Cook’s Processing expands to keep up with rise in demand

Ribbon Cutting

MIAMI, Okla. – A ribbon cutting marked the expansion of Cook’s Procession in Miami, Oklahoma. Officials say the upgrade will help address food supply chain gaps in the community.

Cook’s Processing has been owned and operated by Melvin Cook for over 30 years with his son, Kojak Cook following in his footsteps. The processing facility does custom butchering for the four-state area under state inspection. As the only processing facility in Northeast Oklahoma to have passed the USDA regulations regarding HACCP Plan, Cook’s is able to legally sell meat to individuals, schools, grocery stores, and restaurants.

During the COVID 19 pandemic, Cook’s, like many processing facilities, realized the need to add more space and equipment to keep up with the demand of the food supply chain.

“Our average month was 60-80 head,” said Melvin. “Now it is 130 with our biggest at 175.”

At the same time, the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, realizing how vital was to keep the food supply chain moving, announced grant funding from the state’s CARES Act of $10 million in grants for Oklahoma’s meat processors. With assistance from Miami Area Economic Development Service (MAEDS), Melvin Cook submitted an application to add equipment to his operation to better meet his customers’ needs. He was awarded a $200,000 grant towards his expansion efforts by the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, Food, and Forestry.

This expansion allows Cook’s Processing to cut their wait time by 50% and to continue to address food supply chain gaps in the Miami community.

Chief Ethel Cook, Chief of the Ottawa Tribe of Oklahoma and Chairperson of MAEDS, said “We are thankful for businesses like Cook’s Processing and for the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture. I am proud of MAEDS’ role in meeting the needs of not only one of our local businesses but also our community.”