Thai Apron Meal Kits aims to help you cook authentic Thai food during the pandemic without having to leave the house to search for those oriental and rare ingredients.
Each kit is freshly packaged and pre-portioned for 2 people, with authentic Thai ingredients including fresh meats and homemade sauces. The kit comes with step-by-step instruction cards that will help you cook a traditional Thai meal for you, your family and friends!
Thai Apron is based in Greater Manchester. KC, the founder of Thai Apron started by doing local delivery runs around the local area once a month. Now, the small business is delivering to doorsteps across the UK every week.
Where did the idea for Thai Apron come from?
I was furloughed from my full-time job during the pandemic back in March 2020. I suddenly had all this time on my hands.
My partner suggested that I should do something with my cooking as my friends, family and colleagues always enjoyed my food and I loved cooking for them! At first, he suggested that I could cook ready-meals to sell, but it didn’t make me scream “YES”.
Then one day, I came across some meal kits from a ramen brand. At that stage, meal kits were not as popular yet. I saw that this was something I could make work with Thai food as there weren’t any other Thai brands for meal kits yet.
So with the news of the virus and the restrictions at the time, I know people didn’t want to go out. I thought Thai Apron will save their time and hassle of going out to search for the oriental ingredients. They can have it all delivered right to their doorstep and learn to cook traditional Thai food at home!
What does your typical week look like and how do you make it productive?
Currently, I am shipping once a week. The kits are despatched on Thursday morning or afternoon.
I usually wake up at 3 am on Thursday morning and prepare all the fresh produce like vegetables and meats. and this will take me until 7 to 8 am in the morning.
I then pack the orders and close the boxes up for the courier to collect them. They sometimes come early in the morning. At other times, they come by in the afternoon. However, I like to have the boxes ready for the morning. Once they’re collected, I send out the ‘despatched’ notification.
On Monday and Tuesday, I prepare all the dry ingredients, constantly checking all the orders coming in as well. Wednesdays, I go out and shop for the fresh ingredients that I need. Meanwhile on Fridays, I check all my stock and get my orders in for any packaging or dry ingredients that I need for the following week.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive?
To be honest, I have quite a few lazy habits!
But it’s my partner who pushes me to get out of these habits. He inspires me to become the best version of myself.
He has supported me all the way and encourages me to do my best for my business. Now that I’m doing something I love, I really put all my effort in without a second thought.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Believe in yourself more and don’t be afraid to go after something big.
What is the one thing you do over and over again and recommend everyone else do?
Both in my personal and professional life, I get a lot of people messaging me and asking for tips on how to start a business. They ask about how I got started and more.
I like sharing my experience with them, but I must admit that I do not know it all. Of course, I don’t! I’m still learning new things every day but I share some of my experience to help them get started.
I remember the guys behind the ramen kits (YaoYao Noodles) I mentioned. They gave me lots of advice and even helped provide me with my first set of packaging to get started.
I appreciated it so much that I want to spread the same positivity.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Consistency. Don’t ever give up. You have to be consistent.
You’ll have days where you might feel as if it’s not working out or you’re not getting many orders but you just have to keep going rather than taking a break or backing down because it’ll be so much harder to get back into it.
I had a month of not many orders and I was thinking maybe I should take a break.
But when I thought about it, I could be working and doing something to fix it rather than letting it just fade away even more.
What's one trend in the F&B industry that excites you?
I would definitely say the meal kits and at-home food experiences.
It is at another level and I know it’s only become a trend because of the pandemic.
But it will now always be around and there are so many different and quirky DIY kits from burgers and pizzas to cocktail making and so much more.
What is the best £20 you recently spent? What and why?
Personally, I spend too much money on Amazon Prime! But I did buy this portable thermal label printer from Amazon which was £25.
It is for labelling the little deli pots for the kits and it’s come in so handy. I just want to label everything with it!
What is your favourite quote?
I am not sure who this is from but I saw it on Instagram once and it’s been in my head since.
“Ask yourself, is it going to be One day or Day one?”
What are some of your favourite places to eat at?
Before the pandemic, I really enjoyed going to places like Mackie Mayers (Manchester) and Duke St Food Market and Baltic Market (Liverpool).
They’re like a big hall of food stalls under one roof and it’s so good when you go out with friends who want to have something different to what you might fancy.
They are in renovated old buildings. I find them quite cool and quirky.
What's the best thing to order from Thai Apron?
I recommend the Yellow Curry Khao Soi or The classic Pad Thai Kit which are the most popular.
Are there any exciting plans coming from Thai Apron soon?
I do hope that once the pandemic eases in the UK, life will go back a bit to the norm. I would love to do some pop-up stalls, cooking classes, events and private catering!
Are you craving for some Thai food? Check out our Thai Green Tofu Curry recipe that you can cook at home.