Following your heart
Founder Timo Boldt grew up on a farm in California. His parents questioned why he had never pursued his passion for balanced and nutritious food. With no real responsibilities such as kids or a mortgage, Boldt took the leap into entrepreneurship.
Leaving his lucrative job in the investment world, Boldt created Gousto, a recipe box company, delivering fresh, measured ingredients and recipes directly to homes. He decided Gousto was a winning idea as “there is a real need for more sustainably sourced food”.
A recipe for success
Boldt’s ambition coincided with a seismic shift in demand for widely available healthy food. Gousto tapped into this market perfectly, he says, and saw an opportunity to aim high and offer customers quality and convenience – something that had been missing from the UK grocery market.
“One billion meals are eaten in the UK each week – lunch and dinner combined,” explains Boldt. “If we conquer 1% of this market share, it could have a huge impact on food wastage.”
His grand vision has been essential in achieving numerous rounds of investment. “Shareholders have bought into my big-picture ambition,” Boldt explains. Gousto has successfully raised £28m to date.
Gousto’s commitment to producing impact beyond just financial returns is supported by a strong set of company values, known as its three ownership principles: “Dream, Deliver, Care”.
These principles permeate all elements of the company culture, from job interviews to salary reviews. Boldt believes this has helped the company attract the best people who have helped Gousto “punch above our weight”.
It all comes down to our people and how they help the business to scale
Timo Boldt, Gousto
“Everything works around these three principles to ensure everything the Gousto staff do on a daily basis results in a strong team dynamic, allowing us to continue to aim bigger and better.”
Resilience is key
However, Boldt has made many sacrifices along Gousto’s scale-up journey. He didn’t take a salary, had to make tough decisions, and transformed the company’s leadership team. “All of this has been immensely painful and quite emotional,” he explains.
Boldt highlights the importance of “resilience” and “organisational robustness” to help handle these inevitable scale-up hurdles. He believes strong company values have provided the company with essential organisational direction and togetherness during tough times.
Organic growth wins
Gousto is currently a UK-focused company, and Boldt has been defiant on ensuring he pursues “growing organically”. This is fuelled by a desire to prioritise customer retention over “blind growth”.
Rather than focusing on exports, investment has instead been used to help with organisational “heavy lifting”, developing automation and AI features. Gousto has benefited from a “strong market position”.
With the key business operations now in place, Boldt believes international expansion might soon be on the horizon. But staying true to Gousto’s values, “we’re still growing 100% organically,” he concludes.