School friends from Devon secure £1million investment for healthy eating venture
- Credit: Archant
A healthy recipe box business launched by three school friends has secured £1million in funding - and the backing of sporting stars including Andy Murray.
Giles Humphries, from Sidmouth, Rob Grieg-Gran, from Lympstone, and Myles Hopper, from Exeter, who met at the age of 11. launched Mindful Chef to produce nutritional meals using organic produce from the West Country.
In July, the trio were ‘blown away’ after receiving £1million in donations through the crowdfunding website Seedr - more than double their target of £400,000 - to help develop the business.
Among the investors were Wimbledon champion Andy Murray, former Olympian Victoria Pendleton and rugby player Will Greenwood.
Giles, who grew up in Fortescue, said: “We are delighted to have overfunded in such a short period of time. The demand has been phenomenal - this is huge validation of the business and has left the whole team energised about what the future holds.
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“We are looking forward to bringing healthy eating to thousands more households across the UK.”
The trio knew they wanted to work together after organising events at school, but did not join forces until 2014, which was when Rob, 31, was inspired by the fresh produce caught by a local fisherman in Lympstone.
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Giles, 30, said: “He saw the fisherman and the quality of the product and said to me wouldn’t it be amazing if we could bring this to the masses?”
Using their backgrounds in marketing, finance and personal fitness, they researched the idea of recipe boxes and created options for people to buy two, three or five days-worth of meals. They launched Mindful Chef in April last year, delivering the first 10 boxes themselves from a van.
Giles added: “This idea enables people to eat healthy and kickstarts their week with very minimal effort. All they have to do is follow the recipes.”
He said the company prides itself on taking produce from ‘farm to fork’ and ‘plough to the plate’ by using meat, fish and vegetables from across Devon and Cornwall in its boxes.
“It’s about being healthy and really tasty as well and using as much British produce and West Country produce. All of our meat and fish is from the West Country,” said Giles.
Mindful Chef has distributed more than 100,000 boxes to homes in places ranging from from Fort William to Penzance.
The friends are now looking forward to their next challenge having secured a recipe book deal with Penguin. The first publication which is set to be released in March 2017.