Healthy, simple, delicious: discover the Mindful Chef  approach to recipe box brilliance 

Mindful Chef has been on a mission to make healthy eating easy since 2015. The recipe box company creates delicious recipes, chooses the freshest ingredients from award-winning suppliers, and delivers them straight to your door.  

Smiling man with Mindful Chef recipe book“Being a subscription business,” begins Henry Mills, Chief Commercial Officer. “People tend to sign up because they want to lead healthy lives and we help with a convenient solution delivered direct to your door. Most of our business focuses on providing customers with healthy and tasty dinners as part of their weekly health routine. The company was founded by three school friends, Giles, Myles and Rob, who saw a shift in the market towards online groceries, alongside the growing trend for healthy eating. They saw what companies like HelloFresh and Gousto were doing and realized that there was a gap in the market for a more premium health-focused recipe box.” 

When customers choose Mindful Chef, they receive a recipe box bursting with fresh, seasonal produce and nutritionally balanced recipes. Great meals start with the best ingredients and Mindful Chef sources its ingredients from trusted farms, choosing producers who stay true to its mindful, sustainable values. 

“We try to use the highest quality, most locally sourced produce that we can,” Henry continues. “We incorporate the best proteins by using British free-range chicken, grass-fed native breed beef and MSC sustainably caught fish. We also avoid refined carbs, swapping them out for wholegrains, legumes and pulses to eliminate cheap fillers and energy slumps. Every recipe and product in our range is gluten free, so everyone can enjoy Mindful Chef meals. We try to keep our calorie count low, while delivering generous portion sizes and great taste. 

“Another factor that sets us apart is we are one of the few recipe box B Corps in the country using our place in the world as a force for good, putting people and the planet first.” Indeed, Mindful Chef became a certified B Corp in 2018, making it the first recipe box company to join the movement. Since then, it has recertified and increased its score from 80.5 to 107.3, making it one of the highest-rated food and beverage B Corps in the UK. In fact, Mindful Chef is in the top three percent of food and beverage B Corps globally. 

Deliciously different 

With a range of delicious recipe boxes, Mindful Chef customers can choose from one-person boxes, two-person boxes and family boxes. “The recipes change every week to keep it exciting,” Henry elaborates. “Customers tend to add three meals into their recipe box, choosing from our chicken, fish, red meat, or vegan recipes. Many of our best-selling take just 15 minutes to cook, taste amazing, and are easy to make. I tend to have those on Monday evenings or lunchtimes. Chicken katsu is always popular. People come to Mindful Chef because it’s easy and healthy, but they also want something a little bit different or a twist on a classic. 

“We’ve been experimenting with different partnerships recently, working on recipes with renowned names, such as Deliciously Ella, Giggling Squid, Wahaca and LEON. It’s important to remember that the business started with three friends selling a couple of recipes to their mates, packing boxes in a warehouse and delivering them by hand. Today, we sell over 3 million meals a year. The business gained momentum organically. There was obviously a huge spike during Covid but since then we have stabilized.” 

Giving back 

As a business, Mindful Chef strives to use its position as a force for good. A shining example of this is its partnership with One Feeds Two. In September 2017, Mindful Chef partnered with the charity One Feeds Two, so that for every Mindful Chef box sold, it donates a school meal to a child living in poverty. The meals are provided in schools to children in the world’s poorest communities in Malawi to facilitate education. “In 2017, we set an ambitious goal to donate one million school meals to children living in poverty. Today,” Henry shares, “we are approaching 20 million school meals. I think we are the largest contributor to One Feeds Two, which is something of which we’re immensely proud. This type of charitable giving enables our customers to truly appreciate the positive impact they’re having. Giving directly to school settings ensures that we are not only helping to encourage children to go to school, but we are also providing, in some circumstances, the only meal many may have that day.” 

Mindful Chef also partners with The Felix Project. This charitable initiative ensures that quality surplus food makes it to those who need it most, whether that’s low-income families, the elderly, the homeless, refugees or victims of abuse. As London’s largest food distribution charity, the company is proud to partner with them. 

Mindful Chef strives to take achievable and meaningful action to have a positive impact on the world, working with suppliers, its team, and the community to reduce its climate footprint across the entire supply chain. “We have invested in our supply chain to help reduce carbon emissions. We have extremely stringent quality standards and work closely with our suppliers to ensure those standards are met. Our suppliers know what we expect of them, and they do a great job, particularly considering the logistics of being a fresh food business. We try to work with other B Corp certified businesses, as our values and motivations will be aligned. 

“We sell millions of healthy dinners each year, with a very low rate of fulfilment error, so our increasing efforts to optimize operations are paying off. It’s been exciting recently to launch new products. We’ve brought out ready meals, smoothies, snacks, and desserts and I think our customers are increasingly looking to us as a one-stop shop for healthy eating. It’s been interesting getting those ranges right and trying to ensure they’re complementary to our main business and generating the right level of customer engagement.  

“Alongside these recent launches, we will also be focusing on further menu partnerships. We have a new partnership with Michelin-starred Gymkhana which was awarded two Michelin stars for its classic and contemporary Indian cuisine. Another recipe partnership is with the functional health brand, ZOE. These types of partnerships make the menu so exciting, as well as amplify the Mindful Chef experience. It’s great for our customers to be able to taste recipe ideas from top tier restaurants in their own homes.   

“Another angle we’re pursuing is prescribed health with an element of customization and personalization that taps into specific health concerns. While this may not be straightforward from an operational or technological perspective, I do believe this is where the market is going and we want to be able to support this trend with our range of snacks and drinks,” he enthuses.  

Looking to the future, the company is set to extend its reach to Northern Ireland, as well as work on operational efficiencies, such as delivery speed. “We will also aim to expand our family box offering as it currently only represents about 15 percent of our boxes. This isn’t an easy endeavor since many families will have members with special dietary requirements. Still, we’ll work hard to make it work and make more sales in that area. We’ve got a sizeable direct to consumer business, but we haven’t quite nailed retail yet. In five years, I’d like us to have a fantastic retail range, in all major supermarkets, that helps to grow the Mindful Chef brand.  

“Given our mission of making healthy eating easy, we can play to a lot of different categories which is exciting. I’d love customers to come to us for all kinds of different meal occasions and while meal kits remain the base of our business, we’d like to become that one-stop shop for healthy eating and remain the trusted and convenient brand that we are. If Northern Ireland works and we can get a model that works for us, it would be brilliant to branch out internationally,” Henry concludes.