Interview with Max Rees and Ed Hauck, Founders at Flexitarian Food Brand: The Curators

The Curators is a lifestyle food brand on a mission to being foodie flair to serious snacks. Seeing the incredible trend in the meat-free space, we recently expanded into this area with a range of delicious Mushrooms Burgers and Meatballs which you can now find in Tesco, Wholefoods and Planet Organic.

We’ve been friends working in the food industry for a number of years and bond over our love of amazing flavour and finding new exciting products on our travels. Our first product was Beef Biltong, an incredible South African recipe which we proudly make in the UK and launched into Fortnum & Mason, Selfridges and Sainsbury’s, followed by our fabulous Pork Puffs, a light crunchy snack inspired by our love of the Latin Street Snack Chicarronoes.

We’ve since added sensationally seasoned Almonds and Peanuts to broaden our offer across meat and plant-based. What ties all our snacks together is an amazing flavour underpinned by a core natural hero ingredient and great nutrition. We are a Great Taste Producer (winning awards in 3 successive years) which gives us huge validation in this area.

At The Curators, we pride ourselves on having the ability to trend spot and we already have our sights set on the next big thing. Our latest innovation, Mushroom Burgers and Meatballs are made using a unique process that delivers a super high mushroom content (at a whopping 86%), packing them full of umami, delicious taste and a fantastic ‘meaty’ texture. Bursting with natural protein, they are also low in saturated fat and provide a good source of fibre.

We are a tight-knit team of flavour fanatics and we’re never happier than when we are together sharing intrepid culinary experiences.


How did you come up with the idea for the company?

Both of us have always been foodies at heart, everything we make is inspired by the taste sensations we discover on our travels. We seek out fantastic flavours and intriguing ingredients in street markets, underground bars, hole-in-the-walls and hidden gems and bring them to market. This is what makes our business so unique.


How has the company evolved during the pandemic?

2020 was a very successful turning point year for us – which saw online sales rise 600% and doubled our turnover to £1.2m, 40% of which coming from online. Our plan is to triple the business in 2021 thanks to a funding drive that closed in March and saw a seven-figure sum from angel investors.

We’ve always aspired to be a digital-first business and pushed hard to achieve this vision. With thousands of consumers switching to shopping online since last March due to the pandemic, we had already laid the foundations for a strong platform in this area and saw revenues accelerate from £9K to £90K per month over the last 12 months, achieving over a £1million run-rate in this channel. The Curators is currently the number 1 product in our category on Amazon and is regularly in the top 200 grocery products on the entire platform which for a startup brand like us is huge.

What can we hope to see from The Curators in the future?

Our aim is to continue developing products that take inspiration from the best of the food industry and a range of influence from food service, chefs and hospitality through to the craft beer market, food festivals and world food trends. We are committed to making food we love and we love to share and to take you on adventures with taste. We are always searching for the next big thing so watch this space!