Despite its Scandinavian inspiration, there’s no Swedish chef behind the Rising Stars startup category winner, Dinner Twist.
Swedes My Tistrand, a retail manager, and her husband Chris, an automation engineer, stumbled across the concept during a return trip to their homeland after working in Perth and deciding they wanted to stay in Western Australia.
While the Swedish chef might be fondly remembered by fans of the children’s show The Muppets, he was no whiz in the kitchen.
Perhaps he would have been better off with the assistance of the Tistrands and their exciting business which, as the name suggests, offers a twist on the typical approach in the growing home meal delivery sector.
Dinner Twist’s difference is that the customer does the cooking.
Outsourcing of home-based tasks is a growth industry, enabled in part by the rise of technology that makes some areas, such as the ordering and delivery of groceries and meals, far easier than ever before.
Dinner Twist has taken those two niche services and neatly divided the tasks in a way that saves the customer time, but doesn’t entirely remove them from one of the most important events for any traditional home – the making of the family dinner.
It creates a menu, puts together the ingredients and provides the recipes, but leaves the production to the customer.
In what is an otherwise crowded market of ready-to-serve meals, often targeted at the elderly or families operating on a tight budget, Dinner Twist has a fresh and innovative approach that is distinct and different.
“With new recipes each week, the family will soon get involved and gathering around the dinner table is again a family highlight,” Mr Tistrand said.
“All the food is cooked from scratch so (there are) no hidden ingredients or processed nasties.
“Our customers choose their style of food; the Family box with classic ingredients and flavour combinations or the Foodie box with an eye on what’s trending in the food world, more wholesome and a journey for your tastebuds.
“Your weekly or fortnightly box is available for two or four people, and the larger households can add an up-size to double up on protein.”
The business started in October 2010, just after the new parents returned from their holiday to Sweden. The first dinner box order arrived in March 2012 and the business now delivers to around 350 households per week employing a team of 14 people.
The business is completely self funded, having grown through bootstrapping and took two very intense years to make a return on investment.
“The journey has been fantastic and when we have been ready to throw in the kitchen towel, an emotional email from a lovely customer has re-energised us every time,” Mr Tistrand said.
“It's stories from an exhausted mum whose kids now eat healthy food, family weight loss stories or those undergoing cancer treatment who wish to eat clean.”
From the start, Dinner Twist aimed below normal industry margins and included all of metropolitan Perth.
“Our efforts are directed on optimising our supply chain, lowering our costs and retaining our customers rather than upping the price to keep healthy margins,” Mr Tistrand said.