Dr Will’s: Creating healthy alternatives to Britain’s most-loved condiments

After meeting in a CrossFit class, Dr Will Breakey and Josh Rose bonded over a shared interest in healthy, natural foods. It was frustrating that condiments free from additives, refined sugars and preservatives weren’t available from most supermarkets. It inspired them to create Dr Will’s. 

Since starting in 2016, Dr Will’s has released a range of ketchup, mayonnaise and BBQ sauces. All condiments are designed to be flavourful but free from artificial ingredients. 

Will talked us through how the startup began and how he manages to fit the side hustle around his full-time work.

A doctor and restaurateur walk into a gym class…

Dr Will’s started as an idea in 2015. I was a junior surgeon training in Newcastle and attending a CrossFit gym. There was another member there who owned a restaurant in town. We got chatting about business ideas.

Josh told stories of people slathering loads of ketchup on the burgers he made. My mum is a nursery teacher and told me how parents put Heinz ketchup on their children’s broccoli to make them eat vegetables. This didn’t make sense at all, to either of us.

So we thought that we would make something that was “good” for kids or anyone looking for a healthier diet. We wanted to have great ingredients so chefs would be happy to have it alongside their food.

Squeeze in work on the commute 

Dr Will's healthy condiments

I’m working as a plastic surgical trainee in the North East at the minute, so most of my time is tied up at the hospital. My Dr Will’s work is generally done as phone calls on my commute. 

It means I can get at least an hour a day if needs be. Other than that, it’s just at home once my wife and baby have gone to bed!

I’m very fortunate that Josh, Liam and the central Dr Will’s team run a lot of it. My biggest challenge is having the time to stay on top of what’s happening at the other end of the country. 

This does come with advantages too. I might miss out on some of the detail, but that gives me the opportunity to take a much broader look at what’s happening without getting too bogged down in the little things.

Supportive networks are crucial

Taking on a side hustle is a choice, but having help from a supportive family is an absolute must. With my job, I’m out of the house early and back late and then I need to spend time on Dr Will’s. Without a supportive family, it would be really difficult.

If I have days off from the hospital – say after a night shift – I’ll head down to London for meetings or catch up on my Dr Will’s work at home.

If you’re thinking about starting a side hustle, I’d say definitely give it a go. The hardest thing is getting started, but if you never start you’ll never know!

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