Entertainment

Scot’s weight loss mission tuned into million-pound meal prep firm with celeb customers


A Scot who started making healthy grub at home to lose weight now has a million-pound meal prep company serving everyone from celebs and professional footballers to Scotland’s most vulnerable.

Sam Deplacido from Edinburgh was fed up with working offshore at the beginning of 2020 and pursued a career in personal training.

But the 29-year-old had to shift some pounds first and got stuck into preparing a rang of low calorie dishes at home.



Sam Deplacido is the founder of Diced - a meal prep business based in Edinburgh
Sam Deplacido is the founder of Diced – a meal prep business based in Edinburgh

Sam’s friends soon asked for him to make meals for them, then family members and ‘before he knew it’ he was making ‘400 meals a week’ from his uncle’s flat under the name, Diced Meal Prep.

Diced aims to instil the belief that healthy food can be fun with favourites being their chicken katsu curry and salt and pepper chicken along with Aberdeen Angus fillet steak.

Diced can produce healthy prep meals in the region of 2,000-10,000 a week depending on the demand.



Diced meal prep provides a range of healthy dishes for customers to enjoy at home
Diced meal prep provides a range of healthy dishes for customers to enjoy at home

He told Edinburgh Live : My Uncle Stevie said ‘son, you need a bigger space if you are to keep this up’ and so my Uncle John got me into the Gilmerton Miners club.

“This was all at the start of the pandemic.

“It is mad to think we got up and running during such a mental time.

“I rented their kitchen as they were closed due to the pandemic and things began to take off from there.”

While Scotland was tight in the grip of Covid-19 Sam teamed up with charity, Helping Hands, to provide 37,5000 meals to vulnerable households in south east Edinburgh, including the Inch where he grew up.

Sam added: “Growing up in the Inch I know how difficult it could be for certain families.

“We had stalls a couple times a week and folk could come down and help themselves.

“We then supported everyone from old folk, to those trapped inside or struggling with young families and money.

“It meant everything to me to help folk.

“Knowing I could be a lifeline to people that were struggling to make ends meet was amazing.

“It made my family really proud.”



Diced has 12 employees and Sam Deplacido has hired staff from areas close to home
Diced has 12 employees and Sam Deplacido has hired staff from areas close to home

The young entrepreneur’s mission to give back extends to his employees.

One staff member was taken on to help him ‘stay out of trouble’ while another young mum was hired to ‘get off the dole’.

“Nothing is handed to you when you come from areas like the Inch so it is important we give each other the opportunity to grow,” Sam said.

“I like to help people who are often forgotten as I never got an opportunity and have had to work for everything.

“Businesses need to hire out of working class communities, it can be tricky at first but they have taken everything in their stride and do what needs to be done.

“My cousin who had never worked before and had been on the dole has been with us for a while.

“She needed to get away from this stigma of being a young mum and working has really helped her deal with her depression.”



Sam Deplacido was fed up working offshore at the beginning of 2020
Sam Deplacido was fed up working offshore at the beginning of 2020

The meal prep business had a strong year, making just under a million pounds after battling through the pandemic.

Their new premises, a deli, will offer healthy snacks like bagels, wraps, topless sourdough toasts and protein powered pancakes and Sam soon hopes to be ‘as big as Baguette Express’.

There’s nothing stopping Sam who’s more determined than ever.

He added: “Anything you want in life, get up and go get it, because if you don’t have that work ethic, then you won’t achieve your dreams.

“I’ve had to work harder being from the Inch, I was never given an opportunity or anything on a plate, nor was I spoon fed by anybody and worked for everything myself.”

The Deli will be situated at Southfield Place, Portobello, Edinburgh.

You can visit Diced Meal Prep’s website here.

Or you can enquire about their services, which are offered on individual or subscription basis, through their Facebook page.

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