How did the idea for NVKED come about?
Many different things inspired me to start this kind of business but mostly it was my own struggle with finding time to prepare my own meals. Having been on a long weight loss journey and eating differently to the rest of the family meant that I had to cook and prepare everything for myself. Going to university, tackling loads of assignments and trying to keep up with life, it was not always possible to find the time to do so.
Having had great success with my weight loss, I met a lot of people for whom the struggle to find time to prepare healthy food was the main reason for their subsequent failures in weight loss. Apart from that, my time eating a solely plant-based diet inspired me to look at alternatives – mostly in pastry and dessert-making – in which dairy, eggs and animal derived products are eliminated. After fusing the two together, NVKED was born. At NVKED, we provide both ready-made meals as well as vegan desserts and healthier alternatives to chemical-ridden 'healthy' food like protein bars.
How did you go about turning your idea into a real company?
At first I had no idea how to go about turning this idea I had into reality. After speaking with an accountant and with family members who have their own catering business, I got a better idea about what it would entail. From then on, I started working on creating the NVKED website, menus, testing out and developing recipes, as well as coming up with marketing strategies. I launched my services by the end of October and since then I have always looked ahead and tried to come up with new ideas for the business.
What services does NVKED offer and who are its target customers?
Our services range from ready-made frozen meals delivered in oven-safe dishes to desserts, cakes, treats and protein bars which are raw vegan with no added artificial colourings or preservatives. All our meals need is time to thaw and to be put in the oven for a couple of minutes, saving our customers hours in meal prepping and cooking each week. Apart from that, we also offer a large range of ready-to-eat cakes, treats, protein bars, energy balls and so on, for people looking at healthier alternatives to what is currently available on the market. Everything in our raw treat section is freshly made from scratch using premium nuts, seeds and animal by-product free ingredients.
In the beginning of 2018 we introduced a two-day raw vegan cleanse which aims at giving weight loss a boost the healthy way. It's great for people starting out their journey or for those who want a change. The response so far has been very positive. The people who will benefit the most from our services are those who wish to lead a healthier lifestyle or even lose weight but lack the time to prepare healthy dishes at home.
NVKED is still a young company - how has the response from the public been so far?
The response from the public has been amazing - I have received a lot of support and positive feedback it makes everything worthwhile. As of now, I am still working on my own with help from family members since we are all in the catering business and have a lot of experience in the sector, but it also gives you a sense of hope as to what the future of the company may hold.
Did you encounter any challenges along the way?
Entering the catering industry which is dominated by bigger, well-known brands is a great challenge; however, since NVKED differentiates itself by focusing its product line on healthy and convenient food alternatives, it has been advantageous in helping the company make a name for itself.
What do you think makes NVKED stand out from other companies in Malta?
NVKED is certainly one of a kind; the large range of services and products offered by the company is unique in Malta. No other Maltese company offers raw, healthy, homemade food, monthly subscription boxes along with weight loss plans and an array of healthy treats and desserts all in one place. Apart from that, being one of the first e-commerce businesses within the catering industry in our country has made NVKED a pioneer in the sector.
Where would you like to see NVKED go from here?
In the future we are aiming at growing the business by providing new services and products, with several new projects already under way for 2018. Whatever it is that the future holds, keeping at heart the company's objectives and values is imperative for NVKED's success.