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Thyme is right to go it alone

Craig Tomkinson with daughters Lily, aged seven, and Chloe, four. (Submitted photo)
Craig Tomkinson with daughters Lily, aged seven, and Chloe, four. (Submitted photo)

A NEW business supplying high-quality frozen meals and smoothies across the UK has been launched in Stratford-on-Avon.

Craig Tomkinson, who has ten years’ experience in the food and drink industry, has launched Thyme after identifying a gap in the frozen food market for high quality, wholesome, ‘as good as home-made’, frozen food.

Craig, who has headed up finance for the UK business of Birmingham-based food giant 2 Sisters, has spent two years researching and launching the company, which is based at Hatton Rock.

That has included developing recipes, sourcing ingredients, recruiting suppliers and setting up a distribution network.

All products are packed and distributed from the Thyme headquarters. Each order is packed in its own Thyme Capsule — an insulated delivery box — ensuring that the contents stay frozen for 27 hours as they are delivered.

The company already had a flood of orders from word of mouth before it formally launched and is hoping to take on ten staff in the coming weeks.

Craig said: “While working in food it always struck me that we had a strange attitude to supermarket frozen food, we will happily freeze our own home-cooked meals, but most of the things we buy ready-frozen are either vegetables, potatoes or covered in bright orange breadcrumbs and hidden away in boxes or bags.

“People basically trust their freezer, but don’t really trust frozen food, and that is such a waste.

“With everyone’s time pressures increasing and people really tuning into food quality, we are hoping to solve both those issues.”

Research also told the company that fresh food wastage is becoming an increasing problem.

People often waste ingredients when making smoothies at home, so the company has produced a range of pre-portioned frozen fruit and vegetable mixes – with just enough frozen produce in each portion bag to make a smoothie.

The company will not supply through supermarkets, with orders taken online at www.itsthyme.co.uk

Craig, who lives in Warwick, added: “We are really pleased with the range we are launching with and the feedback has been very positive. Friends and family have been only too keen to act as official tasters!

“Setting up Thyme from scratch has been really exciting, but we also have great experience in the food sector and I worked with 2 Sisters long enough to see how it grew successfully and that has been a great education.”

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