Box Fresh – Absolutely meets Jennifer Irvine

Box fresh

Absolutely meets Jennifer Irvine, a woman who’s built a successful business around healthy eating.

Words Pendle Harte

When people come and say they want to lose weight what they really mean is, they want to be happier.

Pure Package and Balance Box are meal delivery services designed for wellbeing and weight loss, with a variety of different options. Founder Jennifer Irvine started the business in her own kitchen 18 years ago, and at the time there was nothing similar on the market.

So you invented the idea? “Well, obviously, the concept of breakfast, lunch and dinner was around already,” she laughs. Now the Pure Package is a large, slick operation, but to start with it was Jennifer in her small Notting Hill kitchen, cooking meals and delivering them herself. And she’s neither a chef nor a nutritionist, just a foodie who wants to enjoy food without feeling guilty about what she eats. Now the business looks after royalty and movie stars, people in the public eye who need to look good, as well as clients who have been with her from the start. “Stephen Fry lost four stone with us over lockdown,” she says. She won’t reveal any other names, but clearly, he’s not alone.

It’s been a successful journey. “I’m very risk averse. I started from the kitchen sink and calculated that I was able to handle nine clients. After two weeks I had to put another fridge freezer in the spare bedroom, followed by a walk-in chiller in the tiny garden. After three or four months I had to move it out of the house. I used to go to bed with my husband and wait for him to go to sleep. Then I’d get in my little car and whizz around London dropping off meal packages. When I got complaints about my loud music I’d have to pretend that I’d tell off the delivery driver.”

It works like this: you sign up for a package, choosing from options including weight loss, training support, vegan, longevity and more. You’ll have a brief consultation on Zoom with a nutritionist focusing on your goals, and decide whether to go for three, 10, 30 or 90 days. And the next thing you know, you’ll be waking up to a personalised cooler bag on your doorstep, delivered overnight, come rain or shine. “Even when the weather stops the post office from delivering, we still deliver,” says Jennifer.

Over 18 years the service has evolved, but many of the original clients are still with them.