ACA Winter Conference 2020

We’re rolling out the new Rhino Cart; 630-G-84, at this year’s American Correctional Association’s Winter Conference in San Diego. The conference began last week with the exhibit hall opening last night. Jeff Breeden, John Yaeger and Linda Stock from Cook’s are at the show ready to meet new people and catch up with friends.

Along with the new Rhino Cart 630-G-84, Cook’s has the new Marathon and Gorilla Insulated Tray models and other new products plus we’re giving away copies of our 2020 Correctional Buyers Guide. If you’re attending the conference, stop by booth #837 to see us.

NEW in 2020: Design, Installation and Construction Services

Cook’s Correctional Kitchen Equipment and Supplies Project Showcase

While we’ve frequently assisted clients with construction projects, 2020 is our breakout year for offering Design, Installation and Construction Services to the correctional industry.  After all, with over 20 years of experience helping jail and prison foodservice operators, no one understands correctional foodservice equipment better than Cook’s!

No matter the size of the project, Cook’s has you covered.  There are three different ways that we can help:

  1. Already have a project in progress?  Cook’s can provide you with a Consult.  We will audit a proposed design and equipment specification, where we:
    • Review your current design / CAD and provide recommendations with an eye for corrections.
    • All proposed equipment will be assessed for size, durability and security and we will recommend alternatives where needed.
    • You will have the option to stop at this point or continue with Cook’s as your design & equipment partner ensuring you get the best results for corrections.
  2. Considering a renovation?  Cook’s can assist you with location specific projects like a dishroom, ODR, cooking line or walk-in solution.
    • Cook’s will initiate a conference call to all stakeholders to discuss the scope and goals of your renovation.
    • We will follow up with an on-site evaluation leading to CAD drawings, an equipment package and submittals.
    • We finish the renovation with installation, equipment start-up and training.
  3. Looking for a turn-key solution?  Cook’s can provide you with full consultation, design, equipment specification, construction documents, installation, start-up and training.  
    • Cook’s will be there every step of the way from doing a site review with an operations analysis through start-up and training.
    • We will be immersed in all stages during the project as a single point of contact for all stake holders.
    • You can count on Cook’s after completion to be there to assist you with equipment start-up, training and warranty issues.

Call us at 800-956-5571 to get started and put our expertise to work for you in 2020.

New for 2020: The Cam GoBox Milk Crate

New CamGoBox Milk Crate Box available in the 2020 Cook’s Correctional Buyes Guide

We first included the Cambro GoBox in the 2019 Correctional Buyers Guide. These super lightweight, durable insulated carriers are innovative because of their construction material. GoBoxes are made from expanded Polypropylene (EPP), a closed-cell bead foam that provides thermal insulation and is impact and chemical resistant all while being very lightweight. EPP is lightweight like the old Styrofoam coolers, but significantly stronger. So strong, that during training one of our sales reps stood on an end loader to demonstrate its durability.

When we first saw the New Milk Crate Box, we knew it would be a great product for corrections. This box us designed to hold one 13″ x 13″ x 11″ crate with up to 50 half pint milk cartons. We could see our customers using the Cambro GoBox Milk Crate for any application that that requires holding the milk at temperature for an extended period of time such as transport to camps or off site programs.

Like the other pieces in the collection, this GoBox is resistant to most oil, grease and chemicals. It’s also dishwasher safe and 100% recyclable. The Cam GoBox Milk Crate Box will provide 4+ hours of safe temperature retention. The EPP material is incredibly lightweight yet super durable. And for easy handling, the crate carrier also has an adjustable web strap and molded in handles.

You can look for the new Cam GoBox Milk Crate Box in the New Product Section of the 2020 Buyers Guide for Corrections. It will also be available on Cookscorrectional.com after the first of the year. To learn more, give us a call at 1-800-956-5571.

Christmas Traditions at Cook's

The Christmas season is well celebrated at Cook’s, with an amazing company party, our Chinese lunch – in the spirit of A Christmas Story, which is usually the Friday before Christmas and finally an amazing white elephant grab bag. But the season is kicked off by a staff favorite; The Holiday Giving Tree.

Our Giving Tree is coordinated with the help of Humanitarian Service Project (HSP). The organization works year round to help local seniors and families. At Christmas, they coordinate Giving Trees where you can purchase gifts for a specific child. A few years ago, Jeff Breeden, CEO of Cook’s, launched a company match if we reached our participation goal of 25 children. This year we had employees sponsor 33 children – with the match, we bought Christmas gifts for 66 children. It is always an exciting time to pick the names and then later to hear the office chatter about what great gifts were found to make a child’s holiday special.

This event also hits two of our Core Values. We Really Care: we care about each other, our work and the company. We are passionate about what we do and our role on the team. We own it. We also care about our community and those around us. The Giving Tree is a perfect expression of this. We Enjoy Our Work; we are positive and upbeat about what we do. Our enthusiasm for our work, our team and our customers creates an environment where people can be their best. It’s hard not to enjoy buying Christmas gifts for kids in need. And with the company match – you get to have twice the fun; when you sponsor one child, you shop for two and the company pays for the second child’s gifts.

The holidays really are a great time at Cook’s and we all hope they are a great time of year for you too. The gifts for 2019 were delivered last Friday to HSP where they are coordinating Christmas gifts for 2,000 children. The Christmas tree is a little bare now without the presents, but that just means more room for the grab bag next week!

Cook’s Holiday Giving Tree 2019 just before gift drop off to Humanitarian Services Project

10 Fun Facts about Thanksgiving From Cook’s

All of us at Cook’s would like to take this opportunity to say Thank You for your business!  We know that without you, we wouldn’t be here.  

To get you in the holiday spirit and help you wow your friends and associates with Thanksgiving trivia, here are ten fun facts about the holiday:

  1. The first Thanksgiving celebration lasted for three days!
  2. The Pilgrim leader, Governor William Bradford, had organized the first Thanksgiving feast in 1621.  He invited the neighboring Wampanoag Indians to the feast
  3. Thanksgiving holidays were once commonly celebrated around the time the Pilgrims came to America in 1620.  It was not unusual in England and many parts of Europe to frequently set aside days of giving thanks to God. 
  4. 91% of Americans eat turkey on Thanksgiving.  To feed all those hungry people, there are about 280 million turkeys sold annually, which is nearly 7 billion pounds of turkey! 
  5. Cranberries are another Thanksgiving favorite and nearly 20% of all cranberries consumed in the US each year are eaten on Thanksgiving Day.
  6. Thanksgiving came into being a holiday under President Lincoln, although Sarah Joespha Hale, best known as the author of “Mary Had a Little Lamb”, lobbied for 20 years to five different presidents, numerous governors, congressmen and media sources.  Lincoln decided on the last Thursday of November as a national Thanksgiving holiday.
  7. Thanksgiving was moved up a week by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1939, 1940 & 1941 to extend the Christmas shopping season – but several states didn’t go along with the move.  Congress stepped in to unify the holiday and in October of 1941 set the date for the 4th Thursday of November where it is now.
  8. Starting in 1947, the National Turkey Federation has presented a live turkey along with two dressed turkeys to the President.  The President then ‘pardons’ the live turkey to live out its life on a historical farm.
  9. The annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade began in the 1920’s.
  10. Americans aren’t the only ones celebrating Thanksgiving, our neighbors to the north do too. Canada celebrates on the second Monday in October.  

Wishing you a Happy & Safe Thanksgiving from your friends at Cook’s

New Rhino-G-84 The Best Transport Solution for Gator and Grizzly Trays

There’s a new Rhino Cart coming to corrections.  This new cart is designed to transport Cook’s Brand Gator and Grizzly Trays, or any correctional meal tray that’s 15” x 13-1/2”.  While the cart will hold other sized trays, it best accommodates Gator or Grizzly Meal Trays and was developed at the request of our customers who use these trays.  The cart capacity is 84 trays; six stacks of 14 trays each.  With trays placed in six stacks, the Rhino-G-84 Cart is optimally loaded.  Trays fit inside easily but don’t have excess room and won’t be jostled around during transport keeping trays and meals intact.

To fit the Gator and Grizzly Trays, the Rhino 630-G-84 is a little wider than the other Rhino Carts.  The Rhino-G-84 is 34”deep overall, including the new built-in bumper feature which is there to protect walls and doorways as well as the cart.  At 58-1/4” H, a taller person can see over the cart to push it, using the integrated handles that are on both sides of the cart.  The Rhino Cart is 60” wide, a size that can easily manage most corners and tight spaces.  With exterior dimensions of 58-1/4”H x 60”W x 34”D, the interior dimensions are 37”H x 45-1/2”W x 27-1/2”D. 

Like the original Rhino Cart; the 630-M-150, and its smaller sibling, the 630-M-102, the new Rhino 630-G-84 is double walled polyethylene construction and fully insulated, adding rigidity and strength to the cart and doors.  Correctional facilities that switched to the Rhino Cart from stainless steel carts appreciate that the Rhino doesn’t get dented the way their old stainless carts did.  Additionally, being made of highly durable plastic, the Rhino is built with molded in door handles and molded in hinge pins for the doors.  Because they are molded in, the door handles cannot be broken off and they don’t stick out, getting in your way when going through narrow doorways or passages. 

The molded in door hinges are one of the best features on the cart.  These allow the doors to swing out 270O to be flush with the sides of the cart making access to the interior easier in tight spaces.  Being molded in, the hinge pins cannot be removed – not even by the most ingenious of inmates – so the doors never fail and they don’t present a security risk.  Because the doors are hinged, the Rhino doesn’t have a channel on the bottom that collects food waste creating a sanitation risk.  Additionally, customers can open booth doors fully to have unobstructed access to the interior without a center support in the way so loading, unloading and cleaning are easy and fast. 

Just as the doors are designed to open wide for quick loading and unloading, they stay shut during transport by design.  All three Rhino Carts have a lockable transport latch that holds doors closed even without a lock because there is a heavy-duty hasp that comes down over the doors and pin that you can slide into place to keep the latch in position. The doors are designed with a step joint closure which ensures a tight seal, keeping outside air from entering the cabinet helping to retain heat inside the cart.  For added security or if transporting off site, you can easily add a lock to ensure there won’t be any tampering with the contents.

Like the other members of the Rhino family, the Rhino 630-G-84 has a reinforced metal base to stabilize the cart.  There are competitor carts that have a 5th caster placed in the center of the base to compensate for possible sagging when carts are fully loaded.  You won’t have that concern with any of the Rhino Carts because of the reinforced metal base.  And more importantly, having a metal base provides the Rhino Cart with a metal to metal caster mount that won’t get stripped or loosen over time. 

Having a solid caster mount is critical because the Rhino caster is one of the most important features to these meal delivery carts.  During product development, we heard loud and clear from customers that caster issues cause a lot of pain.  We talked with many of our customers to understand why and looked for the best caster we could for the Rhino, one that would meet the requirements crucial to correctional foodservice. We chose the Colson Series 4 Performa® Caster, a stainless steel caster with a maintenance free sealed precision bearing and hard rubber tread.  We selected this because a main cause of caster failure is that the interior componentry gets wet and eventually locks up. While the carts are used to transport trays out of the kitchen, they often end up back in wet environments like the dish room.  Along with the maintenance free sealed bearing; these are a large 8” x 2” hard rubber caster made to travel over a variety of terrains.  Correctional carts move over outdoor pavement as often as they are pushed though concrete corridors.  The large size and hard grey non-marking tread travel smoothly over different surfaces.  With over 700 Rhino Carts in the field, the Colsen Performa® Caster has proven that it meets the performance requirements of corrections.  These casters, which are secured in a metal to metal caster mount, are what you’ll find on the new Rhino 630-G-84. 

The original Rhino Cart set a new standard for durability, innovation and functionality when it was introduced in 2015.  The New Rhino 630-G-84 continues that tradition with all the great features that are part of the Rhino family and new features like the built-in bumper, and is ideally sized for the Cook’s Brand Gator or Grizzly Trays or any 15” x 13-1/2” meal delivery tray.  Look for the cart in the 2020 Cook’s Correctional Buyers Guide.  If you want images and cart information today, we have a downloadable flyer or you can get details and quotes with a quick call to Cook’s at 800-956-5571.  We’ll be happy to assist you. 

A Quote Today Can Save You Money In 2020

Cook’s October Promotion is all about saving you money on purchases that you make next year. We know that budget planning season is here for many of our customers. We want to make it easier for you by offering to hold current quoted prices on Vulcan or Hobart equipment all the way through the end of March next year.

Is there a chance you will need a new floor mixer, combi-oven or griddle? Let us know and we can prepare a quote for you. Instead of being good for 30 to 60 days, we will honor those prices through March 31st of next year. You can have 2019 pricing in 2020.

Additionally, we can help you save 50% on extended warranties for your equipment if you are considering 2 or more pieces. That can save you up to $1500.

With this promotion applying to all Vulcan and Hobart equipment, you can get quotes and save money on dish machines, ovens, ranges, braising pans, food cutters, kettles, griddles, floor mixers and counter-top mixers.

All you have to do is pick up the phone. We’ll do the rest! Call today at 800-956-5571 and mention that you want to take advantage of the October Equipment quote promotion.

Mixers 101 – common misconceptions that impact performance

Content adapted from Hobart & FES magazine

Whether you need a mixer for continuous use or the occasional batch, it’s important to have the right equipment for the job. A mixer that isn’t sized right can affect performance and increase costs. Learning these common misconceptions about mixers will help you make the best selection for the tasks performed and provide a long life in your correctional kitchen.

Misconception 1: Larger Motor Equals More Power

When it comes to mixers, remember that advertised horsepower won’t give you a complete picture of expected performance. A larger motor doesn’t mean the mixer will provide you with more power. Instead, check the mixer’s efficiency and torque, which affect the ability to drive the agitator into the bowl. This ensures that product is mixed thoroughly. The type of drive system the mixer has is a key factor here. For example the Hobart® Legacy® mixers with Variable Frequency Drive use a variable-speed motor and a single gear train to regulate the frequency and voltage of the electric current to the motor. This drive regulates the mixer speed so that it will increase or decrease to put the right amount of torque into the bowl to make sure ingredients are consistently mixed every time. If a mixer needs a larger motor to drive the same amount of torque as a smaller motor would drive, too much energy is being used to accomplish the task. When this is happening, components can become hotter faster and it can lead to premature motor failure, costly repairs and even replacement.

Misconception 2: More Is Always Better

It is best to determine the size and type of mixer you require by reviewing how you will be using the mixer. First, be sure to select the correct bowl size so that you won’t tax the motor. Sometimes a larger bowl will be needed, but not always; you use the absorption ratio to determine this. To calculate the absorption ratio, water weight is divided by flour weight. This is important because the recommended maximum capacity of the mixer depends on the moisture content of the dough. For example, on the Hobart mixer capacity chart, the capacities are based on an absorption rate calculation formula of 12% flour moisture at 70-degree Fahrenheit water temperature. Also, your kitchen may not require a maximum heavy-duty mixer. If the mixer is used periodically for heavy dough or limited batch use, a standard heavy-duty mixer would be a better choice. A good rule of thumb is if you are doing less than four hours of mixing daily. Anything more than that is better served with a maximum heavy-duty mixer.

Misconception 3: Routine Maintenance Isn’t Critical

Routine maintenance is important for any piece of kitchen equipment to reduce problems and extend the productive life of the equipment. Mixers have lubrication points like the actuators which are involved in lifting and lowering the bowl that need regular attention. You can save yourself future trouble by following the manufacturer’s recommendations regarding how much and how often you grease these points. Also, you need to be sure you do not wipe off all the grease when you are cleaning because this may prevent the bowl from moving up and down correctly.

It is important to pay attention to the bowl clearance to see that it stays consistent. You can damage the bowl if the agitator is hitting the bottom and if the agitator isn’t positioned properly in the bowl, your ingredients will not get mixed thoroughly. You can refer to the operator’s manual for adjustment instructions.

It’s also recommended that you have your mixer inspected by a service provider annually as a proactive means of equipment maintenance. Taking care of heavy-duty kitchen equipment with regular maintenance will reduce your expenses in the long-term and extend the life or your equipment in your correctional foodservice operation.

Made For Corrections Mondays – Sentry Series Spork

Today’s edition of Made For Corrections Mondays is all about the Sentry Series Spork. This is a truly unique piece of flatware that offers a safer way for inmates to eat. The Sentry Series Spork is made from a soft plastic that can be bent without breaking and it will return to it’s original shape. Because it cannot be broken, inmates cannot sharpen the Sentry Series Spork into a weapon.

If you have any questions about our Sentry Series Spork, or other Cook’s Brand products, give us a call at 800-956-5571 or visit us online at cookscorrectional.com. We can also assist you in finding the best heavy-duty kitchen equipment and supplies for the correctional kitchen.