HARD-work and dedication has taken a start-up business launched by two friends from humble beginnings to being named as one of the fastest growing companies in the UK.

Prep Kitchen has been named in the Sunday Times 100 list as one of the fastest growing private companies in the country - and the second fastest in the East of England.

The company was started eight years ago in Southend by William Fishenden and Mark Morley with the aim of providing people with healthy meals at their doorstep.

Since then, the company’s popularity has skyrocketed which has seen it triple its growth over the last three years and produce more than 80,000 meals a week.

After the business began to grow, the friends set up headquarters in Basildon as they shipped their pre-prepared meals across the UK.

William, 37, said the company’s success has been nothing short of “incredible” and credits the entire team for the achievement.

He said: “We started this company because we are very passionate about healthy eating and helping people. I want to make people realise that healthy eating does not have to be boring.

The company has partnered with several well-known athletes including Katarina Johnson-Thompson.The company has partnered with several well-known athletes including Katarina Johnson-Thompson. (Image: Prep Kitchen)

“You see lot of people complain when they’re eating diet food but with us you don’t even realise it’s diet food, customers actually look forward to eating our meals.

“The success so far has just been amazing and I feel very proud. I firmly believe that the people are the business.

“We have a fantastic team that work with us and everyone has worked really hard to get here. It is so well deserved for all the effort.

The business provides diet friendly meals to customer's doorsteps.The business provides diet friendly meals to customer's doorsteps. (Image: Prep Kitchen)

“From here on, we are only aiming to get bigger. Currently, someone is eating a meal from us every eight seconds. I want to get that down to two seconds and my target is for us to start producing approximately 300,000 meals a week.”

The business also posted a 100 per cent increase in sales last year, totalling more than £13 million and have partnered up with some of the biggest names in the fitness industry including Olympian and former world champion- Katarina Johnson-Thompson and former world’s strongest man - Eddie Hall.

The company also prides itself on supporting various charities including War Child which aims to protect, educate and stand up for the rights of children affected by conflict.

Prep Kitchen recently donated 100 per cent of proceeds from their Chicken Kabuli to the charity as part of World Refugee Day. Closer to home, they provide more than a thousand meals every month to the one love soup kitchen in Southend.