Company History


Cooks Global Foods is an integrated food and beverage retail and supply group founded on leveraging New Zealand’s reputation for fresh and quality foods globally.

CGF owns the intellectual property and master franchising rights to Esquires Coffee Houses worldwide - excluding Canada, New Zealand and Australia - acquired in April 2013. The company also owns a number of retail and wholesale companies in related industries.

The concept of Cooks Global Foods is based on owning the international intellectual property rights to Esquires Coffee Houses. In addition the company has acquired the master franchise rights for UK and Ireland and as well as franchises in the Middle East and China and the rights to many other countries.

CGF operates in global markets and is listed on the NZAX market. NZX code CGF.


Cooks Global Foods

Cooks Global Foods focuses on three fundamental business elements:

  • Ownership of the international retail footprint under the established Esquires Coffee Houses brand principally utilising a franchise model. 
  • Acquisition of supply businesses in the food and beverage sectors to develop a self-managed and efficient distribution chain.
  • Growth of the retail and supply sides of the group through a combination of organic growth, further acquisitions and the appointment of Master Franchises in new markets.


Esquires Coffee

Esquires was founded in 1993 in Canada and has expanded steadily around the world since that time. From Vancouver to the UK and Ireland, throughout the Middle East and China the Esquires Coffee brand offers customers a unique Fair trade and Organic beverage range in comfortable and modern surroundings. Over the years the brand has continuously evolved ensuring both customer satisfaction and fun profitable franchising partnerships worldwide.

Esquires currently has 64 coffee houses located in the following countries:

  • United Kingdom - 28
  • Ireland - 6
  • China - 13
  • United Arab Emirates - 4
  • Saudi Arabia - 9
  • Bahrain - 2
  • Kuwait - 2

The brand is expanding rapidly with recent master franchises being signed in Oman and Qatar and a number of discussions underway for the establishment of Esquires in new markets. The company’s goal is to operate at least 400 stores globally by 2020.


Supply Companies

Progressive Processors Ltd
CGF acquired Progressive Processors Ltd in October 2013. Progressive Processors is based near Whakatane and grows, supplies, processes and adds value to a number of fresh fruits and vegetables including asparagus and kiwifruit. It supplies product domestically and also to export markets, particularly Japan.

Scarborough Fair
Scarborough Fair was acquired in October 2013 and is a wholesaler of Organic and Fairtrade teas, coffees and chocolates. There are many synergies with the Scarborough Fair product range and the products sold through the Esquires Coffee Houses internationally.

Dairyland Products Ltd. The company holds 8,491,667 shares (42.46%) shares in Dairyland Products Limited, a company formed to undertake investments in the dairy industry. The company owns the factory site in Tokaroa and holds both building and resource consents to enable the establishment of a Whole Milk Powder factory on the site.


Company Structure

Retail: The operational division for Esquires Coffee Houses. In addition to the operating companies identified above, FDL (or usually a specially formed wholly owned subsidiary) contracts with third parties to appoint them a Master Franchise in a specified territory. As brand ownership is critical to the retail and supply divisions, the intellectual property rights to Esquires Coffee Houses are held in a separate non-trading division. The assets consist of a significant number of trademarks registered together with accrued goodwill and associated copyright.

Supply: The supply division of Cooks Global Foods supplies the retail division and other third party customers. It is intended to grow this division with further niche supply companies.


Board of Directors

Graeme Keith Jackson - Executive Chairman

Keith has an extensive background in management and governance with particular emphasis on the food and dairy industries.

He was CEO of Tegel Foods for 16 years from 1980 to 1996, Deputy Chairman of Ernest Adams from 1998 and Managing Director of Independent Dairy Producers, a small fresh milk company.

Together with two others Keith formed Dairy Farm Investments, a company that now has dairy farms in New Zealand and Australia. Keith has also established Dairyland Products, a project company designed to combine New Zealand’s core strength of low cost milk production with the added value provided by milk powder production.

Keith founded Cooks Food Group in 2008 via a merger of four companies. Together with Stuart and Lewis Deeks he was a key driver in developing the opportunity to build the Esquires Coffee Houses chain internationally by creating Cooks Global Foods.

Keith has a Bachelor of Commerce from Otago University.

John Stuart Deeks - Executive Director

Stuart founded and ran the Esquires Coffee Houses business in New Zealand where he planned and oversaw its expansion from a single store to some 50 outlets. Under his leadership the business became New Zealand's fastest growing and largest coffee house chain while also twice winning the award for best food and beverage franchise system in the country. Stuart was responsible for negotiating successful master franchise agreements in the Middle East and China.

Stuart has been responsible for leading the acquisition of the Esquires international intellectual property rights from the Canadian owners, effectively bringing ownership of the global business to New Zealand. He also played a leading role in the acquisition of both the UK and Irish Master Franchises.

Stuart is a seasoned expatriate having lived some nine years in the Middle East and UK. He has spent the past 12 years in New Zealand. Recognised as an authority in retail franchising both locally and internationally, Stuart still finds time for board membership of the global Entrepreneurs Organisation "EO", regularly practising Bikram Yoga and for his family.

Lewis Andrew Deeks – Executive Director

Lewis co-founded the Esquires Coffee Houses business in New Zealand in 2001 and together with Stuart oversaw its expansion to become the largest franchised coffee house chain in the country.

Lewis was instrumental in the development and implementation of all franchise systems, supplier relationships, operational aspects and infrastructure within the Esquires business. These systems provided the core principles behind Esquires’ success in twice being awarded Food and Beverage Franchise System of the Year.

Eighteen months prior to its sale, Lewis assumed the role of Chief Executive of Esquires NZ Ltd while also managing the planning and preparation of the business for its eventual sale. He led the sale and transition process to ASX listed Retail Food Group in early 2011.

Prior to founding Esquires in New Zealand Lewis was a self-employed IT professional for 13 years working in various senior roles in corporate, banking and government.

Andrew Kerslake - Director

After completing his education at Northcote College and Auckland University, Andrew worked in banking and finance before moving into the shipping industry and logistics. Andrew worked for Schenker, a German based Logistics Company for 14 years, moving through sales and operations, then as General Manager for six years and finally Managing Director for a further four.

Andrew furthered his education at Ashridge Management College in London completing a Senior Executive Management programme with parent company Stinnes-AG. He also served as a board member of the New Zealand German Business Association for four years.

In 2001 Andrew and his business partner pursued other business interests investing in majority shareholdings in a number of successful businesses in the medical, grocery and automotive industries.

More recently Andrew focuses fully on investments with potential including electronics waste company RCN–Ewaste 

Mike Hutcheson - Director

Mike co-founded leading advertising agencies Colenso BBDO and Hutcheson Knowles Marinkovich and culminated his advertising career as Managing Director of Saatchi and Saatchi. Mike was also a director of a family building company and in the early ‘80s set up Replica Homes with franchises throughout New Zealand.

In 2003 Mike launched The Lighthouse Ideas Company and in 2008 he and his partners undertook a management buyout of the Image Centre Group, publishers, printers and digital online communications specialists.

Mike has written four books, and has been a regular television guest and commentator. He currently writes an innovation column for Idealog magazine, one of the magazines in his company’s portfolio. In 2012 he was named Business Columnist of the Year in the Magazine Publisher’s Awards.

Graeme Lee – Director

Graeme has a background in management, sales, importing and distribution and now focuses on investment into businesses he believes hold significant potential. Graeme holds majority shareholdings in a number of successful businesses in the medical, grocery and automotive industries. Graeme is associated with ADG Investments Limited, a substantial shareholder of CGF.






Norah Barlow – Director

Norah formed her own accounting practice in 1992 before selling it in 1999 to join Summerset Group as group accountant. She was appointed CEO in 2002, retired from the role in 2014 and remains a director.

Ms Barlow is also a director of Cigna Insurance Limited and in 2012 was appointed to the National Advisory Council for the Employment of Women by the Minster of Women's Affairs. 

She has been a board member of the Retirement Villages Association since 2002, becoming president in 2005 and retiring from the role in 2012 and is now immediate past president.  She was also the recipient of the award for the Most Outstanding Contributor to Over 50s Housing 2013 presented at an awards ceremony in London.


Key Management

Lewis Deeks

Director of Supply & Logistics

Stuart Deeks

Director of Business Development

Stuart Macintosh

Manufacturing Manager

Nizar al Ali

Regional Director, Middle East and North Africa

Peter Kirton

Managing Director – Great Britain

Tony Mc Verry

Managing Director – Ireland

Neil Butler

Managing Director – Progressive Processors