Agyness Deyn, Elle Macpherson Gwyneth Paltrow, and Jo Wood are just some of the celebrities who love Detox Kitchen. They love the taste. They love how it makes them feel. And they love the daily surprise of a detox box of delights, delivered fresh to their door.For founder Lily Simpson, making good food healthy (and vice versa) is a mission that began with regular childhood raids of her family herb garden, and developed as she travelled and tasted the best of Sri Lanka, Thailand and Morocco. Our Em Bell managed to catch her in between my daily burger and chocolate bar to talk food, epsom salts and world domination.
Tell us about The Detox Kitchen. Where did the idea come from? Where did it all start? Over a packet of nuts and a pint… sorry, organic tea?
The idea simply came from a friend who had tried other delivery services and knew I was running my own catering company at the time so asked if I could create some tasty food for her. I researched delivery companies for a few weeks and launched within the month. It is a very popular concept in the US and the UK only had a few competitors, so I thought I would give it a go. I knew I could create delicious detox food so I set up and website and went from there.
Where did you expect/ hope it would go? Did you expect it to go as well as this?
I honestly had no idea where it would go. I had a very loose business plan but was looking at the first few months as a ‘test period’. I didn’t invest any money into the buisness and only decided to get a £10k business loan once I knew there was potential to grow. Within a few weeks, after really positive feedback, I knew I had created a good product that people in London wanted.
Hardest parts about setting it up?
Having to do everything on my own. It is incredibly tiring both mentally and physically, you can never switch off but that is all part of running your own company. The highs are incredibly high and the rewards are amazing, but the lows are pretty low…the 3am starts in the first few months were pretty low to say the least!
How did it feel hiring your first employees?!
I found it really hard to delegate anything which is obviously frustrating for staff who want to show you what they can do. I have learnt to let go a lot over the last year and as our team has grown it has been a real benefit. I just let the team come up with ideas and recipes, their creativity keeps the product interesting.
You’re now in Harvey Nichols which is amazing. Where would be your next ideal spot?
In my head I would have a café in Paris and New York. In reality I would love to open a deli in Maida Vale, its my favorite area of London.
See anything odd when delivering bags in the middle of the night?
I have seen more foxes than you would believe, honestly, they are every where. That’s why we send out a fox-proof box!
I also saw a friend once at 4am walking rather drunkly down bayswater road…they will remain anonymous!
How did you get the celeb factor?
A bit of luck, a lot of pestering and an amazing product…obvs!
Who would be your ideal customer?
Favourite item in the goodie bag?
Lipstick or chocolate
I don’t have a fav supplement but I am a massive fan of popping some epsom salts in my bath and doing a bit of body brushing!
What is your signature dish outside of the Detox Kitchen?
Mums Roast Chicken with yorkshire puds
Nigella Lawson (fit) and Rick Stein (legend)
Favourite places to buy organic goods in London?
Organic Grocers in Maida Vale on Clifton Road. There is also a great new veg shop there too called Clifton Grocers. Wholefoods is always a good call too!
Favourite city in the world for food?
Ouch, that’s hard. I have three I think. Paris, Bangkok and Kerela.
What news have you got for the rest of the year?
We just got a book deal, very exciting. Cant believe Ill be writing a book. We are also launching a new delivery service in the next few months…will tell all soon!
What’s your dream future for the business? A little shop in Islington? Worldwide domination?
I think I want to keep it all fairly localised, so a shop in London and maybe a detox supermarket.