The Cook Studio operated a culinary training program for disadvantaged, multi-barriered, at-risk youth. The enterprise earned revenue through a café located in the Downtown Eastside, and catering contracts.
Cook Studio received business plan coaching and a grant from the Social Enterprise Fund. These funds were used to automate the café and catering functions, modernize the base technology, hire a dedicated sales person for one year and implement a marketing campaign. These actions were intended to reduce costing, forecasting and reporting inefficiencies and increase revenues flowing to the enterprise.
The organization was established as a sole proprietorship and went bankrupt in 2006. Reasons for the bankruptcy include extreme growth without the business expertise or systems in place to manage such growth, poor contract assessment and management, absence of a true Board of Director.
Despite the financial demise, the Cook Studio increased employment opportunities for over 1,200 disadvantaged youth. Over 800 graduates of the training program have obtained meaningful employment in the food service industry and an additional 100 returned to higher education as a result of the program.