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Founded in 1997 by Edward and Dale, COOK remains a family owned business, with family values at its core. The founding mission was “to make meals and puddings using the same ingredients and techniques as you would use at home” and today, despite many changes in the economic climate and on the high-street, the mission statement has remained and always will. They are ambitious for the future wanting to create a remarkable food company that is a force for good.
They have grown from a single shop in Farnham in 1997, to now having over 90 shops, a wholesale business selling to independents, a pudding kitchen and a national delivery service, as well as running their own logistics centre.
Whilst they are proud of their commercial know-how, they believe there is more to life than making money alone. They are a B-Corp, which puts organisations through a tough certification to class themselves as the new type of company that uses the power of business to solve social, community and environmental problems. Their shops are actively encouraged to engage with their local community through events and tastings and their kitchen is involved in helping ex-offenders back to work, amongst other initiatives.
They encourage employees to get involved in community activities and regularly support charity and community events. They are proud to pay the ‘Living Wage’, share profits and supply meals to their local homeless shelter.
"COOK is a business and brand built on a belief that people are amazing if you just give them the opportunity. We are so proud to have held the very top level of engagement accreditation for three years running, and that’s entirely down to our people. From our kitchens, to our offices, shops and transport hubs, we come to work together with a sense of purpose and shared values, creating a foundation of connection and community. The culture we’ve created together is truly special: the secret ingredient in COOK’s business success. That community and trust has made all the difference during the covid crisis, and our team have been incredible working together through unprecedented times, all while looking out for each other and our communities." CEO, Rosie Brown
One of COOK’s biggest initiatives this year was theirKindness fund, they had an unofficial COOK motto for 2020 - ‘let’s keep lookingout for each other’. Working in partnership with their team and theircustomers, they set themselves a bold target of donating 100,000 meals andtreats to those who need them the most, and although they hit that back inmid-June, they have continued to deliver. A recent count at the beginningSeptember was at 127,000. 102,000 were given out by their brilliant shop teams,with the rest being donations to 8 food banks, hospitals and shelters either byCOOK Puddings or the team in Sittingbourne.
Learn more about the 8 factors of workplace engagement here
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