Mitch Lee, 29, and his wife Shirin, 28 have launched Mitch’s Kitchen, an online shop which supplies vegan meals.
Their idea has been so popular, they have now started supplying independent wholesale stores, including Wild Thyme Wholefoods in Palmerston Road, Southsea.
The meals are provided in ready meal style eco friendly packaging, with one of their aims being to revolutionise the classic ready meal.
Mitch said: ‘It’s a chance for people to be able to try a different food lifestyle without the preparation involved in making it yourself. People are very busy and it’s time consuming to learn how to make purely vegan and gluten free food.’
Every dish is 100 per cent vegan and free-from gluten, nuts, palm oil and pesticides.
Mitch said he was inspired to start the firm, which is based in Droxford, as one of his friends had an allergy.
He said: ‘I had a friend with a nut allergy and we would try new things to cook when he came over, which made me think, something like a nut allergy shouldn’t prevent you from adopting this lifestyle just because nuts are used quite frequently in vegan dishes.’
Before starting their business in early November, Mitch worked as a vegan restaurant chef and manager and Shirin worked in HR at a telecoms company.
Mitch said: ‘I learnt a lot of skills and got a lot of feedback from people about food from my previous experience and Shirin knows a lot about the business side of things from where she used to work.’
The company has been operating for less than four months and has already shipped more than 4,000 meals.
And they say the majority of their customers aren't vegan, rather people curious about eating more whole foods and having a plant powered diet in order to reduce their impact on the environment.
All packaging is sustainably sourced, non-toxic and either biodegradable or recyclable. The only plastic used in the complete packaging process is the recyclable lidding film, which eliminates single use plastic.
Mitch said they have plans for the future, with a changing menu for each season, and they are in the process of creating their summer menus.