COOK have grown a business by taking the chore out of cooking. Founders Edward Perry and Dale Penfold took homemade frozen meals to the high street and found a welcoming market. These are not supermarket run of the mill ready-made meals, they are thoughtfully conceived and prepared in hotel style kitchens in Sitttingbourne, Kent.
COOK customers tend to be 80% women and good cooks themselves, often discovering COOK after starting a family and finding they have less time to spend in the kitchen. COOK also provides the busy professional of all ages and the retired or elderly with a delicious healthy option.
The menu is vast and varied from Indian to Thai, pies and pasta, kids meals and meals for seniors, canapes, special gluten free, vegan and calorie conscious meals, mostly in serving sizes for 1-8 people but party sizes are available by special request.COOK have a campaign to “Be more Herbivore”, government figures advise that a healthy balanced diet should be only 12% meat, the UK average is currently about double at the moment. COOK’s meat free savoury sales were at 7% in 2017 and they aim for 10% of savoury total by 2020. There is also an extensive pudding repertoire of roulades, pavlova’s and cheesecakes and tarts.
The dishes are all made by chefs in steam heated brat pans and each dish is labelled with the chef who prepared its name. COOK is about quality in the food and services, in the stores visited by this reporter the store staff were helpful and knowledgeable but not pushy.
COOK are responsible about food waste, most dishes have up to 9 months before the sell by date and they employ the Rothenberg system that captures and stores food waste from their kitchens, then it is collected to be turned into a nutrient rich bio-fertiliser for farming and renewable energy that is exported to the National Grid.
Cook are socially aware they offer a 30% discount for anyone organising an event that benefits their local community, over the past three years they have supported more than 700 events, feeding around 35,000 people.In 2013 COOK joined Ben&Jerry’s ice cream amongst others and were certified by B Corporation, as recognition of their ethos of balancing profit and purpose, legally requiring them to consider the impact of their business decisions on workers, suppliers, customers, community and the environment.