Posted by: London UK | September 5, 2007

Posh Meals On Wheels

Jennifer Irvine came up with the idea of a gourmet food delivery business while making her diet-conscious husband a healthy packed lunch to take to work. She believed other people would pay to have a day’s worth of nutritious “ready-meals” delivered to their doorsteps and set up Pure Package.

Despite having virtually no experience as a chef when she started her company three years ago, she began cooking the meals herself in the kitchen of her former family home in Notting Hill - storing the food in a fridge in the spare room.

Today she has 1,000 customers and 20 staff - and has been named Entrepreneur of the Year 2007.
She was one of three winners at the Harper’s Bazaar Businesswoman of the Year Awards. Ms Irvine, 31, had previously worked as a troubleshooter advising restaurants on how to improve their menus and presentation.

She charges clients between £20 and £33 for daily deliveries of meals and snacks, based on menus drawn up by trained nutritionists. Sample dishes include muesli and fresh fruit for breakfast, chicken salad for lunch and pineapple with sesame seeds to snack on.

Ms Irvine, who now lives in Virginia Water and runs her business from an office in New Covent Garden Market, said: “Basically we are a diet delivered to your door. We are a posh meals on wheels.

“When I started I was at home trying to be the perfect housewife and I just thought this business could work. “I called the local environmental health officer to come down and check my kitchen and asked if I could run the company from there, and he said yes. The business took off and I put a fridge in our spare bedroom and then got a walk-in chiller in the garden.”

Ms Irvine has supplied famous names including actress Patsy Kensit and X-Men star Hugh Jackman. “Jackman approached us for help before making X-Men,” she said. “In that case he needed to bulk up, so we drew up a diet to help him and supplied him with three meals a day and all his snacks as well.”

With business booming, Ms Irvine set up shop in the middle of one of London’s busiest food markets. She said: “New Covent Garden seemed the perfect place to be. We source all our fruit and vegetables from here so they are really fresh and we are 100 per cent organic and GM-free. We also have next to no air miles on our food.”

Pure Package

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