How we use food to bring our team closer together

I’ve been working at Rock & Bloom for nearly a year now, and I still vividly remember my first week, when I learned of “pouts & tendies.” (For the record, that’s ‘pouts’ like ‘poots’, not ‘pouts’ like ‘sad face’).

We were all in the office together playing some Jackbox games and ‘pouts & tendies’ was dropped multiple times. Now, I consider myself as close to “down with the kids” as a 30-something woman can get. While I might not TikTok, I think Twitter keeps me up to date with most of the goings-on in the world, and yet, I still didn’t know what pouts & tendies were. Being the new person, I found the courage in myself to ask, what exactly is pouts & tendies? And the answer was simple. Poutine & chicken tenders – a beloved dish at Rock & Bloom (that is best eaten at Park Cafe, but be warned you might need a siesta after a lunch that heavy). This was my first exposure to what I can only describe as the “food wars” culture within our team. 

We are a group of very passionate individuals. 

Whether it be related to our specific roles or our clients, we get down to business. And the same can be said about our opinions on food. I can’t count the number of times that I’ve been in a meeting and come out to see the #random Slack channel on fire. 80+ messages. The panic sets in. What did I miss? And then once I’ve scrolled back far enough, I realize that someone mentioned that they had the best shawarma of their life over the weekend. Calamity ensues. And by the end of it, I have a list of new restaurants and dishes I need to try. 

So you may be asking, what’s your point?

Rock & Bloom loves food and can argue about it – a lot – big deal? I for one cherish these moments. In the year that I’ve been working here, we’ve still largely been working remotely (thanks, Covid) and yet, not a moment has passed where I haven’t felt like part of the team or connected to my colleagues. While these food discussions might seem mundane, they are a huge part of what makes Rock & Bloom such an amazing place to work. Sometimes those Slack discussions can sidetrack your day by 15 or 20 minutes, but they’re such a joy when they happen because of the connectedness it fosters. It makes working remotely seem far less remote. 

From our Instagram brackets about the worst Christmas chocolate to our heated discussions about rotisserie chicken on homemade pizza, Rock & Bloom at its core is a group of unique individuals who are filled to the brim with passion.

I saw a headline on Twitter that was to the effect of, “Is having fun at work really a good idea?” 

It made me laugh because I don’t know when the disconnect happened. How having fun at work could possibly be a bad thing? There are certainly companies out there who think good office culture is having beers on Fridays and a ping pong table in the office, and I can tell you from experience that that is not enough. Our food opinions might be quirky, but it encompasses the culture that we try to foster.

At my last role, I had bought into the mindset of climbing the corporate ladder – and I wanted to be on top. But over time, I realized that my goals and values had shifted and that they no longer aligned with where I was working. I came to terms with the fact that I was really good at my job, but I didn’t really enjoy it. When I interviewed at Rock & Bloom, we got  talking about the future and I was asked where I saw myself in five years. I said, “Had you asked me last year, I would have said partner at an agency. But I realize now that where I want to be is doing kick-ass work with kick-ass people. That’s it.” And here I am, not even a year later, and that is exactly what I’m doing.

The team at Rock & Bloom is small but mighty.

We bring the same level of passion to ‘pouts & tendies’ as we do to our client work. Rock & Bloom puts people first, and when you do that the result is magical – and I consider myself so lucky to be a part of that magic.