“For me, cooking is all about sharing,” says Manuel Martinez Infante (pictured above). This is the philosophy that underpins his business, Cuisine Box, which he set up with his partner Fiona Metcalfe (pictured above).

Cuisine Box sells cooking kits to customers who want to host friends or family and enjoy a new recipe together. There are cooking kits for making sushi, ravioli, paella and tacos, all sold online. Standard kits serve four or two twice.

“So many food boxes are focused on efficiency and spending as little time as possible on cooking. Whereas, we enjoy the process of cooking and making an event out of it,” says Fiona. Cuisine Box, a London-based company, is a Starling business customer.

A recipe for success

“Growing up in my family home, we loved to host dinner parties and celebrations for family and friends. I had a couple of friends who would be dropped off or collected and the taxi drivers would describe our house as ‘the party house’. We’d do things for birthdays and at Christmas and we’d always have home-cooked food,” says Fiona, 29.

“Our families are similar in that respect,” adds Manuel, 32. “Even when I was a teenager, I would invite my friends over and cook for them. When I left school, I trained to be a chef and then went into hotel management. Cooking and hosting and sharing has always been part of our lives. And that’s what our company is about.”

Cuisine Box deliver adventurous cooking kits

When Fiona and Manuel first launched Cuisine Box in 2020, they focused on selling specialist ingredients, such as sushi rice or Middle Eastern spices. A few months in, they collected several ingredients together to create a sushi making kit. It quickly became a bestseller.

Since then, they have developed a range of ‘Adventurous Cooking Kits’, centred on cuisines from across the world. “The pizza recipe is an Argentinian recipe and doesn’t require a pizza oven,” says Manuel, who grew up in Argentina.

For some meals, customers need to top up the kit themselves with a few fresh ingredients. “For the ravioli, which customers can make from scratch, they get a short list of things to buy on the day, such as eggs. They’ll have everything else they need in the box, including a ravioli stamp, which they can keep, and double zero flour, which is what you need to make traditional Italian ravioli,” says Fiona.

In addition to specialist ingredients and sometimes tools, Fiona and Manuel also provide customers with a hosting guide.

“The hosting guides are what transform the meal into an event,” says Fiona. “We introduce the dish’s heritage and include a timeline of what to do when and tips on setting the table and creating a great atmosphere.”

For some dishes, they include a playlist inspired by the cuisine, such as Spanish or Italian, which customers can access by scanning a QR code. They also make suggestions for drinks that go well with certain dishes.

24/7 UK customer support

“We’ve been with Starling from the beginning,” says Fiona. “It’s very easy and if I ever have an issue, Customer Service is very responsive.”

For accounting, she uses Xero, which she connected to the Cuisine Box business account through Starling’s Marketplace. This means that all transactions are automatically fed into Xero in real time. “It was super simple to set up and link to,” she says. “Starling is modern, efficient and educational.”

The time Fiona saves by using Starling helps her to move her business forward. “We’re excited to be working with businesses on corporate gifts and growing the number of people that subscribe to our online Supper Club. We also can’t wait to launch our new range of cocktail making kits.”

Subscribeto blog updatesarrow-rightGrow your businessHelpful free business guidesarrow-right

Related stories

Latest posts