Robert Grieg-Gran, Giles Humphries, and Myles Hopper: Mindful Chef

Dreamt up on a fishing trip, this company offers healthy, balanced recipe boxes and has captured the imagination of Britain’s biggest sports stars

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Robert Grieg-Gran, 33, Giles Humphries, 31 and Myles Hopper, 30
Company: Mindful Chef

The idea for Mindful Chef arose when its three founders worked on a friend’s boat off the Devon Coast, and three years later with a modest amount of funding it is heading for turnover of £9m, backed by stars such as Sir Andy Murray and Victoria Pendleton CBE.

As they returned from their morning’s fishing trip one day in summer 2014, Young Guns – Myles Hopper, Giles Humphries and Robert Grieg-Gran – watched local villagers lining up to buy the produce, and were struck by how fresh it was. The fish looked so much better than the frozen produce available in the supermarket.

The three friends were inspired to launch their own company. Adapting the delivery model which has proved successful for companies such as Graze, they launched a subscription business which distributes weekly recipe boxes to customers, comprising an ultra-healthy balance of pre-portioned meat, fish and vegetables, as well as a recipe card.

Mindful Chef is gluten-free, dairy-free and contains no refined carbs. Providing a wide range of box options to suit all lifestyles, it offers one, two and four-person boxes and cater for gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, flexitarian, vegetarian and pescatarian diets.

The three watchwords of the business are health, freshness and sustainability. Mindful Chef’s quality ingredients are sourced from small award-winning British farms. Meat is 100% grass-fed, chicken is free-range and fish is landed fresh in the UK.

To ensure these standards are maintained across the supply chain, the founders regularly visit their suppliers. They also ask that customers return their ice packs and insulation after delivery, so the packaging can be reused and waste is kept to an absolute minimum.

The idea has captured the imagination of investors, particularly those in the sporting community. In July 2016, just over a year after the company launched, it raised £1m in just 11 days through an oversubscribed funding round including contributions from Murray and Pendleton. In October 2017, it crowdfunded an additional £2m in 12 days.

The company has delivered over one million meals in three years, and is actively looking to build on its 30,000 customers. It has even branched into publishing, having launched its acclaimed debut recipe book Eat Well, Live Better last year.

As their business continues to grow, the founders are determined not to lose sight of their original mission: to spread the benefits of healthy eating and use the business as a force for good. For every meal sold, they donate a school meal to a child living in poverty, and now they want to build the first 100% plastic-free recipe box by the end of the year.

Mindful Chef is proud to recently be certified B Corp, meeting rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.

Having featured Mindful Chef among the top 20 of this year’s Startups 100, we’re delighted to have them at Young Guns!

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