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Fun, vibrant and dynamic workspaces reflect business approach of this fast growing company

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New premises for My Food Bag encourage staff to work together collaboratively, plus give the company a development kitchen that's purpose-built for its needs

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It's incredibly satisfying for the founders of a start-up when the company hits a chord with its potential customer base and the business takes off at an unexpectedly speedy rate.

My Food Bag is one such success story. Beginning operation in 2013, within three years the business had attracted over 30,000 customers and had annual revenues nudging past $100 million.

But rapid expansion brings with it a whole new set of challenges as well as opportunities – one being how to accommodate the increasing staff numbers and facilities a company needs.

My Food Bag founder and co-CEO Cecilia Robinson says the firm's growth had resulted in her team being spread over three different locations.

"We really lacked that flow of working between teams and realised that we quickly needed more space and an environment that encouraged a more collaborative approach," she says.

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While the search for new premises identified a building that gave the company the space it required, the existing office fit-out it contained was far from the ideal that Robinson envisaged.

"It was uninspirational and dated, with very low ceilings and horrible carpets – but it had potential.

"Our business is fun, dynamic, vibrant and fast-paced, and we wanted our new environment to reflect that."

Platform Consulting Group was called in as project manager and lead contractor for the transformation, with Yellow 6 producing the design concept. My Food Bag's two functional requirements were allocated to different levels in the building – administration workstation space on the third floor and the highly specialised development kitchen on the ground floor.

Yellow 6 Design director Suz Miller says all the existing fit-out – ceiling panels, flooring, lighting trays – was stripped out, leaving exposed, natural surfaces and services as the base for the new design. The concrete floor was then polished and a neutral colour scheme introduced as a backdrop.

"We then injected the My Food Bag brand colour palette into various areas – Spring green, Summer red, Autumn orange and Winter purple," says Miller.

To facilitate collaboration within and across teams, there was a deliberate decision not to screen any of the administration workspaces – even the co-CEO area is open to the wider environment.

However, each team does have its own meeting rooms for more private conversations and interactions, and colour has been injected into these too.

Central to this floor are staff social facilities including the kitchen, relaxation areas, children's play area and a pool table. Robinson says the pool table is more than just a social attraction.

"I love to see our different teams interacting over a game of pool, often having a big conversation – and usually work related."

The ground floor development kitchen continues the general aesthetic of the upper floor, but is designed as a production line for the 30-40 recipes that need to be created each week.

This includes 10 residential scale kitchen stations that are used to test the recipes created by the adjacent team of recipe developers and editors. On the other side of the kitchen is a purpose-built kitchen studio, with two cameras mounted overhead, where the finalised dishes are photographed to illustrate the food bag meal to be prepared.

The kitchen also has a large pantry and walk-in fridge – Robinson points out that essentially it's operating like a medium-to-large sized restaurant.

Plus there's an area for administrative team members to come down and eat what's been cooked during the day – another enjoyable perk of working in this new My Food Bag environment.

First published date: 26 September 2017

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Credit List

Project My Food Bag Project management,
FF+E procurement, lead contract Platform Consulting Group
Interior design Yellow 6 Design
Interior fit out Cook Bros
Mechanical and electrical engineer Coolray, Team Cabling DB
Fire consultant Holmes Fire
Interior window and door joinery Potters A series in Dulux Black Ace
Hardware Sopers
Blinds Artisan
Flooring Carpet tiles by Signature Floors, Irvine Westminster broadloom, Inzide, timber vinyl by Karndean
Wallcoverings Cube by Autex, cork by Eco Floors, pegboard by George and Willy, brick cladding by Vidaspace, Spectrum clear ply by Plytech, glazing film by Frosted Glass
Veneers Laminex
Paint Resene
Lighting Team Cabling, feature lighting by Calder Interiors
Workstations Crestline
Furniture UFL, Workscape, Crestline
Kitchen appliances Fisher & Paykel
Kitchen benchtops Corian
Kitchen wall tiles Prescott Flooring