F.Cooke: Our story
Robert Cooke was born in 1841 in East London and grew up in a family of pipe makers. Robert went on to be one of Londons most successful entrepreneurs and when he was 21, he opened his first outlet on Sclatter Street, Brick Lane. This was the first time he started trading under the Cooke brand that we see today and F Cooke was born. It was at this point he made a name for himself by selling stewed eels with mashed potato and liquor.
In 1890 Robert opened up a second shop at 40 Watney Street, E1 and by 1892 Robert ventured south of the river to Bermondsey where he opened up at 87 Bermondsey New Road, which is now known as Tower Bridge Road, SE1.
Robert and his wife Martha had three children, Robert, Amy and Fred, to add to their existing offspring. As soon as they were old enough it was natural for the children to follow in their fathers’ footsteps and open their own shops, keeping the family legacy. In 1900 they had opened up in Broadway Market, Hackney E8. This shop was shut down for seven years in 1940 after the original facia was blown out during the second world war. From there Robert went on to 158 Horseferry road, SW1, while Fred opened yet another shop in Kingsland High Street, E8 in 1910.
By 1939 the Cooke brothers had a total of five shops. In 1991, the shop on Kingsland High Street became a grade II listed and the Broadway market shop followed suit and became grade II listed in 2018.
In 2010, Bob’s daughter Emma Cooke opened up in Romford and in 2020, Bob’s son Robert Cooke opened Chelmsford’s first traditional pie and mash shop on Moulsham Street. This was the first time the Cooke’s have ever opened up outside of the London borders.
The Cookes are without a doubt the oldest-established family in the business. The family name has never altered and in every F. Cooke shop, you will find a Cooke in charge.