is the time to go down the healthy route, we feel this eludes to a wider shift in consumers attitude towards food; people want tasty meals but they also now understand the importance of eating the right balanced foods – that is where Mindful Chef comes in.
What does a typical day look like for you?
Myself and co-founder Myles will usually cycle or run into our office around 7am; a burst of cardio and fresh air in the morning is great for setting yourself up for a productive day. We’ll be at our desks from around 7.30am prioritising the days and weeks tasks before the team gets in at 9am. It’ll then be a mix of meetings, calls and emails throughout the day before finishing around 8pm and jumping back on the bike home. The one thing we make sure we do every day is encourage the whole team to go for a workout at some point in the day, usually around lunch time. We strongly believe that being sat at your desk all day is less productive than taking a break and having some time outdoors. We’ll either hit the local park for a circuits session or head to the gym for a quick workout as a team before coming back to our desks in the afternoon fresh and focused.
Who do you test your recipes out on?
We have a team of recipe testers which consists of professional chefs right through to our families; mums can be the best critics! It is important that we have a variety of people trying our product as our customer base is so diverse. We work months in advance planning our recipes with our chefs to suit the seasonal availability of fruit and veg.
Who are your most popular customers and popular areas to deliver?
Presently we have large customer bases in South West London and North London along with rapidly growing followings across the capital. Our most popular customers come from all over. It isn’t just the young busy city worker who needs to balance their diet within a time poor work life schedule. We have families, young girls, rugby playing guys and older couples trying our boxes. We also have enquiries coming in from all over the country which is encouraging, it isn’t just city folk who want to vary their weekly dinners.
You’ve recently collaborated with Tess Ward, how did the idea to do so come about?
The partnership with the lovely Tess was a simple one actually. We had been in touch via Instagram and after she tried a box of ours she was so impressed by the quality of our meat and fish that she got in touch to enquire about the suppliers. From there on in we met up a few times and the partnership emerged from there. It seems crazy that it hasn’t happened before – far too many people buy recipe books and let them gather dust on the shelf, always meaning to but never actually getting round to opening them, writing down the ingredients needed, heading to the supermarket, shopping around for everything and then cooking it up. With our partnership, people had 3 recipes from Tess’ book delivered to their door every week meaning all they had to do was the enjoyable part – the cooking and eating!
What is next for Mindful Chef?
We are presently expanding our fulfillment centre and have just moved to new offices due to the volume of orders coming in. Whilst this is all going on we are totally focused upon maintaining the quality service our customers expect week in week out. The quality and variety of our produce is of paramount importance to us and that is where a lot of our time will be focused to ensure that this does not dip as we grow, it only gets better.
Words by Rachel Harrison