A catering firm specialising in providing hot, nutritious meals to private nurseries has seen a surge in business since the turn of the year.
Roslin-based Healthy Tots believes the Scottish Government’s aim to almost double the amount of free early learning and childcare hours to eligible children by 2020 has spurred 13 new nurseries to sign up to its services since January.
Owner, Jonathan Robertson believes more nurseries will look to his business to provide balanced meals for the children in their care as 2020 nears.
He said: “Within the Early Learning and Childcare Service Model for 2020: Consultation paper it states each child should be provided with a free meal during their session either as a breakfast, lunch or early evening meal.
“To fulfil that requirement, many nurseries would have to install or adapt a kitchen to meet all legal requirements or hire a chef, which can be cost prohibitive. And that’s where we can fill the gap.
“Our meals are prepared fresh each day and exceed the nutritional guidelines set down by the Scottish Government. We then deliver the meals and take away all packaging from the previous day, making it a hassle free experience for our clients.
“So far all our customers have come via word of mouth, as we have found it very difficult to speak directly to nursery owners over the phone. That is why social media, particularly LinkedIn, is going to be so important to us moving forward.”
A former car salesman, Jonathan began looking for an alternative career when the recession hit. At the same time his mother’s nursery was looking for a new company to supply meals. She suggested he investigate setting up his own business to fulfil her need.
Now, the business, whose turnover is expected to hit £170k by year end in July, employs five staff and supplies 21 nurseries across Forth Valley and the Lothians.
Jonathan said: “Children deserve to have nutritious, tasty meals that they will enjoy.”