Many working mums dream of turning a hobby or interest into a thriving home-run business, but for most of us the thought stays just that – a dream. For Julia Boddy however, hard work, talent and dedication have helped her evolve her love of healthy cooking into a successful, growing business. And now, with her tasty ready meals for bigger kids available nationwide through Ocado, the future’s looking even brighter. We find out where it all started.
Like many working mums, HR manager Julia Boddy was often exhausted when she returned to her south London home at the end of a long day in the office. But with three hungry children to feed she couldn’t just put her feet up and relax. Instead she headed straight into the kitchen to prepare delicious home-cooked food.
As much as Julia loves to cook, she longed for a night off in the kitchen once in a while. But she wasn’t prepared to compromise on the quality of food she fed her children, and couldn’t find any pre-prepared meals her older kids would eat that she felt were as healthy and fresh as her own food.
Her meals were soon a hit
So Julia started making batches of her own recipes and freezing them. Her healthy, delicious and easy dinners were a hit both with her own kids and their friends who came to tea. Word got round and before long Julia found herself making food for other working mums who wanted a guilt-free night off from cooking, too. Soon she became busy enough in the kitchen that, when she was made redundant from her HR position, she was able to turn her ready meals into a full time job.
As her love of home cooking grew into a successful business, Julia realised that she needed to come up with a name. After trying out several ideas one name just seemed to stick – Mrs Tinks, an affectionate nickname given to her by her husband.
Today, Mrs Tinks’ delicious meals are handmade in a professional kitchen with all the healthy ingredients you would use at home. Julia works hard to achieve a precious balance between work and her family – while ensuring that her fresh and tasty ready meals help other busy working mums do the same.
Julia uses veggies for nutrition and taste
Julia’s dedication to quality remains as high as if she was cooking for her own kids, and she can often be found working late into the night at home, trying to find a way to make a new recipe both tasty and nutritious (Julia uses veggies for nutrition and added taste so she doesn’t need to add sugar, salt, flavourings or preservatives). She also works with Jo Travers, a local nutritionist, to ensure her meals are well balanced and contain everything a bigger kid needs. Each meal is hearty enough to feed one hungry bigger kid, or two little ones.
The icing on Julia’s carrot cake came this spring with the nationwide launch of three of her meals – fish pie, chicken curry and beef lasagne – at Ocado. So now mums and dads up and down the country finally have a tasty and healthy alternative to home-cooked meals when they’re too tired to cook.