Start-up culture reminds me a lot like a kitchen.
You work until it’s done, you sleep at the office when it feels necessary and you wake up every morning willing to be as green as the next day with no ego. Much like a kitchen passion drives you and your sense of team is strong, unwavering and a lot of the time it’s the best part. You don’t see all the nitty gritty before the doors open or the product drops. The entire team understands that getting something done is better than nothing at all but anything less than perfect isn’t ideal and is definitely noted.
After leaving the kitchen because of a serious injury I was lucky to come across a post on Instagram on July 21st by founder Jen Stokes, Chez Dine a team of 2 at the time now 8. Chez Dine’s post said this to me: interested in food, writing, opportunity, risk? Sounds good to me. Over the next 8 months I learned, failed, struggled, grew more than I ever thought possible in a short period of time and surrounded myself with strong people who act on their goals and are still being kind to people. The feeling is contagious and I do love a task.
Chez Dine grew stronger and lot by lot we all chipped away at growing the business, forming authentic relationships with our community and saying yes. Our next steps will be trying to focus on learning how to grow our internal culture to be inclusive, authentic and exciting!
On Monday March 25th we reaped the benefits of the connections and growth we worked at and genuinely wanted to celebrate. We dropped our MVP (minimum viable product) and the business is now going to change and grow as it should.
On Monday 10 chefs who have supported us represented a different country with their menus to our 150+ guests ate at dinner tables of 6, representing each country chosen by the Chef.
Strangers soon became neighbors easily as they all had at least one major connection in common, just as people do every day with Chez Dine.
All of these people chose to leave their homes and take a chance on a meal with strangers in the hopes of good food and all the complexities and positives that come by breaking bread with other people.
Looking around the room mid-party I saw a lot of people who I knew connecting with people I knew they would get along with, make money with and if nothing else share a friendship or a laugh. Birds of a feather flock together and out of some sort of happenstance people were experiencing what our team affectionately calls “A Taste of Togetherness.”
-Dana Miele: Director of Operations & Head Chef