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She rose to fame on the 2019 series of Made in Chelsea.
And while Verity Bowditch is still part of the SW3 set, she has since become a businesswoman after co-founding a plant-based restaurant – Clean Kitchen.
The 25-year-old reality star grew up in the Dorset countryside and chose to become a vegetarian from an early age after she was surrounded by rescue animals on the farm.
And aside from her hectic filming schedule, Verity is determined to make vegan food “mainstream” with mouth-watering choices of plant-based truffle burgers and loaded fries.
But the bubbly blonde is not just content with running a hugely-successful restaurant chain after growing her Pilates with Verity business in lockdown which has garnered more than 14,000 Instagram followers.
In a candid chat, the reality star entrepreneur spoke exclusively to OK! Online about what she has been up to away from the E4 show. Here’s what we found out…
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How did you start Clean Kitchen?
I met founder Mikey Pearce through a running club. We are both into our health and fitness and he just started it [in a small kitchen in Brighton].
He said: “You would be the perfect person to come on board and drive this with me as my co-founder.”
It aligns with all my values. I love living a plant-based lifestyle. It has so many benefits to your health and wellbeing I am hugely passionate about saving the lives of animals and of course sustainably.
The three things I love about living a plant-based diet all just led to Clean Kitchen.
I was like: “Oh hell yeah I will do it!” Little did I know my whole life was going to be overtaken by it.
Now I am a proper businesswoman. I didn’t really know what I was getting myself in for but one thing leads to another and we are on our way to world domination!
What is Clean Kitchen about?
We bring vegan to the mainstream. We want to educate people about it because people associate [a vegan diet] in a certain way and that is just not the case.
We want to make it so mainstream that it is so normal to go into a Clean Kitchen, grab a burger or a salad and it being vegan is actually no big deal.
Did you ever see yourself as an entrepreneur?
I always wanted to have a way of channelling my intelligence, presentation skills and also my entrepreneurial skills into one.
Clean is just the thing for me. I once thought I wanted to be a lawyer. I actually did an internship in Shanghai, China, for a few months doing intellectual property.
I thought: “Cool! Business, presenting.” No, not my thing. I didn’t like the way China treated animals and I didn’t like law!
What is your favourite things on the Clean Kitchen menu?
The fish finger burger. It is unbelievable! Apart from that it is probably the chicken mayo burger or meatball wrap.
We started off using a fake substitute meat that was not sourced in England. I came on-board as a sustainability consultant as well and I was like: “No, no, we need to be using one in England.”
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We are also growing our own vegetables in our own vegetable patch in Spitalfields – we have so much coming up.
Is Clean Kitchen a “pinch me” moment?
A sit-in restaurant? Where has that come from? That is massive but you have to just believe in yourself, have the right team around you, manage them well and recruit people.
It is all about having the right people around you and trusting them. People with a passion and a thirst for life is also key as well.
We are moving to Shoreditch Box Park. I have had many a night having fun in there so for me that is such a huge milestone which we are renovating as we speak! It is going to look awesome.
And we are also opening a Clean Kitchen in Camden which is huge for us. We started in Covid and we are actually stepping out of dark kitchens and opening a sit-in restaurant. This is a huge risk.
But firstly, you have got to take risks. We haven’t tested the market in Camden and we have never had a dark kitchen there so we have really got to kill this.
I have learned that I can probably do anything if I put my mind to it.
Congratulations on 142,000 Instagram followers – How do you feel having this platform?
When I joined [Made in Chelsea] I didn’t do it for the following whatsoever but it sort of comes with it.
I am hugely proud of my following which is mostly girls (83 per cent women). I definitely pride myself in it and I want to use my platform as much as I can to educate people but not shove it down their throats.
I get so many messages saying: “Oh my gosh you have really inspired me to go plant-based and helped me stay positive throughout lockdown with Pilates and running.”
I really want to be that woman who came from a reality show and has now moved onto having her own business, running a team and how inspiring that can be.
You have got to believe in yourself. And if I can do it – anyone can do it!
How have you found lockdown?
Lockdown for me was a time to sort of take a step back because I wasn’t filming or on reality.
A lot of time I was doing a lot of studying for Pilates to become the next level.
Ultimately it was having time to think about what I want to do with my life and what I want to achieve, who I want to inspire, and creating Clean Kitchen came out of lockdown.
I am a little apprehensive about lockdown finishing because the team work so hard and we are still working until 11pm. I think people think a start-up can be easy but it is not.
You spent the first lockdown at your family home in Dorset. Do you miss the countryside?
I really miss Dorset. I am surrounded by rescue animals, which my mum rescued, and they are a huge passion of mine.
I love the countryside but I also love being in London. There is the Made in Chelsea part of me and then the countryside, earthy, girl next door half. I think I am a dead split down the middle!
Series 21 of Made in Chelsea is back on our screens! How was filming during lockdown?
We all bubbled up, went off and at the same time as filming I would be sat there doing my emails while everyone else would be at the party.
They would be like, “wow Verity you have really changed”, because I am normally the life of the party but you have got to get the work done.
What can we expect to see from you in Made in Chelsea?
I am not in the first few episodes of the show because I actually caught Covid so I couldn’t film.
I was watching [the first episode] and I felt like I should be there but it was a good episode.
Habbs [Sophie Habboo] is probably my best bud in the house and she lives literally up the road in Notting Hill – it’s great.
As ever there is always drama, but you will have to wait and see.
The latest series sees the cast film at Langley House in the Cotswolds. Was it an easy decision to not live in the house?
I think when you take on a business role, and I had to have 60 employees look up to me and sort of respect my decisions and take me seriously, taking a little bit of a step back from the reality world isn’t the worst idea with all of the petty drama that goes on.
It is obviously a TV show but at the same time I have really been working on Clean Kitchen.
What else can we expect to see from you?
Hopefully in next series of Made in Chelsea we will be filming at our Clean Kitchen all enjoying plant-based burgers in Camden which is so exciting.
Verity Bowditch is co-founder of plant based food brand Clean Kitchen, available exclusively on Deliveroo in London. Follow on Instagram @cleankitchenuk
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