TV show Dragon’s Den turned down the business plan of food delivery entrepreneur Timo Schmidt.

But his company was praised by Chancellor George Osborne in the run-up to Small Business Saturday.

Co-founder of Gousto — an online recipe and delivery company —Timo Schmidt, 30, met the Chancellor last week in Downing Street as part of a Christmas Fair at Downing Street that celebrated 15 rapidly growing businesses.

Business Minister Matthew Hancock said: “Gousto fully deserve to be celebrated.

Our top stories

“We want Britain to be the best place in the world to start and grow, and Gousto is a shining example of why we’re backing small businesses every step of the way.”

Botley Road resident Mr Schmidt said: “The business started three years ago in my living room.

“It was really humble beginnings but we’ve grown massively in the last year and now employ 70 staff.

“The speed at which we developed is down to the great team we have. They’re all young and enthusiastic.”

Gousto, now based in London, sends customers the exact amount of ingredients and recipe cards required to make nutritious meals, helping reduce food wastage.

Meals start at £3.30 and are delivered to addresses nationwide.

Mr Schmidt, along with his business partner James Carter, were featured on the 2013 series of Dragon’s Den, but an agreement was not made with the dragons.

Mr Schmidt said: “It was a shame that we couldn’t reach an agreement with the dragons, but personally it was an incredible experience for me and one I’ll never forget.”

During his visit to Downing Street, Mr Schmidt brought an example of one of the food and recipe boxes that Gousto sends to customers.

He said: “I’ve left that for David Cameron to use over the holidays. Hopefully he’ll be able to improve on his cooking skills and maybe order a few more.”

  • Do you want alerts delivered straight to your phone via our WhatsApp service? Text NEWS or SPORT or NEWS AND SPORT, depending on which services you want, and your full name to 07767 417704. Save our number into your phone’s contacts as Oxford Mail WhatsApp and ensure you have WhatsApp installed.