Have you heard of Mindful Chef? Meet the company’s inspiring founders Myles Hopper and Giles Humphries.
In finding out about Mindful Chef story, we hope that we can set you off on a path to a better way of thinking about mealtimes at home.
Mindful Chef delivers food boxes to doorsteps all over the UK and in doing so, can change the way we shop, increase our understanding of healthy ingredients, improve the way we cook and invigorate our approach to eating great food at home.
The principals upon which Mindful Chef was founded, enables customers to have a positive impact on the environment and contribute to a program that feeds children living in poverty.
At the end of the day, we all want to eat healthily, take pressure off the environment and to help people in need.
It is hardly surprising, that Myles and Giles have seen the company they started for all the right reasons, go from strength to strength. During this month alone, Mindful Chef will deliver around 700,000 meals to 80,000 households across the UK.
As part of our quest to inspire our readers to live healthier and more sustainable life, we caught up with founders Myles and Giles.
Here’s what they had to say.
Living a healthy life
What does living a healthy lifestyle mean to you?
Myles: It’s all about finding a balance. As you get older you realise it’s not always about being the strongest or fastest, but actually figuring out how you can perform at your best and feel good at the same time.
Have you always lived this way?
Myles: Nope. When we were younger we played a lot of sports so it was all about lifting weights. Now we do a lot more yoga and mobility work. As well as working on the mind to find balance as well.
Is this what inspired you to set up Mindful Chef?
Giles: We knew people always struggled to eat healthily. Most of us just don’t have the time or inclination to eat well on a regular basis. So we thought, let’s make it really easy for everyone and set up Mindful Chef.
How does a Mindful Chef Recipe box enhance life at home ?
Giles: No more arguing with the girlfriend over what to cook or who’s turn it is each night. Plus with 16 different recipes every single week, you’re constantly eating recipes you never would have before and teaching yourself how to cook different ingredients.
Where did the idea of recipe boxes come from?
Myles: We were actually working on a friends fishing boat ‘The Compass Rose’ back in Devon in 2014. Seeing people lining up to buy the fresh fish as we came back in was that eureka moment of ‘this is how food should be bought – straight from supplier to customer’ – recipe boxes are a great way of doing this.
Why not simply buy a recipe book and buy all the ingredients online?
Giles: One of the best things about recipe boxes is there is no food wastage – one of the biggest contributors to climate change. If you’ve ever tried to cook from a recipe book, before you know it, there’s always ingredients leftover that you never use again. Mindful Chef is like a new recipe book every week with everything delivered.
What is it about your recipe boxes that keeps your customers coming back for more?
Giles: The fact our recipes are genuinely healthy but still taste great. The convenience of having everything delivered and not wasting time in the shops. The fact you’re supporting British farmers and making the world a better place.
What makes Mindful Chef environmentally friendly?
Myles: Food wastage is the biggest environmental benefit of recipe boxes. We’ve still got a little work to do on the packaging, but recent studies have shown recipe boxes to have a far more positive impact on the environment, than buying from supermarkets.
In 2018 you became a certified B-Corp Company. What was the driving force behind this?
Myles: Being lucky enough to grow up in the countryside, next to the sea, we’ve always been conscious about the world around us and when we created Mindful Chef we wanted those values to be replicated in the company. Being a B Corp, shows a commitment to people and the planet as well as profit.
Tell us more about Mindful Chef’s involvement in the one feeds two program.
Giles: This is the thing we’re most proud of at Mindful Chef. For every meal a customer buys, we donate a school meal to a child in poverty. We’re fast approaching 3 million meals donated and we visited Malawi early in 2019, to see the programme in action. It really does make a difference to these children’s lives.
What can the food industry learn from your sustainable approach?
Giles: Times are changing. By utilising technology and changing the way people shop, we are able to forecast better and reduce the amount of food wastage as a whole. By sourcing direct, it also creates a fairer deal for suppliers as well.
Key to Success
What makes you different to other recipes box companies?
Myles: There’s quite a few differences, such as our community efforts through One Feeds Two, B Corp or even the Mindful Chef Coastal Clean we ran last year – over 1000 volunteers cleaned up more than 100 beaches across the UK. However, it is our focus on health and high quality ingredients and suppliers that really differentiates us – we’re the only people using 100% free range chicken or grass fed beef for example.
What is an unexpected outcome since launching Mindful Chef?
Giles: We always had a hunch that healthy meals meant we could have a positive impact on people’s lives, but we underestimated how much cooking would bring couples and families together. Our favourite stories are from parents, whose children have never cooked before, but because it’s so easy with Mindful Chef they now cook each night.
Myles: Becoming a B Corp and donating our first million school meals through One Feeds Two.
Who is the chef?
Giles: Not us! When we started, we thought how hard could it really be? We quickly realised and luckily hired the amazingly talented Chef Louisa. She now has a team of 4 chefs working on new recipes every week.
Where do you see Mindful Chef in 2023?
Giles: We’ve already expanded our offering to healthy frozen meals and smoothies. We will look to continue being more relevant across the week, other than just dinner time and it would be awesome to think we could offer Mindful Chef in some form abroad.
How do you switch off?
Giles: There’s nothing better than heading back to Devon and spending time with family and friends sharing good food. It’s important to take a step back and slow down every now and again.
Has surfing always been a part of your lifestyle?
Myles: I remember my grandad taking us out on ‘Big Yellow’ an old school 7’2 foam fibreglass, flat diamond tail and wooden single fin, in a 2 piece wetsuit made out of rubber before we could even walk. We’re not the best surfers but we love it. We still take that board out every now and again – it’s so much fun.
Favourite place to surf?
Dream surf trip?
Myles: A boat trip with my brothers somewhere in Sumatra or visiting my mates place – the Mandiri Beach Club
Try Mindful Chef for yourself
Why should our readers try Mindful Chef Recipe Boxes?
Giles: Take the hassle out of your weekly shopping and bring the joy and excitement back into cooking delicious, healthy meals each week.
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