Nimbly doubling the size of a shifting business within two weeks
Though home-delivered cooking kits have seen a dramatic rise in popularity over the last couple of years, Cook it has been facilitating meal planning and reducing waste with healthy meal kits since 2014. Before COVID-19, they already enjoyed an enviable reputation as Canada’s third-biggest meal kit delivery company and Quebec’s second-biggest player. But once all things normal went out the window, their priority was no longer to beat out the competition, but to figure out how to be the most agile and useful possible in times of great need.
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It’s at moments like these that you really have to make sure you’re running the kind of company that can generate opportunities for others. What are you doing to help other businesses that are in need?.
President, Cook it
For Cook it, the answer to that question would take on the form of multiple initiatives.
- Turning their platform into a digital window display for great local products
- Redirecting restaurant-bound products into local households to avoid waste
- Creating interactive cooking shows and activities for kids
- Offering free food boxes for restaurant industry employees
Throughout it all, demand for at-home deliveries continued sky-rocketing, and they were now handling double the sales with nearly half of their workforce at home sick. With 40 000 square feet of factory space to coordinate and an entirely new, COVID-safe production chain to implement; they found themselves onboarding 30 new employees at the same time.
After a few sleepless nights, Cook it’s leadership team is now hitting its stride with an entirely reconfigured factory space and a whole roster of new service offerings. As she takes a minute to come up for air, Cook it president Judith Fetzer is excitedly sensing an important shift in her entrepreneurial ecosystem.
" We’ve been adapting so quickly every day with a reduced team and a market we know nothing about. And I think we’ve pulled it off. If anything, that’s what I’m proudest of: we started with nothing and managed to make it this far within two weeks "
Though Judith may be particularly good at leaning into the disruptive forces of change – she has, after all, admitted to feeling like a fish in water when navigating big, ambitious organizational changes – we think we could all learn from her eagerness to reinvent and think on her feet. But her big words of advice? Take care of your people. Oh, and take this opportunity to finally take that well-overdue digital leap too.
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