Natural Veg Men

An interview with Thomas Whitley, co-founder at Natural Veg Men.

Thomas attended business and marketing masterclasses run by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) funded SME Business Growth Programme.

Introduce yourself and your business…

My name is Thomas Whitley, and I am one half of the Natural Veg Men and Nine Meals from Anarchy. Myself and Matt Smee are two friends who are obsessed with all things edible and dedicated to providing better food alternatives than are currently available.

From growing up on an organic smallholding to working in finance in the big smoke, it has been an interesting journey for me but one that I wouldn’t change for the world. We love what we do and we’re passionate about what we produce.

What does The Natural Veg Men do?
We grow vegetables on one of the oldest organic market gardens in the country. We deliver veg boxes to the good people of Chester and surrounding area and we manufacture our high quality ‘Nine Meals from Anarchy’ veg stock, which, we’re proud to say, has ten times more veg in than most others available.

It’s gluten and palm oil free and it’s vegetarian and vegan – in fact, it’s free from anything that has no business being there! It’s packed full of as much of our organic veg as we can fit into a small jar and it adds all the seasoning and depth of flavour that you could ever need to your cooking.

What help and support have you received from Reaseheath College?
We are really very aware of what we don’t know so it’s been fantastic to have access to mentors, expertise and some incredibly valuable workshops.  The support we’ve had from Reaseheath has allowed us to progress much faster as a business than we thought possible. It’s also helped us avoid a lot of common mistakes and navigate some of the key decisions that we have faced more effectively.

We’ve been able to focus on strategy and planning and it has been so important to have an outside perspective from people who really know what it takes to make a business work. Going forward, it has enabled us to build the business on a surer footing and given us a broader understanding of all the areas needed to make business successful.

What are your future business objectives?
We want to continue building on what we have achieved so far. Put simply, we want to make better food as widely available as possible.

We believe that we’ve got a product that would really benefit anyone and everyone so it’s our responsibility –as well as our job – to spread the word!

For more information about Natural Veg Men, email or call 01244478030.