Workplace Salad Club

Recently at Fairware we started a lunchtime salad club and we’re loving it. Enjoying it so much that staff are writing about it on their personal blogs! The following has been re-posted from staffer Leah Nielsen’s blog.

Looking to liven up your workplace lunch hour? Start a Salad Club! It’s a silly name for a great concept and easy to implement: set a date, tell each of your colleagues to bring a couple ingredients, then combine these to create a salad bar.

Whether your office is large or small, Salad Club is compatible. As proof, here are a couple places where I’ve seen it successfully in action:

Centre for Social Innovation, Toronto

longshotcsiI was first introduced to Salad Club while working in the Centre for Social Innovation (CSI), a large shared work space located in central Toronto. Based in a retro-fitted plumbing factory, the CSI houses over 100 small mission-based organizations and businesses. They work in sectors ranging from arts and environment, to social justice and education, each with 1-7 employees.

Beyond stylish and economical offices, the CSI provides shared meeting rooms, kitchens, bathrooms, copying and printing facilities, as well as a rooftop garden and bike parking. As the name suggests, it’s a centre for innovation; fostered by the sharing of ideas and experiences, collaborating and being surrounded by creative and forward-thinking people.

And where better to innovate than over salad? At the CSI Salad Club is held twice a week in one of the central kitchens. The Club is open to everyone. All that’s required for membership is a couple simple ingredients (like a carrot, and can of chick peas). Not that the rules are strict. If you forget your items, or have an empty-handed friend or client visiting, there’s always lots to go around.

Given the large size of the CSI, Salad Club provides an excellent setting to meet people, get to know your neighbours and hear about new initiatives. Valuable conversations that can be easily missed through the urgency and rush of day-to-day tasks.

Fairware Promotional Products, Vancouver

beansnutsfwSince returning to Vancouver I’ve been working at Fairware Promotional Products Ltd., a small business specializing in ethically-sourced and sustainable promotional products. It’s a modern, employee-centered workplace and as a result a great place to introduce Salad Club.

The concept has been fully embraced, and I feel my colleagues are loving Salad Club for the same reasons I do. Mainly, it’s fun, healthy, tastes great, a nice break and saves time & money. Plus, sharing food makes one feel good.

To keep the ingredients interesting, and ensure a balanced salad experience, we’ve introduced a basic rule inspired by the CSI: “bring one thing from column A, and one thing from column B”, with the categories broadly defined as outlined below.

Since we’re a substantially smaller group, discussing what we plan to bring beforehand has helped guarantee a variety of ingredients.

Great at Any Scale

This isn’t just a story about my continued love for social salad, it’s also a success story for the scaling power of Salad Club. Instead of the dozens of people that the CSI event attracts, at Fairware we have less than six. I can’t say I prefer a big Salad Club over a little Salad Club, or vice versa – it works in either format.

So if you have a small workplace or a big one, give it a go and let me know how it turns out.

Additional Information

Shuttleworth Foundation Blog – Open Salad

Station C Blog – Open Salad Tuesdays

Instructables – Ultimate Salad Cluban open source instructable that could use some more content, add your recipes and ideas

Rockland County Department of Health – Salad Clubif your workplace needs a little more organization this site’s pre-made formats may be useful