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The weekly food delivery service is pretty dominant on the food scene, but we think their office is certainly worth mentioning...
With HelloFresh’s use of natural materials at every corner and a nature-inspired palette, we at Ideal Home can’t help but marvel at the stunning simplicity of this creative work space. After all, it’s not just our home decor that can affect our wellbeing and showcase our personalities, but our workspaces should be a reflection of us, too. We are also a little envious!
Here co-founder of HelloFresh, Patrick Drake takes us on a tour around the inspirational HelloFresh office.
When was the HelloFresh office built?
The Shoreditch, London office was built in the summer of 2016, and is 18,000 square feet.
What was the inspiration behind the design?
I wanted the design of the building to be an extension of our values. Though HelloFresh is driven by technology, at our core we are all about that old school sense of getting family and friends around the dinner table. That’s why we put the kitchen at the heart of the building, so that everyone both inside and outside can see our delicious recipes being brought to life and why we put our 40-seater lunch table next to it.
There aren’t many rules but we do say that lunch is better eaten at the table than at your desk. It creates the chance to meet people you’ve not met before, from which so much magic, collaboration and creativity can happen.
Who are the interior designers?
Once I’d created an (exhaustive!) brief (using a lot of Pinterest) we whittled down a number of design and fit-out agencies until we found the one that really ‘got’ us: Thirdway Interiors. Charlotte was our go-to designer and she was as excited as us to create something both homely and practical.
What materials have been used?
We used a lot of upcycled materials to give the whole building a sense of texture and history. When we started HelloFresh we had to roll up our sleeves and do everything ourselves. Whether it was packing the spice pots that go in our boxes, going to the shops to buy last minute ingredients or building our own furniture for the office. It was those years that really gave us a sense that we’d quite literally ‘built’ the company and I wanted to give newer employees that same sense of investment. So we took hundreds of palletes from our warehouse and came to the building site over successive weekends, all chipping in to break-up, sand down and varnish the wood that would eventually clad our walls.
When one agency told us it would cost almost £10K for a feature wall in our reception, again we went back to basics and bartered with a local building site for some of their scaffolding to cover the wall instead. When I initially floated the idea of a giant floor to ceiling library we thought it would be prohibitively expensive, but then I remembered seeing second hand books on Ebay for less than a pound. I contacted one of the sellers and asked them to stockpile cookbooks for the 12 week fit-out period and deliver whatever they had in the last week. We ended up with 4000 cookbooks at an average cost of 15p each! They say that necessity is the mother of all invention and since we did not have a huge budget it meant being thrifty and resourceful, which has an aesthetic charm all of its own.
How is the space used?
We use the space for everything from major product launches, events, our “Fresh Talks” speaker series, for teaching people how to cook in our cookery school (Chelsea FC amongst the most recent), recipe development and also the day to day running of the business (our office floors are above and below the ground floor).
Recently we also had an episode of The Apprentice filmed in the building, followed by Gordon Ramsay’s latest show and excitingly we also just hosted the press launch of our new cookbook Recipes That Work.
What is your favourite room?
The library – that old book smell!
Do you think the design was successful?
The design has been every bit as successful as I had hoped. Every time I overhear a guest say how much they like the space and how it just feels like they imagined it would, it makes me incredibly happy.
When I see employees enjoying the garden, congregating around the cookery school and the chefs cooking in the beautiful development kitchen, it just makes me think of how far we’ve come as a company and yet how we’ve managed to retain our same family values. That may sound corny, but it’s something we’re really proud of.
What do your staff think of the design/space?
Haha! Well I know some people think that I have sacrificed practicality for aesthetics in certain areas. Apparently the (vintage) enamel coffee mugs don’t retain heat long enough! But I’ve worked in perfectly practical, efficient offices before (my big glass law firm skyscraper for one) and they just feel a little soulless. A little impracticality for the sake of beauty isn’t such a bad sacrifice.
Take a tour around HelloFresh
Want more office inspiration? READ: Craft room ideas for creative days
How much do you love the HelloFresh office?