All in a Day's Work

Michelle Laithwaite, Fuel Hub, tells us about her role in food and drink

By Michelle Laithwaite

- Last updated on GMT

Michelle Laithwaite - CEO and co-founder of Fuel Hub
Michelle Laithwaite - CEO and co-founder of Fuel Hub

Related tags Business Leadership

Michelle Laithwaite, CEO and co-founder of Fuel Hub, tells Food Manufacture a little about herself and her role at the company in our latest 'All in a Day's Work'.


Michelle Laithwaite



Job title

Chief executive officer and co-founder

Company and location

Fuel Hub, Warrington


High school education and self-made business woman

What's your favourite food/drink?

My favourite meal has got to one from Fuel Hub, especially our honey and chilli beef with leek fried rice being my standout. Outside of work, it’s impossible to pick one but my top three are a proper Neapolitan pizza, coffee, and a large glass of Chateau Margaux.

What inspired you to enter F&B?

In my previous career in fashion, I found myself travelling all over the world and always being on the go. I was eating out a lot at nice restaurants, but I also struggled to find the time to cook myself a nutritious, healthy and convenient meal to have when I was in a rush.

Being into my fitness, I couldn’t find a meal provider that supported my lifestyle, and that offered all the high quality nutrition I needed – I wasn’t confident on the source of ingredients these providers were using. I knew there was a gap in the market for people that were focused on their macronutrients and wanting clean fresh meals without compromising on taste. I believe that food is fuel, but it is also one of life’s greatest pleasures.

Tell us about your role

It’s easy to get absorbed into achieving business objectives, but my most crucial role is to be the guiding star of the business. My job is to look at the bigger picture and make sure we’re heading in that direction. It’s also vital I make important decisions daily that accelerate our growth and make strategic moves that ensure we’re future proofing our business.

I see myself as the company’s captain, inspiring my team to believe in and build an emotive connection to the vision and purpose of Fuel Hub. Our goal is to truly transform the health of people’s lives, so it’s my job to make sure our people work every day to do exactly that. My role is to recruit the best people and experts, and make sure they help create a culture that buys into our mission.

What does your typical day look life?

Each day is different to the next, but I’ll always have my daily catch ups with my heads of departments to get a top-level view of what’s going on. I oversee all departments of the business, and whatever needs the most attention on a specific day, that’s what I’ll focus on most.

Each day I make sure we’re operating as a high-performing team that’s aligned to the business’ goals and KPIs. My day constantly involves inspiring and motivating everyone towards the bigger picture, as well as being there for when the team needs encouragement and support.

How did you get to where you are today?

I grew up in a working-class environment that didn’t have a lot of opportunity, but I always had the mindset that if I did something I’d make it work. I just had a car and a pocket full of ambition, grafting in any job I found myself in – I wanted to be as successful as I could be.

Forging a successful career in fashion, its short term and trend-led business model was something I wasn’t passionate about. The industry felt personable and not business led so I felt that it was time to create a business I truly believed in that had long-term purpose at its core. After a year of testing the idea of Fuel Hub, the feedback was overwhelming and was enough to set myself and co-founder James to be laser focused to make it a success.

When you’re having a bad day, what cheers you up?

Reminding myself of the incredible people around me, whether that’s through my husband, children or team members – it’s what gets me through challenging days.

I also remind myself that we started Fuel Hub just before COVID, as well as giving birth to my child on the day of our launch. At the time, cooking meals in our first small commercial kitchen with my newborn in the pram next to me seemed to be the biggest hurdle of them all. Fast-forward four years later and we’re facing an unprecedented energy crisis, record-level inflation, and a once-in-a-life cost of living crisis. Yet we’re still here and growing faster than ever. I need to remind myself that we’ve overcome greater challenges than just a bad day.

However, a sauna and an ice bath does have its magic.

What’s your favourite part about the food sector?

There are so many opportunities in the food sector, especially in our subsector. For all the pain of the pandemic, it opened the door for businesses like ours to thrive. Consumer habits are moving towards health and convenience, which is a space we’re quickly dominating in and don’t expect to slow down. The food sector can be saturated with different products, but ours is attracting some of UK’s most elite athletes, which is something we’re proud of.

If you could change one thing about the F&B sector what would it be?

Our focus is on running a company that operates on a completely zero food waste model. Sustainability sits at the core of everything that we do, so we aim to reduce as much waste where we can. Every component of our product is fully sustainable, and I think that if other companies in the F&B sector were dedicated to making these changes, then the sector as a whole could become an exemplar of waste management.

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