James Henry Cook
(1869-?)

Died aged unknown

The Pitman Vegetarian Hotel was a vegetarian hotel that opened in 1898 in the County Buildings (now Grade II* listed), Corporation Street, Birmingham, England, as an expansion of a vegetarian restaurant on the same site. The manager was James Henry Cook. According to his daughter, Kathleen Keleny, it was named after Sir Isaac Pitman, then vice-president of the Vegetarian Society. It was still operating in the 1930s. The same proprietor ran the Pitman Health Food Co. (also called Pitman Reform Food Stores) at Aston Brook Street, Birmingham, advertising in 1909 as "The Largest Health Food Dealers in the World". Selling direct and by mail order, it manufactured meat-free products including Pitman Sea-Side Paste, Pitman Savoury Nut Meat, Nuto Cream, Brazose Meat, Vigar Extract, Vegsal Soups and Fruitarian Cakes and wafers. It also sold cooking utensils such as the Pitman Steam Cooker, a multilevel boiler and steamer. Mahatma Gandhi is known to have received jars of Nuto Cream and Nuto Cream Soup from the company.

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Commemorated on 1 plaque

Peter Hughes on Flickr

1898-1998 This plaque was presented by the Institute of Health Food Retailing on the 11th February 1998 To commemorate the centenary of the opening of the first Health Food Store in the United Kingdom and to honour it's originator James Henry Cook

Pitman Chambers, Corporation Street, Birmingham, United Kingdom where they opened the first Health Food Store in the United Kingdom