Vital Ingredient

A Healthier You

Someone who knows all about healthy eating is Alex Heynes who founded Vital Ingredient, a chain of salad bars, in 2001. His New York-style salad bar now has 20 stores across the capital, employing over 250 people and serving 35,000 freshly-tossed salads every week.

Last year, the company received an investment package from LDC, the private equity arm of Lloyds Bank, enabling the business to continue to grow its London presence and support expansion into new cities across the UK.

LDC are backing the management team to increase the estate within the next three years to at least 35 stores. Vital will also be introducing new store formats and exploring new brand partnerships as part of its growth strategy.

Progressive Opportunity

Vital Ingredient has a progressive employment policy, working with a specialist agency geared toward getting local people back into work – especially those who have been out of work for a while due to health or family problems.

Alex said: “We are employing more and more part timers that are not only single parents but also parents with children at school, so we are providing them with an opportunity to earn some money, working around their children’s school hours and also providing an opportunity to start a career within retail that they can build on as they learn.”

All ingredients in Vital Ingredient’s salads are purchased from UK producers and packers when the seasons allow and the company is committed to working alongside the UK farming community.

Helping Britain Prosper

Vital Ingredient isn’t only committed to helping adults eat better. They also support a nationwide charity, Magic Breakfast, donating 10p from every Magic Porridge sale towards providing 23,500 nutritious breakfasts each morning to children in deprived areas.

Alex said: “We know that a good start in the morning is integral to health and wellbeing, especially for children. It’s hard to concentrate if you have an empty stomach and are hungry.”