Garden Food Prep

Business Name:  Garden Food Prep

Support Received:  Start & Grow

Location:  Southend and Rochford, Essex

Website:  www.gardenfoodprep.com


With a background in food and fitness, and the drive and determination to help people to adopt healthier eating habits, Christian Larocque was inspired to start up his own food preparation business.

Christian told us about his start-up journey.

Tell us more about your business, Garden Food Prep.

Launched in January 2017, Garden Food Prep is an educational meal preparation company based in Southend and Rochford, offering its customers healthy, pre-prepared meals to help them to achieve their diet and fitness goals.  With the calories, fat, carbohydrates and protein all measured out in advance, our meal plans help people to stay on track.

Other meal prep companies focus on convenience over health, but for our service, the convenience aspect is incidental. Accuracy is our focus to ensure clients achieve their goals.

What is the inspiration and motivation behind the business?

I grew up witnessing ‘yo-yo dieters’, which heavily influenced my thought process for Garden Food Prep.  I have been on my own food and fitness journey, which has seen me spend five years travelling the globe and adopting different eating habits.  In that time, I have seen the impact that an ongoing, sustainable diet can have, and I brought those principles back to the UK to apply to Garden Food Prep.

With the food and fitness industry still growing, but not yet saturated, the feedback I have received has been overwhelmingly positive.

I have been told by others who work in the fitness industry that nobody is doing the food as accurately as I am.  I am still always looking to improve and keep ahead of the competition in terms of quality. My interest in food and nutrition drives me hard.

 

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“Seeing the business grow makes me confident that I am playing the game right and that the hard work is paying off.  However nothing compares to a sincere thank you from a client we have helped.”

How has Nwes supported you? 

I was put in contact with Business Advisor, Gillian Austen, who inspired me further to push forward with my business dream.  I was also able to attend free business workshops, provided by Nwes, to develop my skills in areas such as finance and marketing.

The finance workshop really helped me to organise myself.  Having a second opinion from my Business Advisor, Gillian helps greatly to make sure I stay on the right track.

Did you encounter any challenges?

There were some challenges to overcome; in particular keeping food fresh after it was cooked was an obstacle that I needed to find an early solution for.  With certain foods breaking down quicker than others, I needed to test what foods and herbs can keep the food tasting perfect long enough to fulfil its place in peoples meal plans, without the use of preservatives.

Along with this we now have an ice machine and walk in fridge to rapidly cool the dishes. It is fresh food indeed.

What has been the highlight?

When I gained my first customer, it felt great.  It was really rewarding to know that I was using my knowledge and skills to contribute towards his journey. I’ve come a long way since, and every customer feels like the first in a way, as all of their journeys are different.  I get to play a key role in all of them.

Seeing the business grow makes me confident that I am playing the game right and that the hard work is paying off. However nothing compares to a sincere thank you from a client we have helped.

What are your plans for the future of Garden Food Prep?

I hope to have some land in the future in order to grow my own ingredients to further boost the quality of my food.

I also hoping to expand the operations and venture into other areas of the health food business.

Do you have any advice for others considering their own start-up?

Get as many things as you can in place to make it scalable but do not let this proactive behaviour become procrastination. You will never learn more about what your business needs than when you are actually doing business.

I also want to say thank you to Nwes for their help and support in what seems like an intimidating arena until you start playing the game.

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