This International Women’s Day, we spoke to Jennifer Irvine, Founder of The Pure Package and busy mother of 4; and discussed the inspiration behind her business, the Pure Package Wellness Awards, and the highs and lows of being an entrepreneur.
Tell us about your childhood?
My love for food started at an early age- I grew up on a self-sufficient farm in West Cork, Ireland. My first entrepreneurial venture saw me collecting eggs from the farm’s chickens and selling them to local restaurants at just 8 years old. By the time I was a teenager I had a street trader’s license selling goods at markets!
What did achieving a trader’s license mean to you during your teens and how did this help shape your later career?
I had a natural curiosity for both food and business from a young age and how the two are combined. My desire to integrate myself into the world of food led me to read an Honours Degree in Food Marketing Economics at the University of Reading.
From here, I helped develop several businesses in the industry whilst enhancing my own experience. I have worked for Neal’s Yard Dairy, Deals Restaurant Group, and Conran Group, to name a few, and continued my studies at Le Manoir with Raymond Blanc.
I firmly believe that working for others before starting your own business is a great idea, it gives you the chance to see good management and bad management first hand. Working for someone else means you can learn and make your own mistakes before you start your own business.
Why did you start The Pure Package?
I had a desire to help busy people, including myself, ensure that their nutritional needs were being taken care of, effortlessly and to the highest standard. This is when I first had the idea for The Pure Package and began researching and experimenting from my kitchen. The company began to grow on demand- I started small at home without any bank loans or outside investors, offering 10-day subscriptions which then turned to 90 days.
Tell us about the Pure Package Wellness Awards?
In 2016, I decided to create The Wellness Awards to honour and celebrate the stars of the British health and wellness industry. I noticed a gap in the awards sector for an event that focused solely on celebrating our industry. The second annual awards ceremony took place in 2018 at BAFTA and was attended by a number of influential guests and celebrities, as well as the prestigious judging panel. With these awards, I want to identify the truly outstanding businesses that I would not only use myself but also recommend to clients.
Why does health and wellbeing mean so much to you? And was it always an ambition to be an entrepreneur in this sector?
Longevity is very important to me and I want to help our customers feel great about themselves and enjoy their life to its full potential. Being healthy long-term is about keeping balance in your life in every way possible, from the food that you eat to the sleep that you get. When I started the business, I wanted to provide a service that delivers healthy food that people will look forward to. I began researching and experimenting from my kitchen and am delighted that my companies have helped thousands of clients get into shape. I am proud to see our customers have a greater understanding of how they can lead a fuller, happier life. I’ve always loved good food and taking care of people and I feel that I achieve this through my businesses.
What is the most rewarding part of the job?
It would have to be helping clients achieve their health goals every day. I absolutely love hearing about people whose lives have changed as a result of our meal deliveries, people who have felt transformed and have been living greater and more fulfilled lives. I am often moved by their kind words. Stephen Fry made me cry because he was just so kind.
And the most challenging?
Sometimes I wish there were more hours in the day to make things happen. I feel like I’m brimming with ideas but the day is only so long. I have to find a way to balance my creativity and work/life with my four wonderful daughters and make sure that I’m there for them even when my days are full.
What’s the most important business lesson you’ve learned?
The best way to understand your market is to create a product that you would use yourself and are proud of, and I use my products and love them. Every time we launch a new menu I get to trial it and that’s brilliant. I am only as strong as my team and I have a wonderful group of people who run the show at the Pure Package. I am the person who got the ball rolling, but they are the consistent heroes.
What’s next for you and The Pure Package?
I’m always trying to spread awareness of facts over fad – debunking diet myths that can be harmful or just a complete waste of time. We are always trying to find new ways to show our clients that they can enjoy their food and reach their health goals.
We’re all for longevity menus at the moment too – food that supports long and healthy life.
Order your Pure Package now.