Launching a food startup during a pandemic is not ideal if I’m being quite honest with you

Tim Brown
3 min readMar 16, 2020


As my snappy title alludes to, launching a food startup during a pandemic is not ideal if I’m being quite honest with you.

But let me set the scene first.

el-thy make nutritional toppings for meals. You can add these toppings to any meal and transform them into a nutritional feast. Maybe you’re newly vegan and you’re unsure about the nutrients that your new diet is missing. No problem, we’ve got a mix for that. Just add it to your oats or whatever in the morning.

Maybe you’ve got a young child who just loves macaroni cheese and it’s a struggle to make them eat anything. The last thing you want to do when you get home after work is battle over their dinner. We’ve got you. Just add one of our mixes to their mac + cheese and at least you know they’re getting the nutrients they need.

Perhaps you just enjoy food and don’t want to worry that you’re getting the right balance of everything. No worries. Once a day top any of your meals with one of our mixes and BANG, you’re sorted.

Sales pitch over.

I’ve been planning on documenting my startup journey (sorry, terrible phrase that) for a while now. But I didn’t think it would start like this.

The business is in a good spot. We spent 2019 product and market testing, and then incorporated the company on Christmas Eve. I was sitting in my parents living room, cat on my lap, glass of red wine in my hand. A nice way to incorporate your first startup.

This year, the new brand has been developed. By the way, I can’t praise Jules Scheele enough. I briefed Jules on creating some illustrations to demonstrate the product, and then asked if they could develop the brand from there. It worked like a dream and I absolutely love with what Jules came up with.

I’d recruited a COO, Oliver, who has already done a great job of sourcing produce at mass, and made connections with potential partners in Lisbon. He’ll be running the Portugal side of things, while I’ll be in London.

We were getting all set for a big sampling drive. I was going to hit the London commuter rail stations in early April and get thousands of samples into people’s hand to use on their lunch. I was about to press ‘order’ on a bunch of packaging and information stickers, but held off slightly as we were finalising some bits on the product.

Next thing I know, our good friend covid-19 has hit Europe and everything changes.

I am no health expert, but handing out food samples at busy rail stations during a pandemic is not ideal if I’m being quite honest with you.

So we’re holding off. But what’s next?

It isn’t time to stand still. I’m working on plenty of content for the website; we’re putting in more time finding the very best suppliers; and I’m even looking into recipes for adding nutrition to the meals of your dogs and cats.

In the meantime, you can still sign up to the waiting list for our full launch. And you’ll also get 20% off your first order. Oh, it seems my sales pitch wasn’t quite over.




Tim Brown

I invented the OXO cube