Upmarket frozen food retailer Cook will mark 15 years in business next week.

The retailer, which has 49 stores, opened its first store in 1997 to provide an alternative to supermarket ready meals. It plans to mark the anniversary next Saturday with in-store tastings and money-off vouchers.

“We quickly discovered how tricky it is to make frozen food that looks and tastes homemade but we stuck with it and gradually got better,” said co-founder Edward Perry. “That Cook is still here, proudly independent, is testament to the talented people who’ve joined us. Ironically, our first tiny kitchen is now a McDonald’s while our second is a proposed site for a supermarket.”