Hi I'm Anna and I'm the owner and chef at Cook House, a shipping container restaurant just outside Newcastle's city centre, in the creative Ouseburn Valley.
We have been open for 3 and a half years and the place has gone from strength to strength, winning awards and gaining national recognition.
We found out last year that our street was going to be redeveloped so have been looking for our next home ever since.
Cook House is tiny and unique, with small gardens front and back, a wood burner and a lovely atmosphere. It's important to us that the next place keeps the feel and ethos of what we have created, but at the same time allows us to grow.
We have raised half of the money we need to set up our new home, but need your help to raise the other half.
We want to make it worth your while, so instead of money for nothing, or a T-shirt you'll never wear, we're selling in advance tickets for lunch and dinner, tickets to our summer BBQ, cookery classes, a day in the kitchen, supperclubs and loads more... You can even book your work Christmas party now!
We have found the perfect spot right in the heart of the beautiful Ouseburn. It is full circle for me as it is taking on the building where I used to work as an architect before I entered the world of food! An unusual building with loads of space and potential.
The expansion is really exciting as we as we are looking to add many new aspects to what we already do.
We will have our own grocery store, where you can buy many of the amazing local produce we use in the kitchen; cheese, bread, eggs, vegetables, local meats will all be on offer. As well as a range of our own Cook House products.
We have loads more space so will be able to offer coffee, breakfast, brunch, lunch and DINNER! Which is very exciting!
We will be fully licenced and will still host supperclubs and interesting food events in line with what we have developed over the past few years, also introducing more food demonstrations, chef collaborations and classes.
There will be a beautiful herb gardens with outdoor seating and room for a bbq and an ice cream cart in summer. Inside on the lower level we will house our shop, a space for cookery classes and a casual cafe and bar area.
Upstairs will be home to our light, bright kitchen and dining room and an amazing outdoor dining terrace. You can sit out on our terrace right at the centre of the Ouseburn, in amongst our plants and strings of lights looking out at the dramatic buildings and bridges of the valley. We're going to introduce a bit of fire cooking up here as well!
It is quite a big new project. We have raised half of the money ourselves but still need to raise £28,000. Things don't come cheap these days and we are keen to move beyond using second hand kitchen equipment out of my parents garage!
It has been a great 3 years at our current site. We have fed an awful lot of people, we've travelled the region hosting dinners in beautiful locations.
We have gained a loyal following of lovely customers who we hope will be really excited about this next step.
We appeared on the Radio 4 Food Programme last year, and on Channel 4's 'Hidden Restaurants' series, cooking and filming with Michel Roux Junior at Cook House, this was an unbelievable boost to business.
We were named as one of the Top 25 New Entries in the 2017 Good Food Guide and one of the Top 25 Coolest Restaurants by The Times in 2016, Top 5 Restaurants in Britain by Olive Magazine in 2015 and one of the Ten Best Budget Eats in Newcastle by The Guardian.
We recently won an Observer Food Monthly Award for Best Cheap Eats in the North 2017 and re-entered the Good Food Guide for 2018.
We very much hope to continue and build upon this success in our new home. I hope this new home for us, will not only be one of the most unique and brilliant spots within the Ouseburn, it will be also that within the whole of the city.
The concept of coffee, breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner, drinks, classes, demonstrations and grocery shop, all combined in a unique and interesting building with outdoor gardens and terraces is one I would be pretty keen on hanging out at. All adding to the rich and talented independent food scene in Newcastle, that I'm very proud to be part of.
Risks and challenges
Staffing - is always difficult with shortages in the hospitality industry, but we have lined up 5 brilliant full time staff members who will make your time at Cook House a joy.
Building Works - always run over, we have allowed a lot of additional time, but things always crop up. We aim to be open by the end of summer 2018 but will keep you constantly updated.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (28 days)