Getting to Know you: Charlie Bigham

What do you currently do?
I’m Charlie and I founded Charlie Bigham’s back in 1996 with the sole aim of creating really delicious, top quality dishes for people to enjoy at home.

All of our dishes have always been handmade in our own kitchens and I am very proud of the care and attention that goes into making them. Every one of our meals is made for two to share so they give couples up and down the country the chance to steal back some time together and enjoy a wonderful night in over some really tasty food.

What is your inspiration in business?
There are millions of ready meals out there but most of them are full of rubbish and are generally no good for you. Nobody needs to eat nasty food; food is one of life’s great joys so I think it is there to be enjoyed. I founded Charlie Bigham’s with this in mind: delicious, proper food that you would find in any good restaurant, except you can enjoy it in the comfort of your own home.

Who do you admire?
Julian Metcalfe, founder of Prêt a Manger and Itsu: both businesses are built around fresh and well prepared food. I value Julian’s passion for producing thoughtfully made deli-style food using natural ingredients, which is very similar to our own ethos.

Looking back, are there things you would have done differently?
No I don’t believe in regrets – they only waste time and energy. I would rather focus on the future; learn from mistakes, of course, but then move on.

What defines your way of doing business?
Take pride in everything that you do and you will do something worthwhile. I honestly believe that if you want something enough, you’ll get it but it doesn’t come without putting a lot of work in.

Having decided life was too short to be a management consultant forever, my wife and I swapped our working life in London for the streets of the Middle East and India, igniting my passion for incredible food and flavours. Seeing the enthusiasm for fresh, tasty food encouraged me to put all my efforts into setting up the business.

What advice would you give to someone just starting out?
Don’t procrastinate: get started and you’ll learn all the important stuff along the way.

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