As I was brainstorming on what I wanted whatwouldqueeniedo to be like, one thing that I always wanted to include was features on female led brands, organisations and charities that make a difference in the communities they work in. So here we are for our first Supportive Sunday! Today, for our first feature I’m really proud to introduce one of my best pal’s businesses.
Jen (aka Chef Jen) started We Cook last year and all she’s done is driven it from strength to strength regardless of what the world’s thrown at her. She pivoted and tried a completely different business model as we went into lockdown. Now, she not only looks after the chefs she works with, but also restaurant suppliers. I love that Chef Jen places such an emphasis on food that nourishes you yet is accessible, even for kids. Food holds a special place in my heart – it’s nourishment, enjoyment, culture and most importantly, family.
So, who is Chef Jen and what is We Cook?
Chef Jen created We Cook from her love of cooking for people who would prefer not to.
Jen and her team of professional chefs prepare fresh, healthy meals from the comfort of your home kitchen. Your chef will work with you to design you perfect menu each – the ultimate personal service.
Since the team can’t cook from your home right now, they’ve launched a new home delivery service – By Chef Jen – to keep cooking a repertoire of healthy dishes, for busy families in London. We Cook by Chef Jen delivers across London on a Monday evening, so you can fill your fridge/freezer with healthy meals so you have dinnertimes sorted.
Chef Jen creates a brand new menu each week, including a selection of meat, fish and plant-based options – plus kids Mini Meals!
Hey Jen, how are you doing?
Mostly great thank you! I would be lying if I told you I was 100% positive all of the time – but then again who is, even without Coronavirus causing chaos.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m a teachers pet with a love for anything creative… I love painting and have a music degree (the dream was once to be a singer songwriter!) I also had 3 competitive Muay Thai fights as this was a huge passion of mine for years, and I’m still really into fitness now!
My proudest (and most stressful) moment, was being a part of BBC 2 Chefs Brigade last year, where I got to travel around Europe with Jason Atherton and a team of chefs, to compete with Michelin starred restaurants!
Why did you start We Cook?
I started We Cook as I was determined to start my own business that addressed two important problems that I could see a lot of people had, when I moved to London last year.
- Everybody in London is just so busy! I couldn’t believe just how much everybody relied on Deliveroo, Pret, Meal Deals – even myself at times! I realised that if even I was struggling to cook fresh meals for dinner every night, people with children to feed too must be struggling to juggle everything.
- Everybody’s tastes are very different. Working previously running a meal prep business, the biggest problem we faced was customers with dietary requirements, or simply being able to please everybody. I love feeding people more than anything, and so I wanted to create a service that meant I could get it right for everybody, no matter what their tastes or preferences.
What are you most proud of with We Cook, to date?
Honestly just bringing it to life. I took baby steps last year, applying for part-time personal chef positions and posting local ads to test the waters but since then I’ve really gone all in. I designed my own website (twice thanks to Covid-19!) and have a base of regular clients whom I love cooking for. I now have a team of 3 chefs and despite the lockdown, have successfully managed to pivot the business so that everybody still has some work, and all of our clients can still be fed!
What keeps you going when the going gets tough?
My clients. Even when it gets tough, I find it easy to keep going because this is my ‘baby’ so to speak. I’m sure any mum would tell you that even when things get tough with their children, nothing would make them want to quit being a mum – at least not for long anyway!
I love making people happy with food, and that will never go away. For years its been my ambition to successfully grow my own company and I always knew that would come with a lot of challenge and responsibilities, so I try to roll with the tough days and love the process of it all. (I also listen to a Gary Vee podcast when things get really tough haha – he always pulls me through!)
What’s your ambition for We Cook?
I have a lot of different ideas that I want to test out with regards to growing We Cook, before I commit to a long-term ‘goal’ as such. I say this because I believe business is all about evolution and adapting to the world around you so that you can continue to solve people’s problems. Just look at the current situation – if you had ambitions before coronavirus I’m sure for many people they will have changed significantly since.
Generally speaking, however, I want to grow my team of chefs so that we can cover as many clients in London as possible and then look to branch out into other cities across the world. With the deliveries, we’re reaching lots of new customers and gaining so much insight into what people want and need at dinnertimes, so I’m using that to steer my vision for the future, in particular looking at children’s ready meal options and retail avenues.
You can reach out to Chef Jen and find out more about We Cook at their website. You also get 2 free mini meals on orders over £25 with the discount code KIDS25. Chef Jen cooks, so you don’t have to!