Turning personal setbacks into professional success: Nosh Detox

Raw chef and nutritionist Geeta Sidhu-Robb's home detox delivery service Nosh Detox is now a household name, but it didn't come easily. Here's her story.

Long before Geeta Sidhu-Robb’s home detox delivery service Nosh Detox became a household name, she faced a number of personal setbacks that called her whole life into question. Facing divorce, bankruptcy and nursing a her critically ill son suffering from severe food allergies and eczema, the trained raw chef and nutritionist decided to turn her lowest point into her highest. Now Nosh Detox serves celebrity clientele, including Gwyneth Paltrow, Georgia May Jagger and Poppy Delevingne. Here’s her story.

What does your business do?

Nosh Detox, which I founded in 2008, is the UK’s first ever home detoxification and weight-loss food and juice delivery service, We produce freshly made, non-pasteurised juice diets, detox and nutritional food plans across Europe and the UK. We extended our services by opening the health inspired Nosh Garden Kitchen in Bayswater, which offers raw and vegan cuisine, as well as the Nosh infusion clinic which offers a wide range of wellbeing treatments on King’s Road, Chelsea. We also offer individual and corporate performance and wellness coaching.

Where did the idea for your business come from?

My son had acute eczema and asthma, which were presumed to be incurable. I taught myself nutrition and health in order to heal him, which I managed successfully. Then a few years later, my best friend came to me, moaning about her weight. I wrote up a list for her to follow and within weeks she had lost a substantial amount of excess weight. It was then that it clicked; ‘hang on, people would pay for these types of services’. The rest is history.

How did you know there was a market for it?

I really didn’t to start with. What I knew was that I had a problem and so I imagined other people did too. In those days it was impossible to find food that was prepared and gluten and dairy free. So that was what we offered. I got my first clients from my the kids schools. Their parents didn’t have the time to cook but needed help. Standing out wasn’t a problem because, well, we were the first, so of course the specific market was relatively untouched. We don’t just sell food and juice. We offer health solutions for high performing individuals which span from physical to emotional support. All our customer services staff are trained as Health Coaches from the renowned Institute of Integrative Health so we invest in offering knowledgeable advice and practical solutions.

How did you raise funding, and why?

I had an overdraft facility for £2000 which I had literally forgotten about. I persuaded the bank to let me have that and used it to set up and start our sales. Then we used cashflow from sales and boostrapped the first two years. Only then did we go to individual investors for funding. So we never really raised any money.

Describe your business model in brief.

My Business model is very much based around providing a luxury, personalised prepay Wellness service for high performing individuals. We are a one stop shop in that we highlight the problem create the solution and then deliver it to the client. We have always been an ecommerce business until we launched our first clinic earlier this year on the Kings Road and then our restaurant in Bayswater.

Your lowest point was…

…also my highest! Initially being divorced and penniless forced me to sleep on a friend’s sofa with my three young children under the age of 7. I had to keep reminding myself that my son’s illness was much worse and at least we were all still alive. Being a single parent with small kids in general has been a total bugger from time to time. There’s really never enough of you to go around. I used to drop off the kids, and work till pick up. Then I would bath and feed them and when I put them to bed, I went back to work till about midnight and started again the next day at 6.30am! But now looking back, that has brought so many benefits. My children and I are very very close as a result and these events have made me am deeply resilient and courageous.

Your highest point was…

This would most definitely be curing my son of his chronic eczema and asthma. He is the reason why this all began and will always be a reminder of the wonderful things we achieve at Nosh Detox.

What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?

Be prepared for the long haul and for people to copy you incessantly. We developed a mantra when we first put RAW juices into wholefoods and supermarkets in 2012, ‘Buy it or bless it as you walk past’ because the minute we launched, we were copied and it’s never stopped. The good news is that it makes a bigger pie for us all. So just hang in there.
And never ever give up, just pivot.

Where do you want to be in five years’ time?

Well I am very ambitious person and I have so much I want to do. I have long been fascinated by Thought Leadership in the Wellness arena so I foresee a lot more coaching in the business in the next 5 years. And an IPO has crossed my mind too. I think the future will hold a lot more growth, fun, joy and happiness along the way.

If you weren’t an entrepreneur, you would be…

If I wasn’t an entrepreneur I’d be a motivational speaker or maybe an entertainer. I’m sure my children will disagree with me but I fancy myself as a bit of a comedienne!

If you could go back in time, would you do anything differently?

I sometimes wish that things would’ve been easier for my kids as they’ve really faced a lot of upheaval. Apart from that I wouldn’t change a thing.

What is your philosophy on business or life, in a nutshell?

There is no such thing as failure. Expect to launch everything in beta so you can change and make it better. What’s failure got to do with it?
Be the best at everything you do. Also, meditate daily. It’s the key to success

Praseeda Nair

Praseeda Nair

Praseeda was Editor for GrowthBusiness.co.uk from 2016 to 2018.

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Female founders