Daughter sets up frozen meal delivery company after caring for sick mother
7 March 2016
A Barnsley businesswoman has set up her own frozen meal delivery service after being disappointed with the quality of food available when looking after her elderly mother.
Cassie Northwood has founded Northwood Foods after returning from her job as estate manager at a seven-star resort in Thailand and the company is now delivering meals across Yorkshire.
She came home to care for her sick mother Joyce, who lived in Leeds and passed away in April last year aged 83, after suffering with dementia.
Cassie now operates the business with partner David White from their base in Wombwell and the couple arrange deliveries of high-quality, well-balanced meals to older, sick or vulnerable people of all ages in their own homes.
Cassie said: “As you can imagine, at a seven-star resort, quality was everything, and the food was fantastic. After returning home to care for my mum, I found it disappointing and frustrating that I couldn’t source high standard frozen meals for her - the same problem I had when nursing my dad through cancer ten years ago. That’s what sparked the idea for the business.”
Cassie was helped to set up Northwood Foods through the business support programme Smartstart, run by Barnsley Business and Innovation Centre (BBIC).
Northwood Foods aims to provide healthy meals using locally-sourced ingredients that are of a high quality whilst still being affordable; focusing on ‘a taste of Yorkshire’, with dishes including chicken casserole, roast beef, lamb hotpot and a range of long life sandwiches, paninis, crisps and biscuits. Indian and Chinese options are also available.
They are aiming their service directly at families in the first instance, with plans to approach community and care organisations as suppliers in the near future.
Northwood Foods’ products differ from many of their competitors in that they have invested in innovative packaging which enables the meal to be warmed on the plate directly, avoiding the need to transfer piping hot food from plastic trays to plates.
Cassie said: “We would never produce anything that we wouldn’t be happy to give to our own parents. And we make sure the meals are delivered with a smile, as we appreciate that for some isolated people, the social contact that comes with receiving a delivery is also important.”
Delivery staff are CRB checked and Cassie provides advice on choosing dishes for optimum nutrition, taking into account medical conditions and individual tastes.
Northwood Foods currently deliver around Yorkshire and North Nottinghamshire but plan to deliver nationally, and are making links with care providers in order to explore future contract opportunities.
Cassie said: “We are building things up carefully and steadily but we really feel there is a lot of potential in the business. After all, we’re living in an ageing population and people will always need to eat.
“We are so grateful for the mentoring we have received from Smartstart and have been really impressed with the standard and efficiency of the support provided.”
BBIC’s Smartstart business development manager Sarah Valentine said: “Cassie’s own experiences prompted her to set up her business and we’re delighted to have helped her get underway. Building a business requires passion, which she has in abundance.
“It’s great to see another success story from the Smartstart programme and we wish Northwood Foods all the best for the future.”
The Smartstart programme is delivered in partnership with Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council and is part of a wider strategy to help grow the local economy.
Notes to editor
Photograph shows Cassie Northwood
For further information about Northwood Foods, please contact Cassie on 07736 470101 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
For further information about Smartstart, please contact Sarah Valentine at BBIC on 01226 249590 or email@example.com - visit www.barnsleystartup.co.uk
Barnsley Business and Innovation Centre (BBIC) is on Innovation Way, Wilthorpe,
Barnsley, S75 1JL. Tel: 01226 249590.
Additional media contact: Mary Ferguson on 01226 766900 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
This press release was prepared by Capital B Media, a public relations and media training agency based in Sheffield, South Yorkshire. For more information, please visit www.capitalbmedia.co.uk