Finding the time to prepare balanced and nutritious meals for our children can be a real chore, not to mention a challenge!  Luckily, there is a way of alleviating this tiresome problem – Piccolo Plates.

Started by friends Eleanor and Bella, Piccolo Plates was developed to produce healthy, nutritious, and delicious food without any nasties whatsoever (which means no added salt or sugar), and is all lovingly cooked by hand.

Els and Bels say that they want to “revolutinise chilled ready-meals”, and they do this by designing their meals with a nutritionist and chef, cooking it themselves, and delivering it straight to your doors for free (at a time that suits your busy schedule).

What’s more, there is a wide variety of meal choices to suit all those picky kiddy palettes – from traditional classics such as cottage pie and vegetable lasagne, through to more adventurous meals including Butternut Squas, Pea & Lentil Stew and Salmon and Leek Risotto.  Meals are between £5 and £6 each, with one meal easily feeding two smaller children.

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So impressed are we by their entrepreneurial vision, that we couldn’t resist asking Els and Bels more about themselves, and how and why they started their company.

Q. Why and where did you start Piccolo Plates?

A. Everyone is busy and time disappears. We were well aware of this, but what we weren’t aware of is how heightened this is when you have children. When Bella quit her job in finance and retrained as a nutritionist, she worked as a nanny for families around London and saw first hand how stressful tea time could be. She thought about starting a business that might be able to help, which coincided with Eleanor finishing her job in the city and dying to do something in food. Thus, Piccolo Plates was born!

Q. Where do you get your meal plan inspiration from?

A. We are really inspired by our surroundings: the food in season, the food available locally, and most importantly, the feedback we’re getting from our customers. We have a Piccolo Plates gang of little tasters who we trial all our recipes on before they launch on the site, and, as you would expect, they give brutally honest feedback and don’t hold back, which is exactly what we need!

Q. What challenges have you faced along the way?

A. Doing every role ourselves: one moment you’re a chef, the next a driver, brand manager, packaging expert and accountant, so you have to learn quickly on the job and this can sometimes get really overwhelming. Luckily having two of us allows us to support one another and we always talk through any challenges or difficulties that we face.

Q. What has been the highlight of running Piccolo Plates?

A. Feedback, reviews ,and repeat orders that continually reinforce that our service really does help families feed their children better and free up their time. Being sent photos and videos from our families of their kids enjoying the food is a brilliant moment.

Q. What does a typical working day look like for you?

A. It really depends on what day of the week it is, but it’s either a bright and (very) early start of cooking orders all day, or organising our deliveries to families across London. We love meeting our clients and getting face to face feedback on what they want to see our menu, what they liked/disliked and what they think we can do in the future.

Q. What is your vision / dream for Piccolo Plates?

A. Expanding our delivery nationwide would enable us to continue making tea time as easy as possible for as many busy parents as possible. Els also has an obsession with cookbooks so watch this space!

Piccolo Plates is offering Queen’s Park Mums 10% off orders, using the code ‘QPMUMS’ – order here.

If you own a business that you think Queen’s Park Mums should know about – contact us at anna@queensparkmums.com

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