Based in Edinburgh, the company produces ready-made meals for older people who are less able to visit supermarkets
Parsley Box founders Gordon and Adrienne MacAuley and CEO Kevin Dorren
From left: Adrienne and Gordon MacAuley, founders of Parsley Box, and chief executive Kevin Dorren

Parsley Box, an Edinburgh-headquartered company producing ready meals, has seen revenues grow from £8 million in 2019 to £24 million this year. The business entered the market to provide healthier food to customers across the UK who are less able to visit supermarkets – it delivers cupboard stored meals that don’t need to be refrigerated.

The company raised £4.6 million in funding last year, including £3 million from Mobeus Equity Partners and Chris van der Kuyl – and it has been in expansion mode ever since.

Parsley Box expanded its staff from 44 to 100 employees this year, and introduced new product lines, including individual portions of meat and fish, filling the gap left by many supermarkets withdrawing fresh food counters in-store.

The company argued that the vulnerable are much more likely to buy smaller portion sizes of fresh food, which is now possible through its offering.

A family business

The business was founded by husband-and-wife team Gordon and Adrienne MacAuley in 2017. The duo of entrepreneurs brought in chief executive Kevin Dorren – the founder of Move Fresh, an e-commerce vehicle for established FMCG direct-to-consumer brands in the UK.

“Not so long ago we were trying to find a range of ready meals for Gordon’s mum who was living on her own. We were worried about her eating properly so I started to look around for delivered meal services,” said the founder in a statement on the company website.

The statement continues: “The more we looked, the more concerns we had about frozen meals. We couldn’t help thinking that there had to be a quicker, easier and safer way of enjoying good food. So we created Parsley Box – cupboard stored tasty meals, ordered online and delivered fast to your door.”

The company argues that Parsley Box meals take just minutes to heat through, and that meals are great value too, with lots of choice to suit any budget.

“Going into next year we look forward to building up our growth and continuing to scale up our operations and sales,” said Dorren. “We are pleased to be creating jobs during such a challenging economy in two key sectors – food services and technology and hope to continue to play a positive part in Scotland’s economy.”

Parsley Box made it to the Sunday Times 10 Fast Track Ones to Watch, which is part of the 24th annual Sunday Times Virgin Atlantic Fast Track 100 league table.

Date published: 9 December 2020

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