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Supplier Spotlight: Cooks Venture

Supplier Spotlight: Cooks Venture

Did you know that over 99% of chickens come from the same two breeds. You may think there isn’t a difference - but that’s because you may not have tried heritage or heirloom varieties. One company, Cooks Venture, is leading the field of independent chicken breeding with their slow-growth, heirloom breed, the Pioneer. 

Their approach to poultry production, starting with the breed, focuses on restoring the health of the ecosystems through regenerative farming while producing high-quality, nutrious chicken. 

Heirloom chickens are a cross between heritage breeds, which are naturally slow-growing and develop healthier on pasture. There’s no question it’s a better life for the bird. This directly translates to the health and flavor of the chicken: it’s packed with nutrients and is more flavorful, more tender, and juicer than conventional chicken. 

Cooks Venture’s Pioneer chickens thrive outdoors from morning to nightfall, instinctively foraging for bugs and native plants on their 800-acre farm in Decatur, Arkansas and smaller farms around the region. All their farms include a silvopasture orchard program including hazelnut trees. Cooks Venture is certified by the Global Animal Partnership Animal Welfare program (Pasture-Raised - Level 4+), so all the birds are raised on pasture starting by 4 weeks of age, with proper shelter and enrichments to keep the birds healthy and happy.  

The heirloom chickens also enjoy a supplementary, locally-grown non-GMO feed - made from crops produced on nearby farms that practice regenerative agriculture. This premium feed in combination with the heirloom breed and truly pasture-raised lifestyle means chickens are healthier and, in turn, healthier for you. They’re higher in antioxidants, omega-3s and vitamin A, as well as oleic acid — which makes for crispier skin when cooked! The richness and juiciness is unparalleled, and you can taste the difference upon first bite.  

Cooks Venture is committed to raising some of the best chickens you can find and doing so in a way that protects the environment. They work with scientists and the farmers that produce their feed to continue developing their regenerative agriculture plan — a holistic approach to farming that looks at how animals, crops and the land can work in harmony. Their goal is to take carbon out of the atmosphere and put it back in the soil — a cycle that can create positive change on millions of acres of land, reverse the effects of global warming, and drastically change the food system for the better.

Cooks Venture's regenerative chicken farming methods are designed to have a positive impact on the environment, soil health, and the well-being of the chickens. By working with local farmers and providing them with support and education, Cooks Venture aims to create a network of regenerative poultry producers, promoting a regenerative agricultural system on a larger scale.

As we continue down the path of a fully regenerative supply chain, we’re excited to partner with Cooks Venture! Kicking off our partnership, we’re launching our July Burger of the Month (July 5th through August 1st) – Orange is the New Chicken with Cooks Venture’s regenerative chicken breast. You can also try it in the Nashville Hot Chicken.

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