Last week the COOK office team headed off to rural Kent to for the Big Defrost, their annual get-together. Now in its third year, it gives us some time away to celebrate what we’ve achieved, share some ideas and have a bit of a knees up. Highlights from this year included some very silly presentations from each of the individual teams, a big barbecue, and an inspiring talk from Andy Middleton, the coasteering guru and B Corp champion. The weather was kind, which was a relief as most of the team camped! Here are some of our favourite photos from the day…
Today we’re thrilled to welcome another shop to the COOK fleet, this one in the beautiful city of Winchester. The ribbon was cut this morning by Natalie, representing the volunteers at the local Citizens Advice Bureau, and there’s still lots of tasters, slices of cake and glasses of fizz being given away to celebrate.
Despite being a promising amateur boxer, drug addiction and prison shaped Rene’s 20s and 30s. He joined our RAW Talent programme in 2015, thanks to our connection with Caring Hands, a church-run charity in Chatham that offers food and support to vulnerable people. He now works as a porter in our Finishing Team.
There’s more to business than making money. We see our purpose at COOK as ‘nourishing relationships’ and that covers a lot: between food and where it comes from, between people and their work, between business and society, and between people and their community. That’s why we offer a 30% discount for anyone organising an event that benefits their local community.
An internal newsletter is important for any company, but it’s essential at COOK. With two kitchens on opposite side of the country (Kent and Somerset) and teams in the warehouse, the delivery hubs, not to mention the shops all over the UK, even important news can get lost.
What do frozen food and honey bees have in common? Not much, on the face of it … unless you’re me: the cousin of COOK’s co-founder Ed Perry and a keen beekeeper for ten years now.
People are waking up to the worrying decline in bee numbers in rural areas. This loss of pollinators impacts us all, so I have decided to do what I can to help. It is, perhaps, a bit rich coming from me as a Londoner for most of my life, but there is now no shortage of people keeping bees in the capital. So I decided to talk to Ed about raising awareness about beekeeping outside of London. With shops all over the country, COOK is well placed to meet potential beekeepers in the areas that need them most.
Fancy a spot of home COOKing? Below is the formally-secret recipe for our popular Roasted Vegetable & Chickpea Curry. It’s a bit of a faff, but a great introduction to making Indian dishes at home. Master it, then invent your own! It makes six portions, but that’s just as easy as making enough for one, and it freezes marvellously (of course). Let us know how you get on at email@example.com
On Monday 14th May, the teams from our company-owned shops flipped the sign to ‘closed’ and headed to London for our annual Big Day Out. Although shutting up shop for a day might not seem like good business sense, we think it’s really important to get everyone together at least once a year. They boarded the Dixie Queen and set off on a cruise along the Thames. The weather was kind, which fitted the Caribbean theme perfectly. Here are some photos from our big day…