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“I’d rather crawl naked over broken glass than sell to a supermarket”

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Edward Perry (pictured, with co-founder Dale Penfold, right) has been plugging away at his business for 12 years. And it is finally taking off, big-time.

All over the south-east, his shops are opening (24 now, with ten more planned for the next year), instantly becoming huge hits with middle-class mums who love Perry’s high-quality, home-cooked formula. The internet delivery service is booming, too, bringing old-fashioned food and modern communications together in a neat blend. And across the UK, Cook concessions are appearing in farm shops.

But you will not be discovering Perry’s food in the supermarkets in a hurry. Oh, no.

"I’d rather crawl naked over broken glass than sell to a supermarket," says the usually mild-mannered Perry. He’s had lots of requests, but has always – and will always – said no. "It’s fundamentally a lifestyle thing," says the 38-year-old, who started his own career in his family’s bakery and now runs £21m-turnover Cook with brother James and head chef Dale Penfold. "At some point when you sell to supermarkets, you start working for them. And we don’t want that."

More about Edward Perry and the hottest new brand on the high street in the next edition of Real Business.

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