Fiona Audley speaks to Jennifer Irvine to find out more about the brand that has changed the face of dieting.
Jennifer Irvine is the founder of The Pure Package gourmet food delivery service, which currently leads its unique branch of the convenience health foods market, so she should know.
We spoke to the West Cork native this week to learn more of the London-based brand which has changed the face of dieting for many – providing “convenience food with a conscience” from the hands of top chefs using only the freshest and finest ingredients.
“I love food and I also like to look good so I loved the idea of all my food being worked out by therapists and prepared by chefs,” Jennifer explained. “So, when I started the business eight years ago it was simply because I loved the idea of it and I knew nobody else was doing anything like it.”
From humble beginnings in Jennifer’s home kitchen The Pure Package concept has flourished to include 5000 clients – many of them A list celebrities – a staff of two dozen and a base in the thick of great produce in London’s New Covent Garden Market.
“It’s a service I really wanted myself so I completely understand why it’s a success,” Jennifer admits. “If it wasn’t my company I would be someone else’s customer. Our clients are basically people who are incredibly busy, well-educated and intelligent but very time poor. With us they have a high-quality nutritionally-balanced breakfast, lunch and dinner sent to them and they have that as long as they want it – it’s all based around whatever suits them.”
With 1000 meals being sent out every day and a client who has eaten nothing but Pure Package for five years, it’s clear the company is fit to endure the current economic downturn.
“Our clients don’t consider us a luxury, they consider us as an essential,” Jennifer explains. “A few weeks of our food costs the same as a night in a hotel – what you would choose if you were cost cutting? When you think of it in those terms you can see why we have continued to grow through the recession.”
The 35-year-old entrepreneur claims her passion for food was born out of a childhood raised on the family farm in Eyeries, in the Beara Peninsula, West Cork. There her first experiences were of milk churning, as her parents – the Steeles – produced the Milleens cheese, which is still made by the family today. Jennifer is proud of the rural start which fuelled her own successes in the food industry.
She even practises what she preaches – indulging in a daily dose of The Pure Package menu. “I eat it, I love it,” she said. “I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have my food delivered every day. I have three little girls and my life is completely full-on – so it’s absolutely brilliant for me.”