Tag: Scale Up

Growth of innovative online food delivery brand

A Leeds business is targeting poor productivity and food waste by delivering delicious fresh, nutritionally balanced meals to workers across Leeds city centre. And now, it wants to take its innovative model to workplaces across the UK with a bid for £120,000 in crowdfunding.

Lean Lunch delivers chef-made dishes by bike to hundreds of time-poor workers across Leeds who are looking for a healthier, tastier alternative to uninspiring sandwich and crisps meal deals. And while it has seen phenomenal demand from individual customers, 70 per cent of its sales come from businesses, as firms like Sky, Arla and Burberry realise the benefits of focusing on their teams’ health, through healthier meeting catering or offering lunches as wellbeing perks for their teams.

Lean Lunch, which launched in 2017, is on course to organically double its turnover in 2019, and it is now looking to secure funding to grow its customer base in Yorkshire and replicate its successful model in other UK cities.

Founder Sat Mann came up with the idea for Lean Lunch after shopping for and preparing a healthy lunch to eat in the office became time consuming and uninspiring. The business, run by Sat and his wife Charlotte, is committed to a more sustainable way of eating that creates healthier people and a healthier planet and that helps businesses educate and support their teams to eat better now and in the future. Because meals are made to order, there’s no over-production, chefs use locally sourced ingredients wherever possible to reduce food miles, and because most deliveries are within a few of miles of the Lean Lunch kitchen in Kirkstall, they’re nearly all done by cargo bike. Plus, all Lean Lunch’s packaging is 100% recyclable or compostable.

Lean Lunch is the first and only online food business in the north dedicated to wellbeing and sustainability, tapping in to growing demand from consumers for better, less processed food that’s convenient but doesn’t have a negative effect on the planet. Lean Lunch meals use all natural ingredients, including only natural occurring sugars, are low in salt and contain no preservatives. The range includes vegan, gluten-free and dairy free options and takes its inspiration from cuisines from across the world.

“Eating highly processed food is harming our health and the health of the planet,” says Sat.

“And the problem isn’t just the junk we eat, it’s the nutritious food we don’t eat. Research shows that employees with poor diets are 66 per cent more likely to see reductions in productivity than those who have a nutritious, balanced diet, and 75 per cent of adults struggle to achieve their five-a-day.

“So, we’ve created a fresh, convenient alternative to pre-packed lunches that help maintain energy levels and deliver at least three of your five a day, with restaurant quality taste and variety that you just couldn’t make at home.

“We’re committed to inspiring and empowering people living in busy city environments to make better choices for their wellbeing and the wellbeing of the planet, and to supporting people to eat more healthily and sustainably.”

Both the menus and software used to order meals have been developed in-house by the Lean Lunch team and they’ve got big ambitions for the future. Lean Lunch wants to create a model that can be easily replicated, so the Leeds model can be recreated in other locations across the UK.

“We want to refine the ordering process to make it truly personalised,” says Sat.

“Currently, you can filter by dietary requirements, but we’d like to be able to automate this so you get menu recommendations based on your personal preferences.

“We’d love to develop an app and have a fleet of electric vehicles that can deliver to industrial parks and offices outside of the city centre too.”

For more information on the crowdfunding campaign or to arrange interviews, contact Sat Mann on 0113 4032162,

07399 456020 or sat@leanlunch.co.uk. To invest, go to crowdcube.com/leanlunch   

In a year, Lean Lunch has:

  • Made more than 40,000 meals
  • Doubled production from 5,375 in Q1 of 2018 to 10,530 in Q1 of 2019
  • Increased revenue by 380 per cent from 2017 to 2019 (£7k Q1 2017, £34k Q1 2019).
  • Secured 65 per cent of orders from repeat customers
  • Generated £108K of turnover in 2018 and on course to double that in 2019
  • Created ambitious plans to increase its reach in Leeds and expand to other UK cities

How Lean Lunch works:

  • Meals are devised by a chef with the help of a nutritionist to include at least three of your five a day and balanced macros
  • You can order meals up to 10 days ahead and at least one day before
  • Choose your dietary requirements and pick how often you want meals delivered
  • Ingredients are sourced in just the right quantity from local suppliers
  • Meals are prepared fresh in exactly the right quantities and delivered via a fleet of cargo cycles within the boundaries of Leeds city centre
  • You can order single meals, cater for five to 500 people or provide subsidised meals for your team
  • Meals range in price from £4 to £7 and include hot and cold options, including breakfast
  • The Lean Lunch team will run nutrition seminars and workshops to educate and inspire businesses and their teams

FREAKS OF NATURE WIN BEST NEW START-UP AT THE GROCER GOLD AWARDS 2019

Plant-based dessert expert, Freaks of Nature, has won the accolade of Best New Start-Up at The Grocer Gold Awards. The Judges said, “they were impressed by the innovative spirit of the brand” and “its major listings are clear testament to the product”.

With its own purpose-built facility in Yorkshire, Freaks of Nature have not only created a challenger brand in the fast-growing dairy free market, but crucially are in complete control of product development and manufacturing.

Its clear vision in the sector, allowed it to open a facility that does not bring any dairy, gluten, egg or soya, into the production area.

This prestigious award comes hot on the heels of Freaks of Nature recently winning significantly extended distribution in Morrisons, Sainsbury’s and another major retailer from July for its award-winning hot puddings and cold serve desserts.

Founder of Freaks of Nature, Peter Ahye says: “Winning The Grocer Gold Award for Best New Start-Up is an industry renowned marker that we’re doing something special. We’re so pleased to be part of the plant-based revolution which is taking place with our range of great tasting puds”.

Freaks of Nature’s current range of products include the first plant-based grocery retail Cherry Bakewell, Chocolate Fudge, Sticky Toffee and Lemon Sponge Hot Puddings; Double Choc Ganache and Choc Caramel Cheesecake; Blueberry and Strawberry plant-based Yogs.

In foodservice they offer Chocolate Fudge, Sticky Toffee Puddings and its popular Christmas pudding which launched last year. Ahye said “Chefs are telling us our great tasting products remove complexity from back of house and the fact that they are free from and vegan is a real bonus. One product for all consumers”

Freaks of Nature managed to achieve listings with all the major supermarkets and is working strategically with a number of them to deliver even more exciting products over the coming months.

To find out more about Freaks of Nature please visit https://www.freaksofnature.co.uk

The team have worked with both AD:VENTURE and the LEP to accelerate their growth plans.

TimberTight secures £22,000 grant funding for expansion

TimberTight Ltd, An innovative Yorkshire-based construction company from Cleckheaton, which is capitalising upon the demand for timber-framed housing, has secured £22,247 from AD:VENTURE, the ERDF funded programme supporting start-ups throughout the Leeds City Region.

Businessmen Paul Williamson, Gordon Lorimer and Jake Hinchliffe launched TimberTight Ltd to meet with the growing preference for timber framed buildings, a specialism that is embraced and regularly used by construction firms throughout the world.

Ensuring the UK competes with standards that have been set throughout Europe and the USA, the company uses timber, a more environmentally friendly alternative to bricks and mortar, to create frames that take less time to implement and allow for the process of building a property to run concurrently in a factory whilst work progresses on-site.

Expanding quickly, the Directors recognised the need to access funding support so that the company could invest and upgrade its machinery to allow for precision high-volume cutting of timber to meet with an increasing number of commissions. 

Gordon Lorimer from TimberTight, comments: “We worked with Paul Tansey from AD:VENTURE. Not only was he very pleasant but he was a seasoned businessman. In the first instance we expected some hints and tips but what we had access to was free, professional business consultancy.

“Working with the processes, plans and advice that was given we were able to secure more than £22,000 in match-funded grant which allowed us to invest in the machinery that we needed to give us a competitive advantage. We also employed a further seven employees to run the equipment, expanding the business and giving local people the opportunity to work and to learn new skills.”

The TimberTight Team

Paul Williamson from TimberTight, adds: “We are an even stronger business than before thanks to the help we have accessed from AD:VENTURE. The new contracts that we have won through our enhanced competitiveness is proof of that.”

Thanks to the associations and partnerships between business service providers, TimberTight has also accessed support from Kirklees Council and Works Better, an employment support programme that is part-funded by the European Social Fund.

Karl Battersby, Strategic Director for Economy and Infrastructure, Kirklees Council, comments: “Working with innovative and progressive businesses like TimberTight is really encouraging, not only have they identified a rapidly expanding specialism, but they have embraced it and created a business model that is sustainable as a result.

“Knowing that we have market leading talents in Kirklees and that these skills are being passed to a workforce that are able to develop their career within a local organisation, gives us a success story to share with others.”

With the increase in demand for homes and buildings throughout the country, TimberTight set its sight on working with residential and commercial property developers throughout West Yorkshire. It has quickly become established as a credible brand and is responsible for self-build, social housing, local government projects and commercial structures.

For further details about TimberTight and its innovative approach to construction please visit: www.timbertight.com and for information about the practical and funding support that can be accessed through AD:VENTURE please visit: www.ad-venture.org.uk.

Northern Max boosting Bradford Tech and Digital Start-Ups!

What

Named as the best city in the UK to start a business in 2017* and with ambitions to build on its industry and sector strengths to drive innovation, increase productivity and create wealth, Bradford has a lot to shout about, not least the support it offers to young companies.

Following the success of the first Northern Max programme, the initiative is back, with young start-ups across the region encouraged to get involved. Registrations have already been flooding in,

Taking place from 5 February 2019, the programme will focus on growing  new talented digital companies across the region. While the objective of the programme is to enhance and expand the tech and investor community, this will also have a long-term and positive impact on the wider economy.

By providing access to innovation, investment and technical and business expertise it will enable delegates to scale their organisation quickly. Northern Max is free for eligible companies to attend and is part of the wider AD:VENTURE programme, funded through Bradford Council, regional partners and the European Regional Development Fund.

Launch of Northern Max 2
l-r Kyran Parker and Richard Sutcliffe
03.12.18

Richard Sutcliffe, Director from Agency for Good, comments: “As a relatively new business, we were looking for practical support we could access that would allow us to put our plans into action faster and bring our ambitions forward. That is why we have registered with Northern Max. We’ve heard how other young companies have been positively influenced and want to make sure that we are doing all that we can to access the guidance that we feel we need during these early stages.”

Kyran Parker, Director from Redkite Innovations, the delivery partner for the programme, comments: “We are absolutely delighted to be the delivery partner for Northern Max. RedKite Innovations is passionate about helping organisations, large and small, to grow and develop through our programme of bespoke support. Our team are looking forward to meeting with, and making a difference to, businesses from Bradford and the wider Leeds City region.”

Cllr Alex Ross-Shaw, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Regeneration, Planning and Transport, said: “We have an objective in place to be the UK’s fastest growing economy in the next decade. As well as being ambitious, we are realistic and that means that we must work with others to achieve this. Giving young companies and entrepreneur’s access to programmes like Northern Max will make all of the difference.

“Having programmes that are delivered by industry specialists and professionals gives businesses the support network they need. In turn, this allows them to expand and grow quickly, but also sustainably, so that they can share their success both now and in the future.”

Business who access the programme will have the opportunity to explore diagnostics to identify growth opportunities and set action plans. They can access one to one coaching; specialist events on key topics such as business strategy, marketing, sales and scaling a business; partnership development; HR and recruitment; operations systems and processes and guidance on accessing funding.

The programme was fully booked during the first phase, and is generating a great deal of interest. Businesses should register you interest now to avoid missing out: https://ad-venture.org.uk/northernmax2/

For more information about AD:VENTURE and the wider schedule of workshops, seminars, events and activities please visit, www.ad-venture.org.uk or call, 0845 524 0210.