Ipswich nurse hopes new business will boost health in the town

Lauren Wark

Lauren Wark has launched her own business to bring nutritious meals to local people - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

An Ipswich nurse has launched her own meal kit business to help keep fellow busy workers eating healthy.

Lauren Wark, niece of Ipswich Town legend John Wark, launched her business on a small scale last year alongside her mum – but has now expanded to bring her nutritious meals to the masses.

Miss Wark, who is an agency nurse, started Wark's Kitchen as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, with quieter accident and emergency departments seeing her struggle to find regular work locally.

Her food had already gained the plaudits from boxers at Grange Fitness and Performance Centre in Martlesham Heath, with Miss Wark having first offered to cook healthy but tasty meals for those in training.

She now runs the on-site cafe with business partner Matt Brennan while working a nursing shift one day a week.

Dishes on the menu – which can all be heated in the microwave – include satay chicken, sweet chilli tofu and lemon chicken with creamy orzo pasta.

Miss Wark said she wants to help teach people that eating healthy can still be fun.

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She said: "I don't want people to think that healthy food means boring food – eating healthy doesn't mean you're eating lettuce and boiled chicken.

"My customers always tell me they feel like they're eating a cheat meal. One even said it tasted as good as a takeaway.

"It is just all about portion sizes and keeping things nutritious."

Lauren Wark first got into fitness when taking part in a charity boxing match, and began cooking for fellow boxers

Lauren Wark first got into fitness when taking part in a charity boxing match, and began cooking for fellow boxers - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

However, she is not only targeting gym-goers and athletes, instead wanting to help busy shift workers such as nurses and doctors who can't find the time to cook.

She said: "I've worked shifts at West Suffolk Hospital and have brought in meals for staff there and at Ipswich Hospital.

"It can be so difficult for nurses to find time to eat, they only get 30 minutes and as soon as they've reached the end of the queue at the coffee shop, their break is over.

"It can leave people relying on the chocolate and snacks patients bring in.

"I don't want this to just be something for gym-goers or people training, it can be a way for people working busy shifts who can't find the time to cook a way to eat healthy and well."

More information can be found here.

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