black farmer shop

Source: Cook

It said it would feature Cook’s ’bestsellers and award-winning’ lines

Cook has opened its 1,000th concession at the new venture by The Black Farmer Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones in south London.

Launching at the new Black Farmer shop in Brixton last week, the premium frozen food company said the milestone “proved grocery brands can prosper without needing to be in the big five supermarkets”.

The branded freezer will feature Cook’s “bestsellers and award-winning” lines at the farm shop, including Chilli Con Carne, Mushroom Risotto and Moroccan Spiced Lamb Tagine, plus a small selection of puddings.

Emmanuel-Jones said the range would “perfectly align” with its commitment on quality and taste.

“Of course, you can buy things easily in a supermarket or online, but independents develop a relationship with their customers that the bigger retailers just can’t compete with,” he said. “The whole concept of our bricks-and-mortar store is about bringing the farm shop experience to an urban environment.

“I’ve been a great fan of Cook’s products, and when deciding to open my farm shop I knew they would be the first people I’d turn to, to supply us with their gorgeous frozen foods.”

Cook founder and joint CEO Ed Perry added said: “Retaining our independence and supporting smaller community retailers has always been in our DNA. We’re a business built on long-term relationships and having personal connections with our concessions retailers is so important.

“When times are tough, as in the pandemic or the inflation storm of the past two years, it’s those relationships that really matter. We’re so grateful for the support we get from our concessions, who we regard as genuine partners in our business and our brand.”

As well as its freezer concessions, which can be also be found in convenience stores and garden centres, Kent-based Cook also owns 97 standalone shops.

The original store, which opened in Dean Street in Farnham in 1997, has recently relocated to another part of the town, on East Street, in order to house a larger range.


Cook’s store in East Street, Farnham

Cook director of retail Matthew Bourne said: “It was always important that when we did move the shop, we moved to the right location.

“We had looked at other sites over the years but until now, nothing has been quite right. We have moved to a space that allows us to have 22 freezers on the shop floor, that can display our whole menu. The new site at East Street ticks all the boxes.

“It’s highly visible, with parking at the front and back of the shop so it’s convenient for customers. To have opened just before Christmas is exciting as it’s a very busy time for Cook, with people buying their Christmas food, and being in our new space will be better experience for our customers.”

The business said it had further plans for future high street shop openings in the new year.