Jess's new children's food business secures £100,000 from investors

Jess Mackenzie's start-up, Jess Cooks, has attracted over 100K from investors, just two years after

Jess Mackenzie's start-up, Jess Cooks, has attracted over 100K from investors, just two years after it was founded - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

A Suffolk mum with no business experience has seen her children's food start-up attract £100,000 from investors.

Jess Mackenzie, who ran children's cooking classes for eight years, started Jess Cooks in September 2019 with £5,000 in government funding.

Mrs Mackenzie said she noticed a gap in the market, with almost no ready meals aimed at children aged four and over available at supermarkets.

Jess Mackenzie's start-up, Jess Cooks, has attracted over 100K from investors, just two years after

Investors liked the strong ethical approach of Jess Cooks - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

The mum-of-two wanted to create quick and easy meals to prevent parents short of time from having to cook and freeze meals for the week ahead.

Mrs Mackenzie is aiming to tackle the "growing problem" of childhood obesity, which she believes is due to the mass availability of cheap, low-quality processed food on store shelves.

She said: "I have always been passionate about food.

"I didn’t want to launch another range of ready meals, since I knew that isn’t what mums and dads really want.

"I always thought it was strange how there are so many options for babies, but nothing suitable for school-age children.

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"As a busy working parent, all I had to fall back on busy school nights was frozen junk food.

"Instead, we’ve created a range of batch-cooked meal solutions, which can be adapted to suit both big kids and small."

Jess Mackenzie's start-up, Jess Cooks, has attracted over 100K from investors, just two years after

Jess Mackenzie's meals can be adapted to suit both big kids and small kids - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

A group of three angel investors, heading up by Alan Christie, has recently invested into Jess Cooks after being attracted by the Mrs Mackenzie's "strong ethical approach".

Mr Christie, who has more than 30 years of experience in the food manufacturing industry, said: "There is obviously a gap in the market, and Jess has been clear that her primary aim is to influence and improve the quality of food available to children, which I believe is a fantastic base to build a business on."

Mrs Mackenzie added: "I'm just a normal mum from Suffolk with no real experience in business. I knew to make the business successful I would need investment, but they believed in me.

Jess Mackenzie's start-up, Jess Cooks, has attracted over 100K from investors, just two years after

Jess Mackenzie's from start-up Jess Cooks has always been passionate about food - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

"It's nice to see the blood, sweat and tears pay off."