WHEN he was an investment analyst in the City, Billy Simons used to sit across a table from clients who had set up their dream business.

The experience inspired him to quit a promising career and start Fr3shbox, which delivers healthy meals to Dorset people at their workplaces.

The 27-year-old Bournemouth University graduate had spent four years in banking, the last two-and-a-half at HSBC in London.

“It was probably six months after I fully qualified that I decided to leave,” he said.

He had heard a lot of clients’ stories about how they had founded their own business and wondered why he wasn’t doing the same.

“I got a lot of face time with clients and that’s what really gave me the idea,” he said.

The concept of Fr3shbox came from his own experience of trying to maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle while working in a demanding job, he said.

“I used to be a fitness competitor, did natural body building shows as a competitor and did some fitness modelling at university,” he said.

“I was trying my best to maintain good habits but that gets difficult, especially when you’re working in London.

“Access to healthy food for a reasonable price is quite hard. I was often spending upwards of £20 a day trying to fit my meals in,” he added.

It was a conversation with a colleague about their ambitions, the day after a Christmas break, that convinced him to quit the career he had trained for.

“I walked away that evening and thought I really need to make this happen because that conversation had really lit the fire hotter than it had ever been before,” he said.

“I came in the next day and said to my colleague, ‘I’m going to be handing in my notice’.”

He fleshed out his business idea in notes he made during his lengthy commutes while working his notice. He moved back last year to Bournemouth, where he had graduated in law, and did contract work at JP Morgan to raise the money to get the business off the ground.

Fr3shbox delivers meals for between £4.40 and £6.50, depending on which subscription plan a customer chooses.

The customer puts together their meals online, with each one balanced to total 400-500 calories, with 30-40g of protein, 30-40g of carbs and 5-10g of fat. Meals are delivered chilled in the morning, ready to be heated when required.

Billy brought in his university friend Ibs Mikhail to run the business with him.

They initially operated from the kitchen of the United Reformed Church at Ashley Cross.

With a test base of early customers and no marketing initially, the business was recommended by word of mouth.

It has now moved to its own premises and is able to deliver for dinner as well as lunch. It is joining the Deliveroo platform this month.

“Initially, we’re taking on individual customers, but our long term aim is to have a presence in the B2B market,” said Billy.

“We’re looking to collaborate with local businesses that want to supply their employees with healthy meals, for which there are many benefits.”