Vital was set up in 2001 by Alex Heynes, who first came across the idea of a freshly tossed salad bar whilst in New York.
“Whilst visiting NYC I spotted a restaurant with a display of hundreds of shiny lettuce-filled plastic bowls, long glass screened counters with an array of ingredients, lines of dressing bottles and hundreds of big metal mixing bowls and tongs hung on the back wall,” says Alex. Each one was made to order to the customer’s exact specification. There it was.
He began his Vital Ingredient business plan on the way home.
“I come from a farming family and have always been into good, honest, healthy food. I found it so difficult in the 90s to be able to eat what I actually wanted on lunch breaks while working in the City. It was frustrating that the options were limited to pre-made sandwiches.
In 2001, I started the first Vital Ingredient as a new food concept to provide others with what I was looking for, hoping they wanted it too. I was obsessed with ingredient provenance and freshness, friendly service and giving my customers control on being able to eat how and what they wish.
Today, my desire to provide such as a service is stronger than ever. I have always believed in what we have been striving to achieve but now the consumer too believes in and wants what we are offering. We will, therefore, push our boundaries to make Vital Ingredient the place to eat proper, fresh ingredients and to eat just the way you want to at any time of the day.”