At first glance, there’s not much to see.
An inconspicuous courtyard nestled on the corner of Alexander and Columbia - a nondescript intersection located on the northeastern edge of Vancouver’s emerging Gastown district.
Take two, however, reveals a hidden lair.
Beyond the locked bicycles, through the overhanging branches, and up the wide-set staircase stand massive floor-to-ceiling glass walls, through which you can catch a glimpse of the world that works behind it.
Welcome to the Den.
Originally housed in the iconic 55 Water Street location (where your favourite Real Estate Social Network also happens to be found), this fox-faced startup has been shacked up in this new location for the past year or so.
It’s an open concept style office, with their 33 employees sectioned off into teams, a boardroom at the back, and an impromptu meeting zone with comfy-looking couches at the front.
...But who cares.
Let’s get right into the juicy parts.
They have a foosball table!
According to our sources, the table gets put into use about 3 to 4 times a day on average (even with a daily blackout period from 11 - 1). They have a leaderboard to keep track of who is closest to dethroning Kaz, Senior Software Developer and apparent Man Among Boys.
It’s a brutal contest, one where you can go from 4th to 11th in one fell swoop.
It’s this energetic spirit of world triumph that seems to pervade the very cultural fabric at Food.ee. Each week a Team Challenge is posted (# of orders, revenue generated, etc.) with the winner getting the chance to wear a big fluffy crown.
Their vast network of restaurant partnerships sprawl across three big whiteboards like uncontrollable vines; they’ve already expanded their services to Toronto, with plans to invade south of the 49th parallel as well; moving into Austin, Philly and Denver within the next two months.
What’s more, a multitude of champagne bottles sit along the far side of the office, each one with a goal written on it. Once this target is hit, the bottle is sabered open and everyone celebrates.
And for the really big achievements, they have something special as well…
Ring the bell! How could you not want to grab that thing and rattle it around.
Besides all the friendly competition that exists, they have plenty of other cool perks to keep things fun. Personally, I’m quite jealous of the Pastry Monday thing they got going on. (Though fortunate to avoid the ‘Foodee 15’ that unsuspecting new employees are quickly aware of.)
One thing they don’t have, however, are office pets.
[Insert infamous Farting Dog story here]
The infectious culture here is spearheaded in large part by Wayne Webb, Director of Operations at Food.ee, whose legendary passion seems to have worked its way into each member of the staff.
(For example, Eric Ly, Logistics Coordinator at Food.ee, even went so far as to channel his passion for team building into a memorable Sauna Bus outing.)
But how did this exciting culture originate?
It all begin with Finches, a local coffee shop with delicious baguettes.
Jon Cartwright, Founder of
They met in front of an office. He took the sandwiches, went inside, then returned with an empty tray and a pocketful of profit.
Needless to say, Finches became the first official restaurant to sign with Food.ee.
...Now who wouldn’t want to work for a company with such badass origins!
Thanks Rob, Mallory, Eric, Jenny and everyone at Food.ee for their awesome cooperation!
Startups like you make RESAAS proud to be one as well.