Rub away Type 2

I love to hear stories of how people turned bad news into good news.  It’s all about how one man rubbed away the prospect of a life of diabetes…


It took a trip to the doctors in America to make British businessman Kerry Costello realise that he had to change his eating habits. It also persuaded him to launch a new food business.

It all started when Kerry sold his share of a travel company and decided that a year or so in America sounded a good idea, and a boat bobbing at anchor at the bottom of the garden was even better.

That was all fine, until a regular well-man check at his local doctors revealed that he wasn’t such a well man after all. In fact he was pre-type II diabetic and was told to lose a stone in a month, minimum.

The difficulty with eating out in supersize-me USA was that portions don’t come small. But smaller was exactly what Kerry was being told to get and a trip to his local shopping mall in Naples, Florida to make him realise it wasn’t going to be much fun.

“The problem was that I love tasty food, sometimes quite strong flavours, and when I looked at what I was supposed to be eating, the future of mealtimes wasn’t looking too good. I don’t mind fish, but most of it tastes, well, just like fish”, he says.

Things started looking up however when he asked a woman behind the fish counter how to spice things up a bit and she told him: “Put some food rub on it honey, it’ll taste just fine”.

It was advice that Kerry took to heart because not only did he try the fish rub – and discovered that it transformed his least favourite food – but he also lost 16lbs with the result that his blood sugar level returned to normal. All of which meant he could then eat a healthy diet of fish and chicken which, with the benefit of a little food rub, would taste really good whilst keeping him trim.

But all was not so satisfactory when Kerry and his wife returned to their UK home in Hale, Cheshire, and discovered that local food shops weren’t exactly over-burdened with choice when it came to food rubs. In fact they’d never heard of them.

In fact the search turned up more chest rubs such as Vicks than it did tasty food additives.

So the first thing to do was to make his own – raid the spice rack, mix it together with some olive oil and hey-presto, bland chicken becomes altogether more interesting. What was needed then was some professional advice.

Now it’s fair to say that most of us don’t have a chef in the family, ready to step in at any given time and turn our humble culinary efforts into something good enough to have on sale. Well the Costellos did. Step forward youngest son, 25 year old Alex, who just happened to be a fully trained chef with two seasons at a five star hotel in the Lake District behind him.

It was at this point that things started to take a slightly serious turn. Kerry knew how popular food rubs were in the US, he had first-hand experience of just how they would help someone lose weight – particularly if they had a penchant for more strongly favoured meals – and he also now realised that they weren’t easily available in the UK. On top of all that he had an experienced professional on hand to create some mouth-watering recipes.

If ever a business was due to born – this was it. Months later Kerry and Alex had created a range of food rubs.

“Well, actually Alex did all the work, I was sort of chief taster”, recalls Kerry.

So it came to be – as they say in all the best fairy stories – that these two food enthusiasts brought rubs to the UK in the form of The Food Rub Company. If ever a new endeavour was succinctly named; this was it.

Today the food rubs are doing exactly what they say on the lids of their circular tins with 12 flavours: Mexican, All purpose, Bengal curry, Italian herb, savoury Lamb, Louisiana Fish, Caroline BBQ, Moroccan meat, New Orleans Cajun in tins for £3.99. Now they are all available in mini packs so cooks can enjoy the full range for under £20, or 3 packs for £4.95 before deciding on their favourites.

There is also the Naked rub which contains only low sodium salt and no sugar, but still packs a punch thanks to the Oregano, sweet Paprika, Pimento and Chilli powder and is ideal for helping diabetics have a more varied choice of flavours. For full details have a look at their

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