Founded by University of Alberta MBA graduates Jennifer Keith and Luke Butterworth, JustCook Kitchens came from the founders' shared passion for food and entrepreneurship.
While working together on a previous start-up, Luke and Jennifer talked about the concept of ghost and cloud kitchens — over food, of course — and how it was redefining the restaurant industry, even before Covid.
As Jennifer says, "I had always been interested in businesses that facilitate making food more accessible to people and add value to underutilized assets. We started discussing options about starting something together in late 2018 and, after several brainstorming and planning rounds and many shifts and turns, JustCook Kitchens came to be."
Luke had previously tried to start a restaurant with his brother, who is a chef. While they tried to get their project off the ground, they ran into barriers. Speaking to other chefs, they heard over and over how much of the credit and reward in restaurants goes to the front of house, leaving the chef's work unnoticed. These two observations planted the seed for JustCook Kitchens.
"We wanted to create a place where the focus (and reward) would finally shift to who creates the food," explains Luke.
JustCook’s main goal is to help chefs thrive, so we designed the JCK Food Hall concept around them. We aren't just a landlord — we're a partner.
Our food halls are designed with technology in mind for every step of the chef and customer experience. Unlike many restaurants, we've focused on developing technology that improves customer experience, and helps chefs improve their menu offerings.
5th St. Food Hall is the first location managed by JustCook Kitchens Inc. and is planned to be the first of many.