Hello, I'm Chef Jen - and I really need your help.
After delivering over 20,000 healthy meals and renting 4 different shared kitchens across London, it's time for me to take the leap and take on a full time kitchen HQ of my own.
I'm raising money so that I can make an offer on a kitchen premises in West London, and get back to business ASAP!
Here's a mouthwatering shot of the food I make... now let me tell you more about what I do!
What's the story?
In the last year, I've pivoted my way through each lockdown moving from being a personal home chef to running healthy meal deliveries.
Within a few days of the first announcement, I knew that since I was unable to work in clients homes I would have to find a kitchen to cook from.
Moving into a closed restaurant, I managed to continue working and reach a whole lot of people who were looking for a healthier option whilst stuck at home.
Since then, I've relocated to three other kitchens and cooked for hundreds of customers - delivering over 20,000 healthy meals plus cooking 5000 nutritious meals for local charity Paddington Youth Club + St Marys Hospital staff too.
I've loved being in a position where I've been able to support others during difficult times, even adding specials to my menus to fundraise for specific issues such as the Covid impact in India earlier this year.
So, what's the problem?
It's been an incredibly rewarding journey so far, but far from easy no thanks to having to move between four different kitchens in a bid to keep going!
The first restaurant reopened for Eat Out to Help Out, the second place I moved in and discovered I wasn't technically allowed to be there(!) - in the third place I had just 10 days notice to leave at the end of the final lockdown, and so now I'm renting a humble church kitchen which isn't really big enough to fulfil the business I was running before.
(See me looking super happy on day one in all four of them?!)
It's been quite a learning curve, and after facing so many hurdles the conclusion I've come to is that I really need a dedicated kitchen of my own to achieve the vision I have for Chef Jen & Co.
I've been looking for my perfect kitchen for most of 2021, and the biggest thing holding me back is always having enough money upfront as there's usually a large premium attached to commercial spaces.
This has been made even harder as I had to close the majority of my business for the last three months, as the church kitchen space simply isn't big enough to facilitate all of your orders.
I'm absolutely dying to be back in the full swing of things, and to be able to have the freedom and capacity to grow my business in the way I've always dreamed.
So how can you help?
There is one premises in particular that has REALLY got me excited, close to home in West London, and so I'm trying to raise as much money as possible to make an offer on the space!
If I don't move fast I'm likely to miss out, and so I decided to try and Crowdfund what I can to give me a fighting chance to get my foot in the door.
So what's the plan, Chef?
From my own kitchen HQ, not only could I finally get back to business - returning to multiple deliveries a week (at the minute I just have capacity for only one delivery in my smaller space) and extend my services too - growing my bespoke meal plan service, a range of children's meals, tons of potential for creating recipes to share with you and I could even start to open my personal home chef service back up for events.
There's a few other exciting surprises on the cards if I manage to get THIS space in particular, but I don't want to jinx it or overpromise anything until the keys are in my hand! (Any supporters of the campaign will be the first to know though.)
If everything goes to plan, I would be able to get going again from September 2021 (just in time for back to school) and I will be giving out all of the rewards for supporters as soon as possible, upon reopening for business.
Tell me more about these rewards... (I hope they're edible!)
Every donation, big or small will get your name on my kitchen wall of supporters, so you will forever be a piece of the story!
I've also created a brand new healthy meal prep recipe ebook as a reward - with 30 of my favourite recipes, meal prep tips and more - everything you need to feel inspired in the kitchen. I wrote it specifically for this project, so it's not just a bundle of recipes but more like a cooking guide - from me, to you!
There's of course also options for supporters to be rewarded with my healthy meals - (is there any better reward?!) as well as a really limited number of intimate private dinners cooked in your home, and Christmas parties up for grabs too!
Final words from the Chef
Any contribution that you make will not only be hugely appreciated, but will quite literally turn the dream that I've had for 8 years now into a reality.
Eight years ago, I made my first ever attempt at a meal prep business in sunny Cornwall - and whilst I've never been brave enough to take this next step before, I am more than ready now!
I have so much more I want to bring to you through By Chef Jen, and finally having a 24/7 space would enable me to do just that.
I would also be able to restart my community work, something which is very close to my heart and that would give me such fulfilment to continue.
Thank you so much for being a part of my journey so far, I can't wait to build the next stage together.
Chef Jen x
Disclaimer/Terms + Conditions: If for any reason the property I'm currently looking to make an offer on falls through (these things happen) the money will still be used for the same purpose - to secure a commercial kitchen premises for my business ASAP. Having funds behind me so that I can act fast is going to be essential to making this happen!
Supporters will be kept up to date with all progress via email (unless you really don't want me to.)
Thanks, and wish me luck!