The Cereal Club - the breakfast home delivery service in North Yorkshire
PUBLISHED: 00:00 20 June 2016
Are you a cereal offender when it comes to skipping breakfast? Here's a solution to bowl you over, says Jo Haywood
What popped through your letterbox this morning? A bill, perhaps. Maybe a circular advertising a sofa sale (hurry; it must end soon apparently). Or, if you were very lucky, a takeaway pizza menu offering a free giant bottle of cola and curly fries with your first order.
Hardly makes your heart skip a beat, does it? (Apart from the pizza and fries, which are likely to make your heart skip several crucial beats eventually.)
So, how would you feel if you scooped your post off the mat tomorrow morning and found a tasty, nutritious breakfast in among your correspondence?
‘It should feel like you’re getting a gift,’ said Sam Leather, founder and director of The Cereal Club, a new North Yorkshire-based subscription service that delivers wholesome breakfast grains, nuts, seeds, dried fruit and superfoods through your letterbox.
For a bi-weekly fee of £11.99 (£1.19 per weekday breakfast), online subscribers receive a new cereal mix every two weeks, created by Sam and his team in Tockwith and packaged up in ten, nutritionally-balanced portions to ensure you start the day well.
Each breakfast, specially designed in accordance with the NHS’s Change 4 Life guidelines, works out at about 400 calories (if you’re interested in such things) when eaten with a splash of semi-skimmed or milk alternative and a handful of fruit.
They also come with an optimal nutrition profile specifically calculated to ensure all your traffic lights stay the right colour (i.e. not red).
‘Look at most supermarket cereals and, nine times out of ten, the third biggest ingredient is sugar,’ said Sam. ‘With our cereal, you get a varied, interesting diet full of natural, healthy grains and superfoods and absolutely no added sugar. It’s clean, simple and delicious.’
It’s also portable. Subscribers receive a free, airtight clip-top jar with their first order, so there’s no excuse for skipping the most important meal of the day.
‘Our primary target audience to start with are young, city professionals,’ said Sam. ‘They’ll happily spend £15 on a quick lunch but claim not to have time for a healthy breakfast or, in fact, any breakfast at all.
‘Our cereals are healthy and portable, so there’s no excuse not to start the day well.’
So, is Sam a man who practises what he preaches?
‘I’ve always loved breakfast,’ he said. ‘We have a larder full of healthy grains and toppings at home and, I suppose, I’ve always taken that access for granted.
‘I’ve always been experimental with food and open to new ideas, and I just want to give everyone else the same opportunities.’
He’s also lucky to have access to a factory that can help him achieve his business dream. His father runs Country Products, which sells healthy store-cupboard essentials like nuts, seeds, spices and pulses.
‘I’ve always had a yearning to run my own business because I come from a family of self-employed, self-starters,’ said Sam. ‘I originally ran a coffee business (Nomi, which specialises in Japanese-inspired cold brew coffee) but there was a bit of a personality clash with my partner so I left to look for other opportunities.
‘It seemed logical to launch a business I could run from the factory, making good use of its down-time.’
The Cereal Club now gives him the opportunity to combine two of his passions: business and breakfast.
Grains for the granola, muesli, overnight oats and porridge are all grown in the UK, while the superfood supplements – goodies like goji, chia, almonds, cashews, coconut, maca powder and acai – are largely imported.
‘They’re not necessarily things you might have in your own larder at home, and they’re certainly not in your average supermarket cereal,’ said Sam. ‘They are, and will always be, completely natural. We use real ingredients; nothing more, nothing less.’
His minimalist, less-is-more ethos extends to the packaging of his products, which arrive through subscribers’ letterboxes in slim cardboard boxes bearing the subtlest of logos. His website and correspondence utilise a pared-back, simple colour palette with a clean white border around everything. And each shipment of cereal is sent out wrapped in white tissue paper, hand-stamped with the date.
Sam is obviously a young man who knows his own mind when it comes to business and ploughs his own furrow when it comes to styling. But that doesn’t mean his view is entirely insular.
He actively seeks out other local businesses to partner up with for cross-promotion and includes free samples and discount codes in his packages for other small brands with a similar healthy ethos.
And, while we’re unlikely to see flourishing crops of goji berries and coconuts in Yorkshire anytime soon, he’s determined to make his business grow using resources from within the county wherever possible.
‘It’s important to me to keep as much of the business as I can here in Yorkshire, using the factory, sourcing locally and working with other neighbouring businesses,’ said Sam. ‘But, at the end of the day, what matters is the product.
‘It has to be clean, simple, convenient and delicious. That’s it.’