Dragon Slayer Kirsty Henshaw is a truly awesome speaker.
The founder of Kirsty’s range of healthy ready meals, Kirsty describes herself as a real mum from Lancashire.
Kirsty started her business 10 years ago when she discovered her son Jacob was allergic to nuts and intolerant to gluten and dairy. After the initial panic and worry that he was going to go hungry, she began exploring free-from food options. Kirsty soon realised that many of the food products which were safe for him to eat were not particularly healthy. So she started to make everything from scratch.
Jacob became a big fan of her healthy, free-from ice-cream and at that point she had her ‘eureka’ moment. She realised she had created something she could sell to other people. She went on to launch my ice-cream in health food shops across the UK.
Trying to juggle work, parenthood and making ice-cream, Kirsty then took a leap of faith and entered into the Dragons’ Den in 2010. You may remember it – she was the one who cried happy tears!
For the next three years she worked with Peter Jones and Duncan Bannatyne. What an experience that was! As the business developed the demands on her time increased significantly. As a busy mum she tried to buy healthy ready meals for those evenings when time was short but soon realised that ready meals were packed full of hidden sugars and salt and there were no free-from alternatives for Jacob. So Kirsty decided to launch a range of healthy chilled ready meals that could be enjoyed by everyone, including people with food allergies, intolerances and Coeliac Disease.
She rebranded as Kirsty’s in 2012 because she wanted to personalise the brand and really connect with my customers and the first range of her naturally healthy, free-from chilled ready meals launched into supermarkets.
Kirsty is not a dietician or a qualified chef but she does care passionately about what goes into our food. She doesn’t think our meals need gluten, wheat or dairy to taste delicious and doesn’t include them in any of her recipes. She is justifiably proud of The Kirsty’s brand and in 2015 she launched the UK’s first range of free-from children’s meals: Kids’ Kitchen.
She is an outstanding speaker and loves to share the truth about running a business including all the monumental hurdles she has had to climb along with the catastrophic and hilarious moments that happen along the way.