Prime Blog

January 2017

Jonathan Stobart

17 Jan 2017

Hello. Is it Thyme you're looking for?

The following blog has been written about Thyme, a Prime client which has recently launched a new business supplying high-quality frozen meals and smoothies across the UK.

Businessman Craig Tomkinson, who has 10 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 homemade”, frozen food.

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

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

All products are only available through its website, and 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 now hoping it will grow to 10 staff in the next few months.

“While I was 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,” said Craig.

“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. If people are time-poor, they can be Thyme-rich!

“We have taken the time to make sure we are using only the best ingredients in each recipe and every dish is prepared as you would a home meal. For example, 100 per cent of the beef in our prepared meals comes from a five mile radius to our kitchen in Herefordshire.

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, and customers order through www.itsthyme.co.uk  Its range includes family favourite ready meals, filled pastas with sauces, gourmet burgers and steaks, complete meal solution for special occasions and pre-portioned fruit, vegetable and protein smoothie mixes.

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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