Meet the Founder

WellEasy: making healthy living accessible, affordable, and sustainable

Tilly Brogan
February 21, 2019

Simpatica sits down with Josh Barley and Sonny Drinkwater, founders of WellEasy, an organic online supermarket turning healthy living on its head.

After going through similar health experiences at university, Josh and Sonny turned their attention to healthy living. Upon graduating, they set up their first food business which in turn became WellEasy: a force of nature, tackling the way that food is sold commercially, in an attempt to make healthy living accessible for all.

How did WellEasy start out?

Sonny: Josh and I have been friends since school. We went to different universities – I went to Bristol and Josh went to Birmingham – but we kept in touch. We’ve always had very similar interests when it comes to startups, and we’ve always been curious about building things, especially building businesses.

At university we both went through similar experiences related to health; Josh had a big operation, and I found myself getting way too into calorie counting and bodybuilding which ended up spiralling into really disordered eating. After realising we both shared a similar health journey, we started to teach ourselves more about nutrition, the importance of organic products and good produce, and how to get the right ingredients into what we were eating. However, like most students, we found this way of living really expensive; the food system in the UK isn’t good and doesn’t allow for people to make these healthy choices at an affordable level. Ever since then, Josh and I have had a mission in mind, how could we make healthy living easy and more affordable? Affordable for us personally, but also for everyone else in the UK.

We graduated from university in May 2020 and started our first business – a healthy B2B snack business called Snackcess. It was a proper garage startup at our parent’s house but we took what we knew from working at some other startups through university and we grew the business to the point where we were working with some huge companies like JP Morgan, Amazon, and Money Supermarket. Having these massive corporations ordering from us was great but after speaking with the people who were actually receiving these boxes, we found our products weren’t doing a lot in terms of encouraging them to make healthier decisions. This is when we realised that if we were going to work together for the next 10 years, we needed to fulfill the mission we had set for ourselves of actually making a difference in people’s eating habits.

Then came the pandemic where everyone’s lifestyle choices were front and centre, obesity was a massive issue, and there was a huge disruption in groceries. However, it was actually this disruption that made us realise no one in the UK had capitalised on the importance of making healthier choices easy and accessible to everyone – no one had used the model that we had in mind. Out of this came Well Easy, which at first, was just a side product using the revenue from Snackcess. But it quickly grew to become the business it is today.

Can you explain how WellEasy works?

Josh: WellEasy is an online membership-based retailer of healthy products (ranging from food and drinks, home, and also beauty) with a mission to make healthy living easier and more affordable for everyone in the UK. We use a similar style membership model to Costco where you pay for an annual membership – for WellEasy, it’s £29 per year. In exchange, you get access to a range of products with discounts up to 45% off the RRP; this is our big USP since we realised from talking to people that the high cost of these products is the biggest factor in them not making healthier choices. It’s the reason this model is so powerful. We can offer prices that are way cheaper than everyone else on the market.

As we expand the business, this will apply to more than what we sell now. We want to apply this to fresh food, frozen food, and all our products across the board. Our aim is to create the first truly healthy and sustainable market where you can trust that everything we sell is meeting the highest standards – we want you to be able to shop with WellEasy with your eyes closed.

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