Cook plots aggressive expansion to double numbers

Upmarket frozen food retailer Cook is to embark on an aggressive expansion programme this year and plans to more than double store numbers.

The seven-strong retailer sells premium frozen food, made by its own team of chefs, for time-pressed professionals, and intends to open a further eight to 10 stores this year.

Cook retail director Edward Perry said the business is looking for sites in market towns in the Southeast, either on high streets or in shopping centres.

Cook carries 250 lines in stores measuring 90 sq m.

Perry said: 'We sell premium, quality products and the price reflects that, but we compare (on price) with Tesco's Finest and Sainsbury's Taste the Difference.'

The retailer makes its products in its own kitchen at Sittingbourne in Kent. The kitchen will move into bigger premises as the retailer expands.

Cook's turnover is expected to be just under£6 million for the financial year ending March 2003.