Healthy street food company signs three-year lease after year of success despite pandemic

Date published: 06 April 2021

A healthy street food business which opened during the first national lockdown has signed a three-year lease with the Rochdale Exchange Shopping Centre.

Fresh Prep street food was established on 30 March 2020, providing healthy meals for under 500 calories and its location next to the JD Gym has helped it become a hit.

The business was begun by Nathan Sweeney, who formerly ran a café in Heywood with a friend, and previously travelled the world with the British Army for five years.

After selling the previous business, he set up Fresh Prep, joined by his stepfather, Paul Ingles, and brother, Adam Ingles, a singer who is temporarily helping out.

Store Manager Nathan, who has an interest in keeping fit, said: “When I opened during the first national lockdown, I am sure that everyone thought that I was mad. That provided me with an opportunity to open slowly and build my business gradually.

“We started off so busy, but with the lockdowns and the gyms shutting, it has been very difficult and working six days a week in the cold has been a struggle, but we managed with persistence and dedication. It just shows you what you put in, is what you get out.”

Now, 12 months after starting the business, Nathan has signed a three-year deal with the Exchange Shopping Centre, which he says was “an easy decision because I love what I do and I love helping others.”

With high protein meals and drinks which can be ordered in advance and collected by customers, Fresh Prep caters for all diets, including meat eaters, vegetarian, vegan and Halal.

Nathan continued: “Fresh Prep started with a bang; people loved it. Rochdale is a very multi-cultural town, so when I started Fresh Prep, I made sure that everyone could be catered for as I have friends with all different backgrounds and religions.

“We are looking forward to 12 April with the gym re-opening and to see our customers come back to us.”

Lorenzo O’Reilly, Centre Manager at Rochdale Exchange, added: “It is great to see Nathan’s vision come to fruition.

“He has worked hard to get to this stage and I am sure that customers will be delighted with the new purpose-built food cabin which has replaced his old caravan and gazebo.

“It is remarkable that this business first opened in lockdown last year; I wish him every success.”

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