A Merseyside-based start-up offering nutritious meals for an affordable price has received a £100,000 loan from NPIF – BFS & MSIF Microfinance, part of the Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund.
Bite Club, based in The Accelerator Building in Liverpool City Centre, provides nutritious and healthy superfood meals across the city from their cafés in multiple sites, branded fridges and app-powered online delivery service.
The company was formed in 2016 by two University of Liverpool students Matt Evans (MBA post graduate) and Chris Bell (undergraduate).
Chris and Matt identified a gap in the university’s catering offering and worked on a strategy to provide students with a healthy alternative to the current convenience food offering. Whilst researching further, the pair realised that there were very few options in the city for nutritious lunches and meals and started working on plans to expand their business across the city.
Since its inception in 2017, Bite Club has expanded rapidly, thanks to the constantly growing pre-packaged convenience food market, and a product offering that is something completely different to current offerings.
The Bite Club menu is specially created using a range of highly nutritious superfoods including grains, seeds, fish, protein, dairy, vegetables, herbs and spices. As a result, every Bite Club meal provides a wholesome, healthy lunch with at least 75 per cent plant fibre.
The funding from MSIF has allowed the company to finish developing their website and mobile application, cover initial capital expenditure and be used as growth capital for the business.
Bite Club is also the current sole food provider at Liverpool University’s Sports and Fitness Centre, and also offer their food in 11 food outlets across the University of Liverpool’s campus. Bite Club also have an agreement to supply their meals to The Royal Liverpool University Hospital.
Matt Evans, co-founder of Bite Club, said: “This is an incredibly exciting time for Bite Club, and this round of funding from MSIF will allow us to expand the business rapidly and increase our production to meet demand. Liverpool is a thriving city, with new businesses starting up every day, and we’re proud to say that we’re among them.
“We’ve spent a lot of time making sure that our product is the best that it can be, and that we’re targeting the correct markets in Liverpool. With MSIF’s help we can now increase the pace and set our sights on where we want the business to go next.”
Paul Humphray, MSIF Investment Director, said: “There is a really great team behind the Bite Club business. They have completed a significant amount of research to understand the market place and to build the right product offering. There is a lot of room for expansion for the business, in to other universities across the country and also into other hospitals and NHS providers.”
“The app is great, and the food is delicious. I’m excited to see this business grow across the North West, and hopefully nationwide.”
Sue Barnard, Senior Relationship Manager at British Business Bank, said: “Hubs such as The Accelerator are brilliant resources for both new and growing businesses and are vital to nurturing small businesses. We are pleased to announce this investment in Bite Club, and further support the SME community in Liverpool and the wider North.”
The Northern Powerhouse Investment Fund project is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020 and the European Investment Bank.