They say you should never mix business with pleasure, however, for entrepreneurial and romantic partners Jon Worsnop and Katie Booth, going against this rule has led to more success than heartbreak.
He is a retired footballer who played for Bradford City during the early 2000s and she a former Olympic triathlete, but together, they are pioneering some great changes in the food preparation industry.
Their business Gymology, is a fresh food delivery service forecasted to make 1.4m this year alone. They pride themselves on offering fresh, using high-quality ingredients in all of their meals while their deliveries are shipped in sustainable packaging.
Their business has also announced that they have become the official meal partner for GB Taekwondo in the run-up to this summer’s Tokyo Olympics. If you’re looking for more credentials, their meals are also produced by leading chefs, including former head chef at Manchester United football club, Victoria Dale.
Real Business (RB): Talk me through your business journey?
Katie Booth (KB): Being a sponsored triathlete for many years and graduating from Loughborough University I have always had an interest in health and nutrition.
It wasn’t until my partner, Jon, was retiring from professional football and wanted a career to continue that we came up with Gymology. It’s a convenient, affordable and healthy option that we send all over Europe to homes and sports teams.
RB: The meal delivery service is a thriving industry, what makes you different from your competitors?
Jon Worsnop (JW): We pride ourselves on having no set menu, every fresh delivery you receive a different selection of restaurant-inspired healthy meals.
This keeps it interesting when you receive your delivery – you try things you wouldn’t necessarily order which keeps individuals sticking to their plans. Healthy eating never has to be boring again. We offer premium quality, from our sustainable packaging to our fresh, locally sourced, best quality ingredients. We want to ‘wow’ with our products, service and taste.
RB: More people are adopting a vegan lifestyle, were you apprehensive about providing a lot of meat-based options?
JW: Thankfully Gymology caters for all. We have meat & fish-based plans, vegetarian, pescatarian, vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free plans. Our meal development is always growing, and we have hundreds of meals so we can quickly react to customers’ growing trends.
RB: I see you have introduced a kids option, what was your motivation behind this?
JW: We are the first healthy eating company to provide a solution for the whole family. We believe introducing kids to nutritious versions of their favourite meals and educating them from an early age sets great eating habits for life.
RB: Have you found it easy to profit from this business venture?
KB: Our turnover in year one was £601,000 and this year we are forecasting £1.4million. We are constantly expanding so all our profits are put straight back into the company. We are currently investing in a unique online platform that links nutritional advice, personal training and much more to our food and activewear. A one-stop-shop.
RB: What is it like blending business and a relationship?
KB: We work well together and separate out our roles and jobs so we’re not always together. Pillow talk does become a business meeting! At the start when it was at its toughest time there were arguments but since turning a corner it has been great.
What’s been your business high and business low?
JW: A business high is supplying Manchester United football club and becoming the official partner of GB taekwondo in the run-up to the Olympics. A low for me was having unreliable staff at the beginning which makes it very hard. Thankfully now we have a solid team.