65. Mr Lee’s Noodles Company
The healthy gourmet instant noodle brand available on planes, trains and international terrains
Founders: Damien Lee
Founded: January 2017 (launched September 2017)
Damien Lee claims to have never had any experience in any sector he’s started up in.
Despite this, the former Australian special forces member has been behind a digital marketing agency, a financial recruitment company, oil trading, one of the world’s largest maritime communication companies, and numerous nightclubs, restaurants and bars across three different countries.
The next sector on his list to target? Noodles. With his healthy gourmet noodle start-up Mr Lee’s Noodles Company.
So why noodles? Well, there’s an inspiring story behind it.
Lee, a dad of two, was diagnosed with stage four cancer and given weeks to live. Whilst undergoing 16 rounds of aggressive chemotherapy, he found that craved instant noodles but the high content of nasty ingredients excluded them from the raw and clean diet he was pursuing to help battle cancer.
After beating cancer, Lee researched the noodle market and found that an estimated 100 billion instant noodles are eaten globally every year.
Recognising a gap in the market– Startups Awards-nominated Mr Lee’s Noodles was born. Unlike rival brands, Mr Lee’s is gourmet, gluten-free, and uses freeze-dried ingredients (instead of dehydrated) to maintain “the physical and nutritional integrity of the products”.
It claims to be one of the lowest in salt, sugar, calories, and fats on the market with no MSG’s, artificial preservatives, additives, flavouring, colouring or additives.
Rising from 90th position in the Startups 100 2017, Mr Lee’s is a brand on the move having slurped up a number of lucrative deals with Jetstar Airlines, South Western Railway, and East Midlands Trains, as well as many hotels and independents.
Across the next year, Lee will be rolling out the company’s innovative Noodle Kiosks in partnership with contract catering firm The Compass Group. It will also be launching in three supermarket chains in England, France and Australia.
Although going global is a key focus, Lee has a much more admirable goal in mind: to educate young people on the best ways to eat, and live, better.