Timeline

1963
October 16

1963

Chairman & Founder Ivan Watkiss is born in 1963.
1970
November 16

Mr Cooper

Ivans Grandparents, Fred and Florence Cooper owned a small holding raising pigs.
1991
April 7

1991

In 1991, Ivan and wife Sue develop Gillhams into a thriving Deli and Coffee Shop. “Everything we do at Gillhams is born out of our love of good food, and that was the starting point for Coopers Gourmet Sausage Rolls,’ says Ivan.
2010
November 10

2010

When the recession hit, Ivan disappeared back into the kitchen to create the perfect sausage roll as he knew it could be a delicious foodie product.    
December 10

2010

Ivan’s prototypes were devoured by the staff at Gillhams and that was when, Coopers Gourmet Sausage Rolls was born!
2011
November 11

2011

By this time Ivan was making more and more Sausage Rolls and was running out of room so the decision to take the leap of faith and move to a unit was taken! Ivan and Anne moved to the Shropshire Food Enterprise Centre to a purpose built, state of the art Kitchen where there was plenty of room to grow the business…or so we thought!
2012
February 12

2012

Son, Jordan Watkiss joins the company as Event Manager. His role in the company was to book and organise all our our food festivals, events and markets.
November 12

2012

In November 2012, we attended the Morgan Foundation Awards and went home with the title of ‘Best New Business”
2013
November 13

2013

After a couple of years in our unit we quickly outgrew it and had to move next door into one of the larger units (3000 sq.ft) following from listings with customers such as Harrods!
2014
November 14

2014

We decide to introduce Scotch Eggs into our range after demand from customer such as Selfridges. All of our Scotch Eggs are made by hand by our dedicated team.
2015
January 15

2015

Daughter, India Watkiss joins the company as Sales & Marketing Manager
February 15

2015

Quickly outgrowing our 2nd unit at the Shropshire Food Enterprise Centre it was time to look for somewhere else. We came across a derelict packing shed in Roden, 5 miles outside of Shrewsbury. It was the perfect black canvas we were looking for. With 4 acres of land surrounding the building there would be plenty of room to expand. We took the plunge and placed an offer..it was accepted! Yay!    
October 15

2015

By August, we were ready to move into the brand spanking new Coopers HQ! It felt like home straight away. By moving into this 6500 sq.ft building it meant we had the space to improve our processes and increase our level of food safety. We had out SALSA audit in October and passed with flying colours!
2016
November 16

2016

In early 2016 Ivan heads back into the Kitchen to develop his Pork Pie ideas. Here, at Coopers we don’t like to do things by half. Therefore Ivan had a light bulb moment of flavouring the jelly! We launched 4 lines of Pork Pie in November 2016.
December 16

2016

Towards the end of 2016, we decided that the name “Coopers Gourmet Sausage Rolls” just wasn’t right for us anymore as we do so much more than just our beloved Sausage Rolls, so we changed our trading name to “Coopers Gourmet Foods” and gave our logo a little face lift!

To be continued…