A Real Alternative to Home Cooking (and unfulfilling jobs)
A Little Bit About Us
hank you for your interest in a COOK franchise. A ‘brochure’ will never tell the whole story but we hope that this provides a decent overview of who we are and what we do.
Our founding mantra in 1997 was: ‘To cook using the same ingredients and techniques that you would use at home so everything looks homemade and tastes homemade.’ 14 years on, and 3 kitchens later, nothing has changed. We are family owned and based at our Kitchen in Kent. We have over 30 shops of our own across the South East and so really understand retailing ourselves. We also sell to selected farm shops and independents across the country, and have a national online delivery service all enhancing the strong brand. We are entirely unique on the high street and now the business is growing we are inviting motivated franchisees to come and join us by owning and managing new stores. Hopefully these pages will cover the basics please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us for further information. All the best
Edward Perry and Dale Penfold, Founders
Me and my husband often say if COOK ever stopped business, it would be like losing a limb!... I’m not ashamed to admit, we have COOK meals six nights out of seven. Happy Customer
• 700 - 1000 sq ft sales space • Good secondary locations • Trading in affluent areas • Community and market towns,
city villages, quality city suburbs
• Visible locations ideally with parking nearby
Our Shops ur chefs can make sure that the food always tastes great but it is your role to ensure that the atmosphere and service in the shop is second to none. Our customers enjoy visiting the shops because of the one to one service they receive, the knowledgeable advice they get, not to mention the free samples which results in a food shopping experience quite different from anything else around. Put simply, it is about the ability to build relationships with your customers.
Our Haslemere Staff
Janet King Our Petts Wood Manager I have been in retail for my entire career, but being part of the COOK family since 2004 has been my most enjoyable time in retail. It’s great working in a shop where you really get to know your customers and can almost call them friends. We are a great team here in Petts Wood and all feel very protective and always take great pride in our customer service and general operations. Working for a business that values fabulous customer service, and having the time to spend with customers and provide that, makes people come back time and time again and makes us feel like we are providing a real service to those who shop with us.
Nearly all of our customers are good cooks in their own rights
COOK has given us more family time. For busy parents with two great kids that’s a real gift. Even the dog gets walked every night now. Happy Customer
Even though I like cooking sometimes COOK for dinner parties is the only way forward. Happy Customer
Cooking for 1 and 2 Family Meals Little Family Food for Entertaining The Indian Range
Heaven sent... a meal that tastes as though you might have made it yourself, better even.
The Daily Telegraph
The Indian Range
What We Sell
ur first ever menu in 1997 consisted of six, 6 portion meals and a few large cakes and puddings. Things have clearly moved on a bit since then and through large amounts of trial and error we have settled on the categories listed opposite which we believe reflect the types of customer that we have and the way they shop with us.
Cooking for 1 and 2 We currently have 60 different recipes in the COOK book split into regional cuisines types for the purposes of merchandising and packaging. For those who don't always have the time or inclination to cook themselves.
Family Meals Larger meals created to suit all ages
Food For Entertaining
Little Family This is our range of kids meals and baby food
For Special Nights In
Dinner party meals for 4 or more Large puddings, Party food Large cakes
Dale Founded the business with Edward in 1997 and still the Head Chef today. No-one cares more about quality and consistency.
Ken Ken is our 'gatekeeper'. He has worked with Dale as a chef for 36 years and nothing gets into the Kitchen until it satisfies Ken's quality standards. He is wonderfully and perfectly fussy.
Jamie Our development chef. Responsible for the recipes in â€˜The COOK Bookâ€™. Always working on new recipes to ensure we regularly launch new products, and also improve existing ones.
The Chefs All of our trained chefs cut, prepare and cook by hand. No shortcuts.
The Pastry Team led by Carol Our pastry is made from scratch using butter, flour and water. Nothing else. All bases and lids are hand pressed and cut.
Our Pudding Supremo Liz Dove started making puddings at the same time as us 12 years ago. For the last 10 years we have been her only customer and she has grown alongside us.
Our Kitchen the whole country, nay world, No-oneisinmaking meals in this way. Tucked away on an industrial estate in Sittingbourne, Kent is our Kitchen. An extraordinary place! No-one else has ever cooked food on this scale, in this way before and we are extremely proud of what all our kitchen staff achieve every day.
‘Barrier To Entry’ Over the years there have been many ‘copy cats’ who have come and, a few years later, gone. Whilst the concept is simple, the knowledge required to make the food taste great every single time is phenomenally vast. It’s taken us 14 years and we’re still learning every day. One visit around the kitchen will be enough to persuade you of the complexities and therefore the barriers to entry.
All our ingredients are bought from places that fit in with our values, from people with whom we have long standing relationships and who share our approach. So, we look at all the issues: quality, animal welfare, fertiliser and pesticide usage, traceability, food miles and sustainability - together.
Join The COOK Family pen a COOK and you become part of the family! We are offering the opportunity to join in with an independent and truly unique business on the high street. We want those who join us to have as straightforward a time as possible, so you can expect all of the below from us:
Location support We have learnt a lot about what sites work for us (and what doesn’t!) in building up our own portfolio of shops, and will offer full support in finding the right site. As a guide, we tend to suit any affluent market town or city village and can be found on secondary streets away from the multiple retailers where the rents are more reasonable and you can get more shop for your buck! Because of our unique offering, we consider ourselves to be a ‘destination retailer’. The best performing shops tend to be ones with great visibility from the road and are not in a pedestrian-only area. Parking nearby to the location is important so that you can encourage the ‘freezer fillers’.
Set up Help From the moment you are approved as a COOK franchisee, we will support you from finding the right locations, to us fitting out your shop. We will support you in helping to ensure you open your shop on time and on budget.
Training A full, and practical training programme covering everything from Shop Management and Customer Service through to visiting the kitchens and discovering what makes us different in how we cook, and a chance to meet the whole commercial team.
Marketing Support Regular menus, seasonal ranges and regular promotional support identical to those for our own shops are all available to help drive sales. But the most important marketing resource by a mile supported by great food - is you.
The Brand Our customers have really bought into what we are doing and we have an unusually high engagement level with them thanks to the strong brand values. The menu in-store, and regular newsletter and e-newsletters sent out via growing mailing lists help to cement this.
Ongoing Support Just as we communicate with and support our own shops, you will be kept in touch with business updates, new initiatives and other news. Every member of the COOK team will help support you in your business, and just as our own shops have a chance to give feedback on the business, so will you.
The Future COOK has all the ambition, ingredients, and foundations in place to grow into a successful national brand.
Join us, and you will be joining the COOK family. You will be treated the same and receive exactly the same support and infrastructure that our very own shops receive.
Vive les Chefs!
What The Press Say
‘Top notch frozen food. COOK is giving frozen food a good name.’ The Independent
‘Ready meals that taste homemade.’ The Guardian
‘COOK ready meals are in a league of their own.’ BBC Olive Magazine
‘All the hearty dishes of a domestic goddess’s oven without you having to chop, peel or even mix and all to the highest standards.’ Vogue
‘While we don’t normally recommend ready meals COOK is different.’ Marie Claire
www.cookfood.net/franchise The COOK Kitchen • Sittingbourne, Kent ME10 3HH • Telephone: 01732 759010