Uncategorized

COVID-19 – Resources for Corrections

We’ve heard from our customers that it can be difficult to find the best resources and expertise to support you, your staff and your operation during this uncertain time. To help you stay informed, Cook’s has compiled a list of reliable resources with information to clearly understand the situation and take relevant action to protect yourself and others. 

We are also here for you to be a resource in any way that we can, as we all navigate the changing landscape. Feel free to give us a call or send an email, our team is working remotely – but we are connected to each other with the goal of providing you the high level of service you expect. All of us at Cook’s are ready to support you in meeting your day-to-day needs and coming up with solutions to new challenges created with the pandemic.

Again, be sure to reach out if we can be of service in any way.  Cook’s is ready to assist you, 800-956-5571.

A Message To Our Customers

As we adjust to the current environment together, I want you to feel confident working with Cook’s and to let you know that we remain committed to continuing to provide you with excellent customer service.  Cook’s has been closely monitoring the Covid-19 situation.  Currently, we have not experienced any disruptions in our workforce and do not expect any.   We began planning for this a few weeks ago and initiated “social distancing” today.  Much of our team is working from home with full access to their computers, phones and other team members.  Our warehouse team and a small crew, including me, are in the office.  You can continue to contact us in the same ways you always have (same phone #, same extension #, same email)  We are ready to help you in any way we can. 

Below are some common questions that we have been receiving from our customers:

Q:  Should we expect any overseas supply chain interruptions from Cook’s?
A:  I don’t think so.  All of Cook’s overseas suppliers are operational and shipping product.  We are currently adding additional inventory (safety stock) if the virus pop up again overseas. 

Q:  How’s your inventory? 
A:  Cook’s is fully stocked and has not experienced any “out of stocks” due to Covid-19.

Q:  Are you still shipping?
A:  Yes, in stock items are still shipping 100% on the same day. 

Q:  Is everyone healthy there?
A:  Yes, we are taking aggressive action by asking many people to work from home and practicing “social distancing” in the office. 

The health and safety of our customers, our team members, and our respective families is my highest priority.    

Regards,
Jeff

Jeff Breeden CEO | Cook’s

Made for Corrections Mondays – Five Star Tray

Don’t miss our latest edition of Made For Corrections Mondays. This week we’re reviewing the Five Star Tray; an insulated tray that is made for meal serving in jails or prisons. This tray features a unique design that is more user friendly than most insulated meal trays that are used in corrections. It has six compartments plus a small compartment for condiments located on the top of tray. Flatware is stored at the top of the tray also, rather than on the side and the remainder of the tray has more of a plate like feel than other meal trays on the market. You have a large compartment for your entree, a 4″ x 4″ compartment for your bread, and then three compartments on the top for your sides, with one of these compartments being deeper than the others to accommodate soup or other menu items with liquid in them. Each compartment is smooth surfaced with cove corners for easy cleaning and the back is concave so that if stacked, the food from the tray below won’t stick top the bottom of the tray above it. If you’re looking for a unique tray with a different design that will make your menu look better, the Five Star Tray is a great choice for you. For more information about the Cook’s Brand Five Star Tray or our other correctional meal trays that are made for corrections, give us a call at 800-956-5571 or visit us online at http://www.cookscorrectional.com.

Made for Corrections Mondays – Cake Marker

Made for Corrections Mondays – Cook’s Brand Cake Marker

Welcome to another edition of Made for Corrections Mondays with Jeff Breeden, CEO of Cook’s. This week we’re talking about the Cook’s Brand Cake Marker. The Cake Marker was designed to address the inevitability that when sheet cakes are cut by hand, the pieces will be a variety of different sizes. We’ve all seen it, you start cutting on one side of the cake and the pieces are fine, maybe even a little generous, but by the time you get to the end, what’s left over is too small to serve so it goes in the trash. That’s a lot of wasted cake if you’re serving a few hundred or even thousands of inmates. It’s also an issue that portion sizes are different from one tray to another and can cause problems when meals are distributed.

The Cake Marker can solve that problem for you. Just like the name says – you use it to mark a sheet cake giving you a guide for slicing even pieces ensuring the whole cake can be served. To mark a cake, you simply hold the Cake Marker straight above the frosted cake and slightly press it into the frosting. This marks the top so that you can evenly cut the pieces. If you’re using a plain cake, you place the Cake Marker on top and put a light dusting of powdered sugar on top, once you remove the Cake Marker you’ll be able to see where to cut. Occasionally, we have had customers request a cake cutter from us. This isn’t a cake cutter and we don’t make one of those. We have looked into the idea, but we haven’t made one because if you were to use it with a frosted cake, once you used it the blades would have frosting and cake on them and wouldn’t be usable for a second. Too much cake and frosting would gunk up the blade to be useful for more than one use. But we feel that you can accomplish the goal of evenly cut cakes time after time with the Cook’s Brand Cake Marker.

This product comes in a variety models to give you many options in the size of your cake pieces. When you use the CKE101SS you will end up with (54) 3″ x 3″ cake slices from one full size sheet cake (18″ x 26″). If you want larger or smaller pieces, we have a Cake Marker to accommodate you. For more information about our Cake Marker or other Cook’s Brand products, you can reach us at 800.956.5571 or visit www.cookscorrectional.com.

Made For Corrections Mondays – Cook’s Brand Mugs

Welcome to another edition of Made For Corrections Mondays. This week Jeff Breeden, CEO of Cook’s, will show you the four different types of mugs offered by Cook’s Brand and how each of them is designed to fulfill a need in correctional meal service.

Cook’s Brand offers correctional food-service operators coffee mugs that are designed to be durable, safe and functional in correctional environments. All the mugs are designed with a large handle that will fit bigger hands. Additionally, there are indentations on the bottom of all the mugs so that water will run off when they come out of the dish machine rather than pool on top so they dry faster. There are four different material options so that you get the right mug to match the security level of your facility. Our most popular mugs are the co-polymer which are a good fit in minimum or medium security facilities and appropriate for the general population in most correctional facilities. If you are looking for longer wear, the poly-carbonate mugs are nearly unbreakable, but it is important to know that poly-carbonate is a harder plastic and if it does get broken, any shards from the mug can be sharpened into a weapon. If you have any concerns about this, the co-polymer mug is a better choice as it is a softer material. For environments where safety is a concern, the Sentry Series mug or the Flex mug are your best choices. The Sentry Series mug is an FDA approved pliable material that bends without breaking and returns to it’s original shape. For seg or maximum security areas, the Flex Mug is the best option. Flex Mugs are made of FDA approved silicone. These mugs are pliant and flexible so inmates cannot shatter, chip or break off part of the mug to use as a weapon. All Cook’s Brand mugs are microwave and dishwasher safe.

For further information about Cook’s Brand mugs or other meal service products, give us a call at 800-956-5571 and our customer service team will be happy to assist you. Until next week – Stay Safe!

Made For Corrections Mondays – Raised Compartment Gorilla Tray

Today’s edition of Made For Corrections Mondays is all about the Raised Compartment Gorilla Tray.  In this short video Jeff Breeden, CEO of Cook’s, introduces you to the Raised Compartment Gorilla Tray, an insulated correctional meal tray with raised food compartments.  Elevating the food in the compartments of the Raised Compartment Gorilla Tray makes portions appear bigger and more appealing.  We’ve raised the bottom  of the tray compartments to make them shallower than the original Gorilla Tray. We’ve also made these trays 2-3/8″deep allowing the underside of the compartments to be raised as well so food won’t stick to the bottom tray above when stacked for transport.  The result is a much more appealing meal presentation for the inmate and a much more sanitary meal service because food from one tray isn’t all over the bottom of the tray that was stacked on top of it.   

If you have any questions about our Raised Compartment Gorilla Tray, 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 insulated correctional meal trays and supplies for the correctional kitchen.

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.

Download our flyer or 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