Tomkinson has spent the past two years setting up the company while serving as finance director at 2 Sisters – a role he held since 2012.
Drawing on 10 years of experience in the food and drink industry, Tomkinson launched Thyme to target a gap in the frozen food market for high quality frozen food.
“We [Consumers] will happily freeze our own home-cooked meals, but most of the things we buy ready frozen are either vegetables, potatoes or covered in bright orange breadcrumbs and hidden away in boxes or bags,” said Tomkinson.
‘Don’t really trust frozen food’
“People basically trust their freezer, but don’t really trust frozen food, and that is such a waste. With everyone’s time pressures increasing and people really tuning into food quality, we are hoping to solve both those issues.”
The company – based at Hatton Rock near Stratford-upon-Avon – received a number of orders before the business was formally launched. The amount of interest has prompted Tomkinson to plan to take on 10 more staff.
Thyme supplies frozen meal and smoothies through its website through a subscription service. Deliveries are sent in an insulated box that keeps the products frozen for up to 27 hours.
Tomkinson said that dishes were prepared “as you would a home meal” and the company uses locally sourced ingredients as often as possible.
Locally sourced ingredients
Its range includes family ready meals, filled pastas with sauces, gourmet burgers and steaks and pre-portioned fruit, vegetable and protein smoothies.
Tomkinson added: “Setting up Thyme from scratch has been really exciting, but we also have great experience in the food sector. I worked with 2 Sisters long enough to see how it grew successfully and that has been a great education.”
Thyme has chosen not to offer its products through supermarkets, making them only available through its website.
Meanwhile, the UK frozen food market was valued at £8.13bn, according to a report from the British Frozen Food Federation. Read more details in the box below.
British frozen food facts – at a glance
- Total market value: £8.13bn
- Retail: £3.73bn
- Foodservice: £2.4M
- Retail growth: 2% over next five years
- Foodservice growth: more than 2%
Source: British Frozen Food Federation’s Frozen Food Report II