Slimming World and Weight Watchers friendly meals on offer at new ‘healthier’ takeaway

The team at Simply Spuds Picture: Simply Spuds

The team at Simply Spuds Picture: Simply Spuds - Credit: Archant

Simply Spuds offers a more nutritious alternative to fast food with its properly cooked jacket potatoes and homemade fillings.

A homemade chilli filled jacket potato at Simply Spuds Picture: Simply Spuds

A homemade chilli filled jacket potato at Simply Spuds Picture: Simply Spuds - Credit: Archant

It's all too easy at lunchtimes to turn to 'the dark side'. A cheeky burger. A bag of chips. Even those sandwich meal deals can harbour loads of hidden salt, sugar and fat. The obvious answer, of course, is to prepare your own pack-up, tucking it neatly into Tupperware. But sometimes there just isn't time - especially if your work or lifestyle sees you out on the road a lot.

One entrepreneur in west Suffolk is seeking to turn the takeaway on its head, by offering an altogether less sinful option -all hail the jacket potato. Sure it's not the sexiest of lunches, but the humble spud has a lot going for it. It's a good source of vitamin C and fibre (if you eat the skin), it's filling (that'll stop you reaching for the snack drawer in the afternoon) and, if topped with health-boosting, homemade fillings, it can be eaten as a syn-free meal on Slimming World or a point-free snack on Weight Watchers.

Angel Doyle, who started successful care company One Oak in 2017 (now employing 25 carers) has her staff and the local community at heart - even offering employees an on-site gym at their base in Acton (near Sudbury) at Bull Lane Industrial Estate.

But the gym has just been revamped and turned into Simply Spuds, open to the public from 11am to 4pm Monday to Friday and from 11am to 3pm on Saturdays.

Explaining the concept, Angel says: "We were sick of going to McDonalds or KFC or a greasy spoon if we were hungry. Instead of heading into Sudbury we thought, well, we've actually got space here downstairs, so why not invest in a whole new business? We all agreed that jacket potatoes are something that could work really well and it came together so quickly!"

Inside, Simply Spuds has a modern design, with a few tables for waiting and eating in, but with the core of the business being takeaway, which can be ordered in advance, and even delivered. "Because we work in the home care industry, we are very concerned about the elderly," says Angel, "so if someone can't get to the shop in Acton we will deliver to them here or in Long Melford."

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For the shop Angel invested in what she says is the Rolls Royce of potato cookers- the King Edward oven. "It's THE oven for potatoes. They're all cooked properly in that oven and everything is homemade, from the chilli to the coleslaw, because I can't abide shop-bought coleslaw. We have a lot of vegan and vegetarian fillings and 90% of the menu is also gluten-free. I like the fact we are offering really healthy options too. We will 'sin' everything."

Fillings include all the favourites, from beans and cheese, to tuna, homemade Coronation chicken (with or without fruit), vegan cheese, vegan butter, veggie and vegan curry and more, with all hot toppings warmed over a stove - not shoved in the microwave.

Hot and cold drinks are available, and there's a Little Spuds menu for children, offering half a potato with any filling, a yoghurt and a drink for £4...a nice easy post-school supper.

"Nowadays families are starting to think more about their health," says Angel, "and rightly so. What we're offering here is something familiar and tasty. Everyone likes 'jackets'!"

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