Meal creator and distributor My Food Bag is enjoying the inspirational benefits of a collaborative new workspace in College Hill.
Cecilia Robinson’s young business – where head chef Nadia Lim creates healthy and delicious meals before sending the ingredients to your home so you can recreate the meal yourself – is reaping the rewards of the open-space working environment.
Nick Theyers, a commercial leasing broker at Jones Lang LaSalle, was in charge of finding My Food Bag the dream location for its operations. He says the business had specific requirements for the location, and they struck gold when they came across a vacant building on College Hill.
“It was quite a specific requirement because the testing environment for Nadia’s recipes needed to be in a residential setting. You can’t use a commercial oven because it cooks at four times the rate of a standard oven,” says Theyers.
So when Theyers found the New York-style apartment with wide open spaces and an amazing kitchen, he knew it would be exactly what My Food Bag needed.
“It’s a two level character building featuring a pitched roof with exposed timber beams. The front half is open plan with a residential kitchen, and they’ve separated the space using old fashioned barn doors creating a planning room out the back.”
Robinson says the space is amazing and suits the business’ needs perfectly.
“We love it and we think it fits our needs very well,” she says. “I think working in an open office space removes any boundaries and ensures we are all on the same track. It’s also really transparent and creates an environment where everyone can come and tap someone on the shoulder. There’s no hierarchy and I think for that reason we have a very close team.”
Robinson says they only needed to make minor adjustments to the interior, with big wooden doors being added to provide a small meeting room in the back and an additional oven so multiple dishes could be created at the same time.
“It’s a fantastic environment to work in as we are exposed to our own product on a daily basis,” she says. “It makes me fall in love with our business every day and makes all of us feel immensely proud of what we do. It’s also a really intimate environment and most days we have lunch together or invite our suppliers to.”
Theyers says he is seeing more and more companies looking for these types of spaces to run their businesses.
“Generally, companies or creatives go for creative space areas because of their brand image. They don’t want to be seen as just straight arrows, they want something that says something about their brand.”