The Piper Podcast: Mindful Chef founders on relinquishing power – and a soggy box disaster…

Giles Humphries and Myles Hopper, two of the three Mindful Chef co-founders, have told how learning to ‘relinquish power’ has helped drive their healthy recipe box brand to even greater heights. Giles Humphries and Myles Hopper, two of the three Mindful Chef co-founders, have told how learning to ‘relinquish power’ has helped drive their healthy recipe box brand to even greater heights.
‘As entrepreneurs, it’s very easy to cling on for dear life,’ says Humphries in the first episode from season three of Piper’s ‘How I Grew My Brand’ interviews with leading entrepreneurs. ‘Sometimes it works but sometimes, by trying to control everything, you will stunt the business’s growth and progress.’
Humphries and Hopper, along with fellow childhood friend Rob Grieg-Gran, launched Mindful Chef in 2015 and have presided over its meteoric rise – the brand has delivered more than 3.5m meals to UK consumers and experienced 170% year on year growth. In 2018, the founders made the ‘astute move’ of bringing in Tim Lee, former Head of Food and Online Strategy at Marks & Spencer, as CEO. Piper invested £6m into Mindful Chef in December that year.
Says Humphries: ‘You should understand that there will always be better people in any areas of the business as you. They may not know it as well but they will be able to come in and add a lot more value if you empower them and give them autonomy.’
In an interview with broadcaster Mary Nightingale, the pair describe Mindful Chef’s ‘eureka moment’ on a friend’s fishing boat in Exeter and tell how they later discovered Olympic gold medal-winning cyclist Victoria Pendleton was a secret customer. They also reveal how splitting ice-packs derailed their press launch of the UK’s first ever vegan boxes. ‘We delivered half of them as soggy boxes to journalists,’ recalls Humphries.
Piper’s ‘How I Grew My Brand’ podcasts launched in 2018. The third season focuses on the challenges faced by co-founders and includes an interview with Flight Club’s Steve Moore and Paul Barham. The first two seasons have featured interviews with PROPER co-founder Cassandra Stavrou; Loungers co-founder Alex Reilley; Neom Organics’ co-founder Nicola Elliott; Camden Town Brewery founder Jasper Cuppaidge and Deliciously Ella’s Ella Mills. All previous episodes can be streamed on or downloaded on iTunes or SoundCloud.

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