How this Galway-based firm is taking the confusion (and boredom) out of healthy eating
The two men behind a Galway-based food delivery service have an ambition to make sticking to a healthy diet less daunting, and more enjoyable.
Clean Cut Meals founders Micheal Dyer and Conor McCallion met in GMIT college, and the two bonded over their shared passion for healthy food and fit living.
But it wasn't until they spent a summer together as students working in the US that the idea for the business was born.
"We'd met through mutual friends and shared a lot of lectures together; Micheal was studying Culinary Arts and I was doing Hotel and Catering," Conor told Independent.ie.
"The idea occurred to us while we were both in San Fransisco, working on a building site, head to toe in dust and hating our lives.
"We were watching people coming out of a gym nearby with their healthy snacks in Tupperware and thought 'we can do that'," he said.
Returning to Galway "to give it a good lash", the business began in 2014 in a home kitchen cooking for friends and family.
Just over four years later, Clean Cut Meals provides a nationwide service and has delivered over 500,000 meals across the 32 counties in Ireland.
Growing from the two founders to a 10-strong team, which is still expanding, the business is now based at a facility in Clarinbridge in Co Galway.
As Clean Cut Meals has expanded, Micheal no longer cooks in the kitchen, and Conor doesn't deliver to every customer - but the ethos of the company remains strong.
"Eating right can be so confusing for people; they are inundated with information on what they should be consuming and why. But with so much information on what you should be doing, this advice can often be overwhelming and, as a result, ineffective," said Conor.
The idea behind the firm was to simplify the prep and management of a set meal plan, without losing the variety that often gets overlooked with personal training diet.
"You could lose hours each week, shopping, prepping, cooking and as well making the decision about what you actually want to eat," added Micheal.
"No one has time to be prepping food, weighing out the correct portion sizes and wondering if they are really eating a balanced diet. and we change our menu every single week so people don't get bored".
The pair, who are currently in talks with an investor in the US, cited the power of social media when it came to initially building their client base.
"We had no website, we had no money, we had spent all our funds on produce to make the food. Facebook and Instagram were huge for us starting out and still are," said Conor.
"The first week we had over 3,000 Likes on our page and from that we had 24 orders, in terms of conversion rates we know this is not great but this was the world to us."