Bel’s Poultry LLC Acquires Assets of Cooks Venture Post-Bankruptcy


In a recent transaction, a poultry firm from central California has acquired nearly all assets of Cooks Venture, following the latter’s Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing in late April, according to federal court records filed earlier this month.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Karen B. Owens approved the acquisition by Bel’s Poultry LLC of Sanger, California, for $7.1 million. Bel’s Poultry is associated with Pitman Family Farms, known for producing Mary’s Free-Range Chickens.

Cooks Venture, established in 2018 with the mission of scaling its unique heritage breed chicken, filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy after financial difficulties led to the abrupt shutdown of several processing plants and the layoff of hundreds of employees in late 2023. The company had accrued nearly $75 million in debt.

Based in Decatur, Arkansas, Cooks Venture previously owned intellectual property related to its proprietary chicken breed, two processing plants in Oklahoma, and various parcels of land.

Founder Matt Wadiak exited the company last summer.