I recently went to Charlie Bigham's to meet the founder, and see the meals being made.
Charlie Bigham told me: "Our meals have a very broad appeal, that occasion of being a bit busy, and wanting to shove something in the oven, pour a glass of wine, and relax. We aspire to being a company that produces really nice food. Our mantra is to be a little bit better every day, every month."
His advice for food start-ups?
"Start with an idea that works for customers, for retailers and for you.
Be consistent at applying the idea.
Be a little bit better at everything you do, every week, ideally, every month certainly, and every year, without fail.
We were spending 80-90% of our time with out chef team working on new recipes and only 10-20% on making our existing recipes better. We've turned that on its head. It's not about finding a way to make it cheaper. It's generally about being better, which is usually more expensive. Our average price is £7 for a dish for two people - that's £3.50 a head.
We believe that the simple equation of price, with quality added to it, is value for money."
After Horsegate, Charlie Bigham's have seen 46% year-on-year growth to retail sales of £26m. It looks like lots of customers agree.