1) Kris, you and Rob (co-founder) go back a long way. Can you tell us about how long you’ve known each other and how you came up for the idea for the business?
Myself and Rob have been friends since our early teens and came up with the idea of opening a healthy eatery whilst training in the gym together. After workouts, we would always go for something to eat for a post workout meal/shake but at the time this proved difficult with not many places offering freshly prepared food/drinks that were actually that healthy. We then felt there was a gap in the market which led us on to opening our first Store in the heart of St Albans.
2) For anyone thinking of starting up business with a friend, how do you keep business and friendship separate, and how do you deal with obstacles/disagreements?
I think rule number 1 when starting up a business with a friend is establishing each other's roles and responsibilities to ensure your business runs smoothly which helps overcoming any obstacles/disagreements. Keeping a healthy balance of friendship/business is something myself and Rob have done, making sure our friendship is a priority but sharing the same passion and vision for the business.
3) How did you come up with the name for the brand, and were there any other close contenders?
We always wanted our brand name to be associated with health/fitness which is how we come up with the name “HIIT’ Kitchen (High intensity interval training).
4) You’ve got a background as a personal trainer. Can you tell us more about this and when fitness became a part of your life?
I've always had a passion for health and fitness with having a footballing background from a young age. From the age 17 I then started to pursue a career as a personal trainer which is when fitness became a big part of my life.
5) In your opinion, what do you think are the most important types of exercises that everyone should do regularly? Is it important to have a mix of different activities?
This is dependent on each individual and their overall ability and goals but I'm a massive fan of functional training which is mimicking movements that you do in everyday life within your training routine.
6) What are your tips for keeping fit during lockdown when people can’t go to the gym?
This is an opportunity to maybe incorporate different workouts into your daily routine that you've never done before, whether that is running, cycling or virtual Instagram live workouts for example. These are all great ways to stay active in the comfort of your own home/outdoors with minimal equipment required.
HIIT Kitchen will be hosting Instagram live workouts over the next coming weeks, so keep your eyes peeled and get involved!!
7) What are the most important things you do in life to stay healthy? (fitness, food, lifestyle etc)
I train regularly, between 3/5 time a week along with maintaining a balanced diet (Mostly fuelled by our HIIT Kitchen meals). I find this important not for just my physical well-being but also mentally to keep focused and energised throughout the week.
8) What lessons have you learned from working at HIIT Kitchen?
There’s been many lessons learned over the past 2 and half years and it sounds very cliché but for me patience has been key. Having patience and believing in our product/brand has been invaluable, especially when times get tough (there are many of these in the early days when starting up your own business).
9) Have you got any funny stories from your time at HIIT Kitchen so far?
There’s plenty!! One that stands out for me was purchasing our brand new van and on our first ever delivery to drop meals off to a customers house we actually ended up crashing into the customers parked car outside their home before even managing to make their front door to deliver their food.
At the time, this was obviously far from funny but looking back this just summed us up.
P.S Rob was the driver!!
10) What are your proudest work achievements so far?
This would have to be opening our first HIIT Kitchen store in St Albans. With zero experience in retail and the food/beverage industry this was a huge challenge and commitment, but now looking at our brand which has started to become well-established and recognisable in the health/fitness food industry is something to be proud of.