Strong Friends Myles and Giles: Founders of Mindful Chef
A few weeks ago I spoke to you about my experience with Mindful Chef in helping me to achieve my goal of cooking at home.
Mindful Chef as a business has also intrigued me with their environment first and community minded thinking. They’ve built a successful business from the ground up which has so many positive effects - getting people to eat better, supporting local farmers and shining a light on our broken commercial food system. So why not go to the founders and ask them about their story?
Meet Myles and Giles.
Describe what you do?
Mindful Chef is the UK's number 1 healthy recipe box service. We deliver all the pre-measured ingredients and fresh meat, fish and produce sourced from small award-winning British farms to cook delicious nutritious dinners in under 30 minutes. Our recipes are all free from refined carbs (pasta, bread etc.) and sugars, they're also dairy free and gluten-free. On the menu every week we have 16 recipes to choose from, 5 of which are vegan. We were actually the first recipe box in the UK to cater for vegans and it's something we are very proud of. We started the business a couple of years ago with our third co-founder Rob and the team has since grown to 16 employees!
What was the moment you decided to quit the city and give this a go and what made you realise it was the right move?
We were working long hours in jobs we enjoyed but realised that slugging it out on the northern line every day wasn't for us! It was in the summer of 2014, on a fishing boat in Devon where we had the idea to launch Mindful Chef, as we watched beautiful fresh produce landed and handed straight to the local villagers. This very fishing boat supplied our first boxes. We had always had a passion for setting up our own business and so worked on Mindful Chef for months quietly, ensuring we had studied the industry carefully before launching. Giles has experience in marketing, whilst Myles was a personal trainer and health coach, bringing that all important healthy element, which sets us apart from our competitors.
What has been the most difficult part of setting up your business?
Working in the perishable food business. When working with groceries, it is incredibly complex as everything need to be transported and stored at different temperatures - when processing 300,000 ingredients per week and delivering them across the UK, this makes it a huge challenge. In the early days the whole team hand-packed the boxes themselves, which meant working long hours and putting our all into the business.
What was the most rewarding?
Seeing us pass through the 500,000 school meals donated to children living in poverty in Malawi via our work with the charity One Feeds Two. We are the only recipe box to operate this one for one charity model, whereby for every meal we sell, we donate one to charity. This equates to putting 419 children through 6 years of schooling, who would have otherwise been on the streets. Together with our customers we are rethinking the meaning of good food!
What does fitness mean to you?
Put simply we believe that eating a healthy balanced diet and keeping active are key to a healthy lifestyle. We make sure that we do something active every day, whether that's a gym session, cycling to work, a walk through the park or a team workout at a local studio. We believe in reducing your intake of sugar and refined carbs and including lots of wholesome fresh veg in your diet but we're also realistic - it's all about that 80/20 balance. Here in the office we also encourage the Mindful Chef team to get out and about at lunch time and many of us use this opportunity to fit in a gym session and cook up a healthy meal.
What is the one thing that you wish people knew about eating well?
That it doesn't have to obsessive, hardcore calorie counting diets.... the key is balance. You must enjoy your life too, that's what Mindful Chef customers love about the service; they use our meals for say 3 nights a week, and then as they've eaten a nutritious balanced diet for the bulk of the week they can enjoy a night or two out with friends.
What is something most people don’t know about you?
Myles was a professional rugby player. Giles was a Lucozade model!
Find out more about Mindful Chef:
Ps Grace Brown was not compensated for this article. This is not an ad!