Blue Apron Founder Launches Next Generation Food Company
Cooks Venture, a next generation food company rooted in regenerative agriculture and transparency, announced its official public launch. In conjunction with this announcement, the company acquired an 800-acre farm in Arkansas and two large processing facilities in Oklahoma. Starting today, Cooks Venture begins pre-sale of their pasture-raised, heirloom, slow growth chickens, offering distribution both direct-to-consumer and in-store starting July 2019.
Founded by Matthew Wadiak, founder and former COO of Blue Apron, Cooks Venture's goal is to build a better food system with a superior supply chain, starting with the most impactful food – poultry. At Blue Apron, Wadiak developed relationships with over 250 farmers, ranchers and agronomists. As a result of that experience he sees the opportunity to improve our food system through better agriculture and lean management.
Cooks Venture is founded on the well-documented scientific principle that sequestering 1% more carbon in the soil on agricultural lands can reverse climate change. Wadiak aims to improve the agricultural supply chain, while promoting regenerative agriculture at all levels, and provide consumers with food choices that are exceptional in quality, taste and completely transparent in process.
Cooks Venture's farm has over 800 acres of wooded land in Arkansas, encompassing a hatchery, pedigree chickens and barns and the country's only biodiverse vertically integrated poultry operation. This is the only company of scale in the country that produces solely slow growing, pasture-raised birds with unrestricted access to the outdoors. Their scientifically proven, regenerative approach allows the company to create healthier poultry options for consumers, while ultimately fueling a healthier planet to fight against climate change.
"Cooks Venture is more than just a food company. There is no longer the option to continue the status quo of industrial agriculture and combat climate change. In order to feed the population and reverse climate change, we must move to regenerative systems. I've spent ten years partnering with thought leaders and scientists to perfect farming methodology and working diligently to regenerate the sources of food consumption," says Matthew Wadiak, founder and CEO of Cooks Venture. "We are building better communities through progressive agriculture processes, while allowing consumers to vote with their dollars, to ultimately reverse global warming and create better tasting and healthier food. The research developed over the last decade has helped formalize a truly defining moment in the agriculture industry and we are at the forefront."
Wadiak brought together a team of experts including Richard Udale, Director of Genetics, the world's foremost expert in slow growth breeding in the modern chicken industry and twice former President of the Poultry Breeders of America & former Chairman of the Poultry Breeders Roundtable Symposium; Blake Evans, EVP & Founder of Crystal Lake Farms whose spent his career cultivating breeding and building a better farming system to produce a different class of chickens for customers with the highest standards in the country, a category that would not exist without his lifetime's work; Mark Fisher, VP of Operations, a US Army veteran with 26 years in the poultry industry runs Cooks Venture's facility operations and two plants . Their combined knowledge creates the country's leading executive team to regenerate our soil through a unique and superior breed of chicken, which has the ability to change the landscape of America and create true transparency in the poultry industry for the first time in 50 years.
"Richard and I began this journey over a decade ago to breed the best tasting, slow growing chicken in America. This journey has led us to the partnership with Matthew and Cooks Venture," says Blake Evans. "We are excited to have created an entirely new category and standard that goes far beyond the current green-washed buzzwords like 'organic' and 'sustainable.' Our team at Cooks Venture knows we can make a global impact and look forward to paving the way for a system encompassing better tasting food, more humanely raised animals and more biodiverse soil, our greatest national resource."
Cooks Venture will operate a revolutionized online grocery store, the first to offer high quality food from regenerative agricultural sources, while sequestering carbon. With support from their local community, which includes Gov. Kevin Stitt of Oklahoma, Gov. Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas and prominent animal advocate organizations, Cooks Venture is dedicated to providing the healthiest and most flavorful food, improving our food system and reversing global warming.
"The poultry industry has been an important part of Oklahoma's economy for over a century. We're thrilled Cooks Venture's processing facilities are in our state, creating jobs, growing our state, and bringing innovation to the industry," adds Gov. Kevin Stitt of Oklahoma.
Cooks Venture's presale prices will begin at two slow growing, heirloom chickens (3-4lbs) for $40.00, four for $70.00 and six for $90.00. Customers will be able to order their chicken starting today, which will be delivered frozen, prepackaged in curbside recyclable packaging with free shipping nationwide. The company also plans to distribute to grocery stores and restaurants by summer 2019.
"The ASPCA is excited that Cooks Venture is rejecting the industrial business model, which too often neglects animals' welfare, by choosing to raise healthier birds in a more natural environment. By participating in the third-party verified Global Animal Partnership Step 4 program, a certification recognized by the ASPCA® Shop With Your Heart program, Cooks Venture demonstrates its commitment to high animal welfare standards and transparency," said Nancy Roulston, Director, Corporate Engagement, ASPCA Farm Animal Welfare Campaign. "Their dedication to more humane farming, coupled with their digital sales approach, means more access to higher-welfare, certified options for the growing market of conscientious eaters across the U.S."
Cooks Venture will expand past poultry in the near future, raising cattle, pigs, grains, vegetables and more under the same regenerative methodology and scrutiny. Cooks Venture's team will measure their farms and partners for soil health and sequestration of carbon and publish the results annually. The company will continue to work alongside some of the top researchers and scientists in the world to ultimately become the direct distribution and last mile company, destined to change the trajectory of food systems in America & beyond.