Nigel is the owner of The Proper Food and Drink Company, a group of experience enhancing brands encompassing food, service and luxury travel; and the former owner of Fresh Direct, one of the biggest fresh food suppliers and wholesalers in the UK.
At the age of 18, Nigel started buying fruit, salads and vegetables from his father’s 35-strong chain of shops – FreshGro in Oxfordshire and West Buckinghamshire – to sell to hospitals and pubs.
A few years later, Nigel took over the reigns and renamed the company Fresh Direct, building it up to serve 20,000 customers a day out of 22 depots nationwide, with a turnover of £500m and a staff of over 4,000 people. Fresh Direct also expanded to acquire brands such as: M&J Seafood, PCC Meats, Wild Harvest and Pauley’s.
In 2007, Nigel decided he wanted to add more value to the produce Fresh Direct was buying from all over the world, and started a new concept called Fresh Kitchen, which led to the growth of Absolute Taste and F3.
After 20 years in the industry, Nigel decided it was time to further develop the business to become the only caterer in the world that buys direct from the people that grow and rear food with the most experience.
With years of knowledge and experience of procurement strategies, Nigel likes to challenge the norm, and to find the best cost-price solutions with the highest standards. All of this, he says, is borne out of a genuine desire to improve the food industry.