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Jazz Shapers

Shapers: Myles Hopper & Giles Humphries

Transcript

Elliot Moss
Welcome to the Jazz Shapers podcast from Mishcon de Reya. What you are about to hear was originally broadcast on Jazz FM however music has been cut or shortened due to rights issues.

Good morning, welcome to Jazz Shapers, I’m Elliot Moss. This is the place where the Shapers of Business join the Shapers of Jazz, Soul and Blues. My guests today are Myles Hopper and Giles Humphries, Co-Founders of the Mindful Chef, the health focused food box company. Growing up as they describe it on and around some of the most wonderful award winning farms in the West Country, Devon school friends Myles, Giles and Rob, the third Co-Founder developed their passion for great quality produce. Myles who is a professional nutritional coach and former Fitness First Ambassador and Giles a former M&C Saatchi Advertising Agency person began Mindful Chef in 2015 – ‘we want to be the best’ they say, ‘brave enough to take on the big players and to do what is right even when its difficult. We believe success comes to those who lead by example’. They’re a B Corp company placing social responsibility alongside profit and in 2017 they partnered with the charity One Feeds Two which now means for every mindful mean sold they donate a school meal to a child living in poverty. That’s over a million meals to children in Malawi so far. We’ll talk to Myles and Giles in a few minutes. We’ve also got brilliant music from amongst others Aretha Franklin, Diana Krall and Donald Byrd. That’s today’s Jazz Shapers. Here’s Cannonball Adderley with One For Daddy-O.

That was Cannonball Adderley with One For Daddy-O. My Business Shapers today I’m very pleased to say as you heard earlier are Myles Hopper and Giles Humphries. Myles and Giles as they should be known and by the way when you’ve got such similar names you have to make sure you know who’s who and now, I’ve got it here sorted and coordinated. They are the Co-Founders of the Mindful Chef set up in 2014, I’m looking now at Giles, hello.

Giles Humphries
Yeah late ‘14.

Elliot Moss
Late ‘14 that’s not that long ago. Five years in but you, I mean tell me a little bit about what Mindful Chef is in your own words and where the idea came from?

Giles Humphries
So, the idea came in the summer of 2014 we were on a fishing boat in Devon, where we grew up so we’re school friends. Went to school in Exeter, there’s the beautiful, the Ex estuary just out from Exeter goes out onto the beautiful Devon coast and a friend has a fishing boat and we were out on the fishing boat one summer’s day and seeing this fish being caught, it was amazing. It was this beautiful fresh fish being landed on this small fishing boat and then taken into the local dock which was a tiny dock and they would SMS text about five hundred local villagers and say this is what we’ve caught, we’re arriving in the next half an hour come and get it fresh and the idea was born then when we were helping out and saw this amazing produce being landed and going straight into consumers hands and we were like how can we replicate that on a bigger scale? And we did some digging and then we found the idea of recipe boxes and that’s, that was the kind of eureka moment where it all started.

Elliot Moss
And the two of you had obviously been friends Myles since you were eleven years old give or take. So that’s how you met, how many years is that you’ve been friends now, I’ll have to work it out, twenty something years.

Myles Hopper
Nineteen/twenty years.

Elliot Moss
Nineteen years and who, when you both, were you both with each other at this moment when you saw this or was it you that saw it Giles and then you started talking to Myles? How did it, how did it happen right in those early moments?

Giles Humphries
We were both there.

Elliot Moss
Holding hands.

Giles Humphries
Holding hands looking into the blue.

Elliot Moss
Saying wow this is our moment.

Myles Hopper
That’s it, no you know there’s actually a third Co-Founder Rob as well who also went to school with us and he was there, it was all three of us actually at the same time, friends fishing boat as Giles eluded to and you know it really was that eureka moment of this is how food should be sourced, it shouldn’t be on supermarket, warehouses or shelves for weeks on end actually it can go straight from supplier to customers doors a lot easier and then it’s a fairer deal not only in terms of the customer and transparency but also for the farmers and suppliers as well.

Elliot Moss
And would taste better as well, right?

Giles Humphries
Tastes better, its fresher.

Elliot Moss
Yeah.

Giles Humphries
And you know we were lucky enough to grow you know have that great produce on our doorstep so that was the idea of how can we get this to more people.

Elliot Moss
And what were you up to at the time Myles, what were you doing?

Myles Hopper
So, I was actually a personal trainer and nutritional coach so that was my background and Giles was working in marketing.

Giles Humphries
Yeah, I was at M&C Saatchi in the City.

Elliot Moss
Yeah.

Giles Humphries
In the city and it felt just the right time to do it we were, particularly in my case, I was working long hours, the usual story in a city, long hours, get home late and then you’re just knackered, you’re tired and you know you’re walking in the door at 8.30/9.00 o’clock at night thinking ‘what am I going to cook’ and guess what its normally just grab a bag of pasta and some pre-made sauce and basically stuff that isn’t, if you eat it regularly, isn’t that nutritionally great for you. Lots of processed carbs the whole time and that was the moment where we thought ‘do you know what we can make this about health and make it delicious dinners but healthy and a lot healthier than what people normally eat’ and so if you can make those small adjustments to someone’s diet on a long-term basis and the key is it has to be tasty that’s the main thing otherwise its never going to sustain like a fad diet then I think we can make a big difference and that’s where the whole idea started.

Elliot Moss
Stay with me to find out how Myles and Giles and Rob who isn’t here but we’ll nod to Rob and salute him as well, find out how they then went about actually take this epiphanal moment and converting that into a business because that’s what they’ve done. That’s Myles Hopper & Giles Humphries, my Business Shapers today, Co-Founders of the Mindful Chef. Time for some music right now its Aretha Franklin with I Say A Little Prayer.

Aretha Franklin with the iconic I Say A Little Prayer. Myles Hopper and & Giles Humphries are my Business Shapers today, Co-Founders of the Mindful Chef and we’ve been talking about that moment and then what you do with that moment because again I often say this, people have moments when they go, ‘I wonder if’ and I meet many people who have come up with that idea and they’ve gone and done it but 99% of people have the idea and do nothing. How did you convert that thought into action? Let me ask Giles to start with, what then happened to go you know what we’re going to do this? What was the first thing you guys did together?

Giles Humphries
The first thing we did was we met regularly for lunches and coffees whilst we were still doing our other jobs, the three of us and then decided, we basically did a bit of research which rolled into a lot of research behind the scenes about the recipe box space and how mature the market was in the UK and whether there was an opportunity there and we identified that there was an opportunity no one was serving the healthy end of the category. There were a couple of very big players but no one was focusing on health and in particular everyone was shipping cheap stodgy fillers, its great margins from a business perspective but from a customer’s perspective it was similar to what a lot of people cook anyway, lots of pasta, lots of bread, lots of white rice and so we spent a lot of time doing the research and then in early 2015 decided right that was the moment, that was that moment where we went from the 99% to the 1% and decided let’s take the plunge and it was actually take the plunge by just saying ‘look we’re going to take a risk here’ and initially one of us, myself left our jobs. Myles’s job was more flexible, so it allowed him to kind of leave part of his job as well and the two of us cracked on with it and basically just freelanced. Did a bit of freelance work two days a week in my old role and then did you know the rest of the week just working solely on Mindful Chef and that enabled us to just get a website going, start developing a brand and just to see, and just essentially get an MVP out the door and start testing.

Elliot Moss
I love this MVP thing, Minimum Viable Product which of course if you play sport you think it’s Most Valuable Player…

Giles Humphries
Yeah, yeah.

Elliot Moss
It comes down to the same thing and for you Myles obviously sport has been, for both of you an important part of your life but for you obviously if you were in that world of nutrition and in that world of training. You must have been going this has just got to work for the body this isn’t just about a business I’m going to flog food. In those early days how did you find the right suppliers? What was the, you know when you got those first few boxes out the door who were you working with and are you still working with some of those people?

Myles Hopper
Yeah, we certainly are still working with some of them so one of the big things about Mindful Chef is finding fantastic local British independent suppliers and you know of the highest welfare as well so we’re the only people who do 100% free range chicken, 100% grass fed, high welfare beef and you know in the early days it was Giles, myself and Rob going out in our cars trawling around the local sort of farms where we lived begging farmers to send us produce because you know when you’re asking for ten steaks or you know ten bunches of kale you know, people don’t necessarily want to sell to you but if you can get them to buy into what you’re trying to do you know, sort of Mindful Chef very much has a purpose in terms of trying to give people healthier recipes, also trying to give the suppliers a better deal, trying to do business in another way you know, then you’ll find some people who are willing to take a bit of a punt and then they can stick with you as well and grow as you grow which was fantastic.

Elliot Moss
How many boxes just today Giles so I understand how many boxes are you delivering of food a week?

Giles Humphries
We’re doing about ten thousand per week.

Elliot Moss
Ten thousand per week so we’re looking at forty thousand, just under half a million boxes. Now back in 2015/2016 obviously it was nascent and nothing was happening. I know that Andy Murray, Sir and Victoria Pendleton, we should call her Dame, she probably isn’t but…

Giles Humphries
CBE.

Elliot Moss
…CBE, there you go, thank you, good someone knows his… you should come over here and do what I’m doing. CBE, good. They bought into something, what do you think they bought into Giles? What were they, what did they see that they liked?

Giles Humphries
I think, I think it was that mission to make healthy eating easy and obviously their background being sportsmen and women they, in Victoria’s case actually its quite interesting, she said it got really boring, she was having to have chicken, boiled chicken and veg or whatever it may be, it was really quite strict especially during London 2012 and her Olympic, her Olympic tenure she basically said it was just getting a bit, a bit samey and actually when she saw our service she was a customer without us knowing and she had been a customer for about nine months to a year before, before we did our crowd funding round and she was just loving it and then emailed us when we went, when we crowd funded and just said ‘by the way guys I absolutely love it can I have a phone call, I’m one of your customers but I want to be an investor in it’ and it went from there.

Elliot Moss
And you were like, you were like….

Giles Humphries
Yes.

Elliot Moss
…the face was like come on…

Giles Humphries
That’s it and then she just rings us up on the way, I think it was when she did a bit of horse racing and she rang us up en route to a race.

Myles Hopper
Yeah.

Giles Humphries
She was like ‘hello guys, Vicky P here’.

Elliot Moss
Vicky P here, right.

Giles Humphries
‘Vicky P here’.

Elliot Moss
Yeah, it’s Vicky P everyone just relax. I mean it was only Victoria Pembleton, that’s fantastic. In terms of building the team Myles in those early days just briefly, people always say oh yes, the team’s brilliant, they’re better than us and all that but how many people have you now got working with you and how many did you… how quickly did you scale up?

Myles Hopper
So up until recently there were only ten of us in the office, we kept it very lean to begin with it was myself, Giles, Rob, one other guy probably for the first year I think and then grew that to ten and then in the last sort of six/seven months the team has grown to about twenty seven. Recently with the recent investment and where we’d like to go with our growth plans and really try and spread awareness of Mindful Chef to more people, we’ve brought on some really fantastic additions to the team.

Elliot Moss
Very good, stay with me for much more from my Business Shapers, that’s Myles Hopper and Giles Humphries, they’re coming back in a few minutes but first we’re going to hear from one of our partners at Mishcon de Reya some words of advice for your burgeoning business.

There are many ways for you to enjoy all our former Jazz Shapers and glorious they are too, and you can also hear this programme again. You can ask Alexa to play Jazz Shapers and there you can hear many of the recent programmes or just put the words Jazz and Shapers into your favourite podcast platform and you can enjoy the full archive but back to today’s guests its Myles and Giles, it’s the Myles and Giles show. The Co-Founders, I’m sure I’m not the first to say that, the Co-Founders of Mindful Chef and we’ve been talking all about the idea that then developed into a business going from a few people to ten people and now I think you said twenty seven?

Myles Hopper
Twenty seven.

Elliot Moss
Twenty seven people, lots of people. Myles in those early days when suddenly you go from zero orders to quite a few, getting that balancing act right and being able to deliver because you can create demand which is not easy as you well know but then when you start to fulfil it its almost like be careful what you wish for. What did it feel like when you suddenly had all these orders and no way of delivering them quite as fast as you wanted to? Do you have panic attacks still?

Myles Hopper
Well we just wish we’d done a toothbrush, I think. You know that you can you know put on a warehouse shelf for a long time. Fresh food that’s what we learnt very quickly you know, it’s really very much an operation and logistic business. You know trying to get fresh food in and out of the door as quickly as possible and then trying to deliver it in your Del Boy Trotter van with a bumper falling off. But yeah, it’s very much learning the processes, putting them in place and then having a plan in order to deal with those orders but you know suddenly growing and growing quickly was the number one aim but yeah as you say be careful what you wish for because you might not be ready for it.

Elliot Moss
But as much as both of you and Rob as well had been prepared Giles to do stuff, you hadn’t done this before? This is all I mean I imagine at first, it’s the first time for literally ever single problem that crosses your desk. How did you cope as a group of friends in this situation? Were there lots of external people that you went to for help? Did you happen to just get lucky and hire brilliant people? Did you have great technology underpinning it or was it a bit of all of those things?

Giles Humphries
It was a little bit of all of those things I think we, the first thing we did which was, we kind of stumbled into it but it was putting a Board in place so we, we put a Board in place really early on and that was just because some angel investors came to us and one of them wanted to be on the Board so that was great and then we knew a very experienced brand man who we wanted on the Board as well so we had this quite nicely balanced Board of financiers and…

Elliot Moss
Leslie Butterfield was it?

Giles Humphries
Yeah Leslie Butterfield former Global Chief Strategy Officer for Interbrand and what that brought was a balanced Board and essentially people to go for some pretty wise counsel and essentially whenever we had a problem, we could go to them and they were brilliant in the early days and Myles is right the early days were probably the hardest. I can see why lots of start-ups fail in that first year. I mean the first eighteen months were brutal, lots of our friends were like ‘oh its so, cor it looks amazing on Instagram’.

Elliot Moss
So romantic, well done guys yeah, yeah yeah.

Giles Humphries
But actually the reality is you know it was, we worked Monday to Friday and then Saturday and Sunday were packing days and it would be 6.00am in the warehouse until 6.00pm every Saturday, every Sunday for eighteen months, us plus a growing band of friends and then in time employees, packing the boxes and that was real, that was real, really tough and I think we got to about a thousand boxes a week roughly before we decided that we need to 3PL it and get it out to some professionals, the operational side of things which was brilliant but I think staying friends to your original question you have to, you have to put everything in perspective so after a really long, hard week you know you do the packing, then you go home and do the customer services and pick up the phones and answer the emails until midnight but when you came in on the Monday although you were tired its really important you just balance things out and say ‘look guys we’ve just, we’ve started a business which is blooming hard but we’re delivering you know X thousand pounds of revenue a week and we’re making, our mission to make healthy eating easy’, that’s the big thing that drove us on because we were hearing these amazing stories of health transformations across the country and we were thinking ‘wow we’re doing something good’ here so it kind of brings it back to that which is nice.

Elliot Moss
So I get Myles from what Giles said about the mission and about hard work and its clear that you two are going to be, you know you slogged and anyone that thinks its easy you know just go and do it and see what happens as you said that’s a pretty brutal schedule that you’ve just outlined Giles. But in terms of asking for help, it’s not something that young guys, more men than women actually in my experience of life. Young guys are not great at asking for, ‘excuse me I don’t understand how to do this’. What was it like for you in this instance as a group? Did you get better at asking for help?

Myles Hopper
Yeah absolutely and I also think it’s probably the first bit of advice when people come and ask us what, you know, what should we do and we actually say well we were quite lucky because there were three of us, so you always have somebody else to lean on and to ask questions of. Whereas if you’re starting out on your own that can be a very lonely place, a very difficult place and as you say lots of people don’t ask for help so if you can have something like a mentor, if you can put a Board in place or if there are several of you, you know, it does make it a little bit easier but we’re all quite self-motivated as well. If we don’t know things, then we’ll go and learn them and that’s what you have to do in the early days especially with the way marketing is now. You know social media platforms they change every single day it seems, so you have to get in there, use them and then learn what works for you.

Elliot Moss
And in one word just before we go to some more music, super power of you Myles in one-word, super power for Giles and the super power for Rob what would you say they were?

Myles Hopper
Super power, putting up with Giles waffling I think. That’s one.

Elliot Moss
But we’re going to come to a serious one in a minute, what’s Myles’s super power? What’s the thing he is absolutely best at in the business?

Giles Humphries
The nutritional side of things.

Elliot Moss
Nutrition, so he’s the nutrition man and what’s Giles apart from his, you know your ability…

Giles Humphries
Waffling.

Elliot Moss
Waffling and he’s still waffling. I love it when old mates get together. No, I’m not going to relent on that I’m just going to tell you the truth.

Myles Hopper
Giles is a very good people person.

Elliot Moss
So, he’s people, nutrition people and Rob?

Giles Humphries
Finance, numbers.

Elliot Moss
There you go.

Giles Humphries
He is the rain man.

Elliot Moss
Okay so we’ve got nutrition, people and money and he’s the rain man who can just see what the numbers really mean, very useful combo. You’ve built the team now, I am going to look at Myles now, it is very important I do that, I go one way and the other between the two of you, you built the team how do you find people that get the work ethic and that get the mission that you’re on and that can also do what they do – because that’s quite a tall order and by the way you’re a start-up?

Myles Hopper
I actually think we’re incredibly lucky because the way we sort of structured the business you know is very much a business with a purpose. We have our charity One Feeds Two so for every meal a customer buys we donate a school meal to a child living in poverty which is fantastic.

Elliot Moss
In this country?

Myles Hopper
It’s actually in Malawi.

Elliot Moss
Okay.

Myles Hopper
So, the reason we have chosen to go out there is there is no safety net out there. We do have a bit of a safety net in the UK so but we’re actually coming up to our goal of one million meals nearly which is incredible.

Elliot Moss
Wow. Amazing.

Myles Hopper
And we are also a B Corp so changing the way that businesses operate and really when you, and also the healthier side of the meals, when you have all of these different things coming together actually you have some really amazing people apply to come and work for you even though you are a start-up so you’re not necessarily paying you know the top wages but you know we have people from the likes of Amazon now, Microsoft, Net-a-Porter, Farfetch, so some really talented young brains who have actually come to work for Mindful Chef because they really believe in what you’re trying to do.

Elliot Moss
And on the technology front Giles there must be a fair amount underneath the skin of this thing because its got to work in terms as you said Myles earlier, fresh food in you’ve got to get it out as fast as possible. How have you done that when none of you are sort of technology experts? Does that make any difference at all?

Giles Humphries
It probably would have helped if one of us had a tech background. Actually, yeah it underpins the business so the first million pounds that we raised crowdfunding, £300,000 of that went straight into building our own proprietary platform from ground up essentially. Initially we had a Shopify off-the-shelf website which wasn’t fit for purpose with a business such as ours operating on a subscription model so we’ve built this thing from ground up using some amazing developers and over time we have just, we’ve iterated and built on that as the weeks have gone by, as we’ve gone through more funding rounds we’ve been able to bring more people in and actually recently we bought the team in-house with some product leads and various developers enabling I think the biggest thing is yes it’s the front end that the customers see but the biggest thing that makes businesses like ours quite special from a tech point of view is the back end platform and the ordering process so we have algorithm’s now where we’re doing about anywhere between four hundred and five hundred thousand ingredients will come through our warehouse every single weekend for packing. So if one line is one ingredient we have about four hundred thousand of them coming through every weekend and it’s the ordering system and we’re not even that big a company at the moment so it’s the ordering system that drives that and the forecasting to the point where we’re working three to four months ahead now with farms, with fishermen, with all the suppliers across the UK, it’s actually quite impressive when you look at the volume of produce coming in and everything that goes into it so the chefs are all working on a seasonal basis as well so we need to map out the calendar and make sure that we’re sourcing locally and seasonally.

Elliot Moss
Super organised I mean and within that of course Myles I imagine I know you guys have got a book due and you’ve got a couple of books around the recipes and stuff. The innovation thing and the human part is really important and you as the nutritional expert in a way looking at does this work, what kind of fibre have I got and the protein levels and so on and so forth, but taste is important. The human bit of that is that you, is that all of you, is that your chefs, I mean you must constantly be tinkering and going what about this and what about that. That must be a lot of fun?

Myles Hopper
Yeah, I mean when we started, we thought how difficult will it be to come up with a few recipes and then quickly found out very hard so you know number one employee was Louisa, a professionally trained chef who actually interned for us on that sort of basis of I quite like the company I want to come and see what its about and she cooked us a few lunches and we absolutely loved her and quickly hired her and snapped her up and actually she now runs a team of about three of them who will cook up every week. Really in the early days it was just putting a structure together from that nutritional point of view and showing Louisa what would work on the plate and then as Giles said, we also built this backend system so it’s quite amazing. Louisa can input the ingredients, it will tell her the final costing and then it will also tell the exact nutritional output and then it will go through to the ordering system as well. So that in traditional senses that might take about six or seven people to do but you know this technology that we’ve built which nobody else is actually doing I found out recently is fantastic because one person can just put it all in, it will spit out all the numbers that you need and actually go straight through to ordering. But as you say recipe tasting in the office is probably the best day.

Giles Humphries
It’s a tough job.

Elliot Moss
Someone’s got to do it though right.

Giles Humphries
Someone’s got to do it.

Elliot Moss
They don’t look too shabby so you’re obviously not over indulging themselves. Stay with me for my final chat with Myles and Giles plus we’ll be playing a track from Donald Byrd that’s all coming up in just a moment here on Jazz FM.

That was Donald Byrd with Beast Of Burden, he sounded slightly different to me there but that’s a nice track. Giles and Myles have been my Business Shapers they are just for a few more minutes and we’ve been talking about all manner of things. I just want to talk to both of you about the money side. You’ve mentioned funding and you’ve also talked about equity and holding onto it and having a percentage of something rather than 100% of nothing and that’s what it looks like you’ve done. Tell me about the kind of, not the amounts of money although that’s public but just kind of why you’ve chosen the investors that you’ve chosen and why you think they’ve chosen you? Let me ask you that Giles, what’s been, I think its Piper isn’t it?

Giles Humphries
Yeah.

Elliot Moss
Piper Private Equity who I think their name has come up a lot for the sorts of businesses I have spoken to. Why did they decide to invest I think it was around six million pounds to help your expansion plans?

Giles Humphries
Over the course of the three and a half years that we’ve been in existence we’ve met a number of investors along the way, VCs, private equity firms even some trade investors and Piper stood out. Firstly, they were one of the first guys to sniff us out in the early days just to introduce themselves and we’ve been close ever since. But they stood out mainly because of their consumer led focus. So essentially, they are very, they are experts in that field, for years and years Piper have built great consumer brands and they get it and they’re very interested in the direct consumer model that we have. I think in our space its really exciting because groceries are going online fast at the moment the penetration of groceries total including Ocado and Tesco and everyone is only 7% which is remarkable that 93% of the groceries in the UK are still purchased offline and that number is just going to grow and grow that 7% and I think Piper were the guys who came to us in the early days and we thought do you know what you’ve got to have investors that you can see yourself working with long-term, sitting down, round a table, having an honest, frank debate about whether its CPAs or life time values or whatever it is the business metrics that drive Mindful Chef you have to be able to look them in the eye and know that you will work with them on a long-term basis in a really open way and some investors in all honesty that we’ve met along the line wouldn’t fit into that. But Piper were probably the guys who we felt were just a brilliant fit for the brand and so we pursued that and are really pleased to have nailed that one.

Elliot Moss
And in terms of, Myles you know your own collective ambitions around owning this business and what you want to do with it often people get private equity involved and at some point, private equity will want an exit. It sounds to me like this is more than just a business, it sounds to me like as you said there’s a purpose in here which is very personal to you and to your Co-Founders. Where do you sit in terms of your relationship with money and where this might go?

Myles Hooper
I mean you know its very much still a Founder run company. You know we’re putting more structures in place, we’ve brought on Piper, private equity. From our point of view, you know, well from my personal point of view the reason I got together with the guys and started Mindful Chef was to drive this awareness of this healthy eating message to more people. So, you know we’re very much in it for the long run. You know we want to grow Mindful Chef to a household name, spread more awareness of it. The great thing about us if we don’t only sit in the grocery market we also sit in the premium health and wellness space as well. So really Mindful Chef can transition across a lot of things so there’s a lot of exciting plans coming up.

Elliot Moss
Give me a clue, I want one little teaser of one of your plans.

Giles Humphries
A little teaser, what can we share?

Elliot Moss
What can you share?

Giles Humphries
Okay let’s just say that sometimes there are people out there who don’t even have time to cook a twenty minute dinner they want something just as healthy with the same values even faster, that’s a little teaser. So, a nice evening dinner that just takes a little bit less time so a few things like that coming up.

Elliot Moss
So that you can enjoy dinner jazz here on Jazz FM. Every weekday evening, probably the weekends too. Brilliant, listen I’ve really enjoyed meeting you two. You’re obviously super passionate and you don’t seem like you’re losing your hair. Might be going a bit grey though Myles…

Giles Humphries
Yeah, we don’t talk about that.

Elliot Moss
We don’t talk about that Giles, he’s looking very mature Giles. Whom am I asking about the song choice? Is it a collective one? I’m asking Myles.

Giles Humphries
This is Myles as well.

Elliot Moss
Myles what is your song choice and why have you chosen it?

Myles Hooper
So, I’ve chosen Benny Goodman, Sing, Sing, Sing. This reminds me of my father who is sadly no longer with us but when I was younger in the car this would come on and its very much, I think we were all chatting about it earlier its very much a foot tapper isn’t it? As soon as you hear it you just want to start moving and its transitioned now, my nineteen month old daughter when she hears it as well you know she starts moving to the beat and I just think the sheer number of instruments involved you know the solos, the fact it could be seven minutes in one instance and then it could be twelve minutes in another because people have just gone wild on their solo pieces so that’s why I’ve chosen Benny Goodman.

Elliot Moss
The brilliantly uplifting Sing, Sing, Sing from Benny Goodman the song choice of one of my Business Shapers today that was Myles, a part of the Myles and Giles duo. They talked about a sense of purpose and that sits right at the heart of their business. They talked about the fusion of technology and people and how important it was to get both right and really importantly they talked about friendship and how they’ve been able to lean on each other, get really good advice and also find fantastic people to sit on their board. All really, really important when it comes to creating a support network. That’s it from me and Jazz Shapers, have a fabulous weekend.

We hope you enjoyed that edition of Jazz Shapers. You will find hundreds more guests available for you to listen to in our archive. To find out more, just search Jazz Shapers and iTunes or your favourite podcast platform or head over to mishcon.com/jazzshapers.

Myles Hopper and Giles Humphries are co-founders of Mindful Chef. A professional nutritional coach and former Fitness First Ambassador, Myles studied at one of the world’s most respected nutrition education programs and qualified as a Precision Nutrition nutritional coach. Having worked in the health and wellness industry for over a decade, Myles is able to draw upon real client data and experience. Myles runs Mindful Chef’s brand partnerships, nutrition and content. A former M&C Saatchi marketeer, Giles has experience in the brand, digital and experiential space. Giles previously worked at innovative industry leading e-commerce gaming brand Betfair. With over ten years experience in the marketing industry, Giles runs Mindful Chef’s marketing communications. Mindful Chef are a B Corp company placing social responsibility alongside profit. In 2017 they partnered with the charity One Feeds Two which means for every mindful meal sold they donate a school meal to a child living in poverty. They’ve so far donated over a million meals to children in Malawi. 

Interview highlights

We had that eureka moment of ‘this is how food should be sourced’.

We were lucky enough to have great produce on our doorstep. Our idea was around how to get it to more people – fresh food is very much an operation and logistics business.

We identified that there was an opportunity – no one was serving the healthy end of the category.

If we can make those small adjustments to someone’s diet on a long-term basis…then I think we can make a big difference.

The big thing that drove us on is hearing these amazing stories of health transformations across the country.

Suddenly growing and growing quickly was the number one aim.

Be careful what you wish for because you might not be ready for it.

The early days were the hardest. I can see why lots of start-ups fail in that first year.”

If you’re starting out on your own that can be a very lonely place. If you can put a Board in place or if there are several of you it does make it a little bit easier.

If we don’t know things, then we’ll go and learn them.

You’ve got to have investors that you can see yourself working with long-term.

This is still very much still a founder-run company.

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