On July 23rd Alex and I, from the VantagePoint team were invited to Pickadeli headquarters to get a bit more insight into this unique business. We wanted to know where the idea of the business had come from and where they were hoping it was going.
As soon as we arrived Carmen greeted us with a very warm welcome, and we were taken through to the kitchen, which is a huge open plan space, however, benefits from a very homely feel.
Carmen explained to us that her daughter has learning difficulties, and she found that when her daughter ate processed, unhealthy or fast food, she found her attention span would be noticeably lower, she would also struggle to concentrate.
This is when the seed of Pickadeli was planted. Having young children and trying to cater different meals for each of them, Carmen decided to experiment with new healthy options that she could feed the kids.
Over time this seed grew, and the business was formed. Pickadeli was founded because Carmen and Mark would like their daughter to have something to focus on when she leaves school. They have found that the kitchen is one place their daughter can throw herself into projects and she loves it. One day, Mark and Carmen are hoping to provide a workplace where other students with special needs and learning difficulties can work and flourish together.
Whist we were there, Carmen’s daughter, Fionn was in the kitchen, and was having a brilliant time creating a cherry bake cake. She seemed in her element and Alex and I could sit and try the food, but because of the open plan kitchen we were also able to chat to Fionn about her love for cooking.
The first dish we tried was a salmon and wild rice dish. This was accompanied with watercress and pink grapefruit and served with a citrus dressing. The flavours were subtle and complimented each other so well. The portion size was also very generous.
We also tried the burrito bowl; this was chipotle and paprika marinated chicken pieces, served on a bed of rice with jalapeño peppers and bell peppers, served with a side of homemade guacamole. Again, the seasoning was delicate and although there was a slight kick, it was in no way overpowering.
Carmen had also prepared one of their wraps, which was chicken and salad with homemade mustard mayonnaise on top. The mustard had a lot of flavour, and I thought I could taste a hint of horseradish, but it was just the flavors of the mustard. The wrap was again a very generous size and it was so fresh, with a range of different textures that pleased the palate with every mouthful.
This company is also very environmentally friendly. When they started out, they promised themselves never to use plastic and/or non-recyclable packaging. The packaging is 100% plastic free and 95% compostable. They also deliver locally within a 10-mile radius, which keeps their carbon footprint tiny. In addition to this, they source all ingredients from lovely, local suppliers wherever they can.
The food is all natural and a weekly subscription is £18.75 per week -the first week it’s HALF PRICE! They deliver 3 days a week now with the end goal being 5 days a week. They also accommodate for all sorts of dietary requirements and enjoy a challenge!
Some members of VantagePoint have already signed up and can’t wait to take our disposable lunchboxes out to the park and have summer picnics as a team!