At COOK, we believe there is a better way to do business than the conventional capitalist approach that pursues profit at all costs. This is why we became one of the UK’s first certified B Corporations, a global movement of companies that believe in business as a force for good in society.
From the founding of COOK in 1997, the ambition for the business was about more than money. Our goal was always to create a company that was good for shareholders but also good for others who came into contact with it – employees, communities, suppliers and customers. While we were fighting to survive (and it was touch-and-go for quite some time), we found it difficult to put this ambition into a set of principles or guidelines by which to manage the company.
Let’s face it, a self-catering holiday is often a contradiction in terms. While mum or dad is self-catering, everyone else is resolutely all-inclusive – expecting food on demand; a well-stocked, 24 hour bar; and a comprehensive entertainment programme.
To give everyone a rest this year, why not take your own COOK?
A cool box with ice packs will keep our meals frozen for the journey, and you won’t have the hassle of having to work out what to eat on your first night.
Alternatively, order a delivery to your holiday home to take care of the catering.
Today COOK has become an official Living Wage employer. At our Kitchens and in our company-owned shops everyone will be paid at least the Living Wage of £7.85 an hour (or £9.15 if they’re working in London). Very few retailers and manufacturers pay the Living Wage. We happen to be both which makes us doubly unusual.
So why are we doing it?
Our purpose at COOK is to create a remarkable food business that’s a force for good in society. That means paying people properly so they don’t need to depend on state handouts to survive and also making sure everyone shares in our success (we’ve also got a profit share scheme for all staff).
Meet Elvis & Kresse. They’re two of the most remarkable and lovely people we know. They reclaim “heroic” materials that are destined for landfill and create beautiful, useful things out of them. See below for the recent Q&A with them.
1. How did you and Elvis meet (just being nosy)?
We met on a boat in Hong Kong. He was dressed as Superman and introduced to me as Elvis - I didn't have any other choice after that!
2. What came first for you: a passion for design/business or for sustainability?
For us the material, the problem, always comes first. We find things that have no other hope, they are destined for landfill; everything we do after that is geared towards rescuing that material and solving that problem.