Startups, Accelerators & Incubators

Introducing Root Kitchen: On a Mission to Make Delicious Plant-Based Eating Easy and Accessible

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Root Kitchen, a producer of plant-based ready meals founded in the UK by brother and sister-in-law David and Rishma, is participating in the current cohort of the ProVeg incubator programme. As the second in a series to find out more about the startups in the current incubator session, before they go forth and disrupt, we spoke to the founders about their story and future plans.

Introduce yourself and your mission
We are David and Rishma, brother-and-sister-in-law and founders of Root Kitchen, a frozen plant based ready meal brand from the UK. We come from a family of foodies and want to help more people to eat more plants. It’s good for us and it’s good for our planet. We are the frozen plant based ready meal brand that wants to make convenient, nutritious plant-based meals accessible to everyone.
Rishma’s mother set up a ready meal manufacturing business from her kitchen table in 1986 that now operates from a BRC Grade A factory in Lancashire, and supplies own label chilled and frozen meals to some of the UK’s most well known supermarkets.
Root Kitchen - Korean Tofu Noodles
Korean tofu ©Root Kitchen
Rishma was diagnosed with ME in late 2019 and started to look for ways in which she could manage the condition, subsequently going on to trial a plant-based diet. Whilst we are lucky in the UK to have such a vibrant and innovative plant-based food scene, we felt that there was space in the market for a convenient, nutritional, and affordable solution for busy mid-week evening meal occasions. Many people are either too busy or too tired to cook, so we went into the development kitchen and began creating!

Tell us about your product
Our chefs have developed an initial range of ten delicious plant-based frozen ready meals that are nutritionally balanced, in order to provide a tasty convenient solution for mid-week evening meal occasions.

Using locally sourced ingredients where possible, our meals are cooked from scratch by chefs in our production kitchen using 70L pans over gas heat in a traditional, artisan process that uses no artificial colours or preservatives. It’s similar to how you would cook at home, just on a larger scale.
The meals are then blast frozen to lock in the nutrients and then dispatched to customers in recyclable packaging using a carbon neutral courier.

At what stage is your company currently?
We launched during Veganuary this year (2021) as a D2C brand – so we are getting to know our customers right now: what they like and dislike, and what they want to see from the brand.

Root Kitchen meals
©Root Kitchen
We are very much at the beginning of our journey, but loving every minute. We are learning so much in a short space of time and meeting some amazing people and businesses along the way.

What are your plans for the next five years?
Our mid-term goal is to establish ourselves as a trusted and delicious meal option for those looking to reduce their meat consumption. We aim to become a multi-channel brand, offering solutions via direct to consumer, foodservice, and retail channels, in order to make delicious plant-based eating easy and accessible to as wide a range of people as possible.

Both of us as founders see ourselves as being in a position where we can make a real difference and would like Root Kitchen to make a positive impact in helping people to adopt a plant-based lifestyle.
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