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catering platform

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Shopify’s Employee Experience Is Enhanced By Delicious Meals

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Maintaining A Startup Culture

Leading commerce platform, Shopify, isn’t shy when it comes to doing things a little differently. A peek into their sprawling, 45,000-square-foot Waterloo office—an industrious former whiskey distillery and barrel warehouse, complete with a VR arcade—makes that much clear. Luckily, the company’s inclination for beating to their own drum shows in their track record, boasting a quick turn from online snowboard shop to successful international enterprise. The toss-up? As all too many tech giants know, keeping a small-company feel in an office with hundreds of employees can be a challenge.

As the Ottawa-based company grew, they aimed to keep core values like community and collaboration at the helm of their offices’ operations. Shopify set out to build spaces grounded in this philosophy, going so far as to design each office to spark accidental encounters between employees. When it came to embedding these values in Shopify’s meal programming, however, internal stakeholders like Culinary Partnership Manager, Bill MacTavish, looked for a solution that would complement their business mantra.

Implementing Change With Platterz

Putting intention into action, Shopify started working with Platterz in 2016 to develop and service their daily meal programming across multiple offices, moving away from the traditional in-house management model. Freeing up valuable time and resources, the switch has helped empower the company to go beyond just keeping employees well-fed.

Coworkers Eating

With a helping hand from a dedicated Food Expert for each serviced city, orders go from browsing to delivery without allocating any additional funds or effort. Since Platterz handles all logistics and coordination—whether it’s keeping each meal within budget, accommodating dietary needs, or ensuring that everyone has enough to eat—Shopify can focus on what really matters: the food and their people.

“The more we used it, the more we became comfortable with it. We don’t have to think about anything anymore.”

Picking their daily menus based on curated recommendations from Platterz, Shopify’s food and wellness teams can trust that every meal is set up for success, while still being able to experiment with new cuisines and local restaurants as a team. Catering through Platterz gives Shopify team members the opportunity to take a break from their day, spend time together, and spark up a conversation over a great meal.

“Enabling people to interact with people outside of their physical space, outside of their physical teams, encourages people to connect with others. Food has this effect.”

Coworkers Eating

Lasting Impact, Scalable Opportunities

Initially trialling Platterz just once a week in one city, today, Shopify’s Global Culinary Partnership Manager has expanded their services to multiple teams and offices across Canada for 99% of their daily breakfasts and lunches. In turn, Platterz opened its doors in Montreal, Canada, extending their reach to help cultivate the consistent employee experience that Shopify aims for across its offices.

Currently feeding more than 1,000 Shopify team members across the country daily, Platterz’ newest operating cities will soon be serving up daily meals and the memorable moments that come with them, in their offices internationally. In the meantime, the impact of Shopify’s meal programming can be felt back at their historic Waterloo office every day at noon, when employees from all corners of the building fill their plates, take a seat in the communal space, and come together over a delicious meal.

Welcome To Shopify!

When Shopify’s mantra—Make Commerce Better For Everyone—is combined with the Platterz mission—Feeding Offices Delicious Experiences—these organizations are one step closer to shaping the office culture revolution, together.

“I don’t HAVE to work [at Shopify]. I CHOOSE to work [at Shopify]. I choose to do so because of the culture and the people. We have a culture-based team—an employee experience.”

Learn how you can build your employee experience starting with a customizable food program at www.platterz.ca.

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The Top Five Food Trends For Fall

It’s true: social media feeds are FULL of food these days. Are we the only ones drooling over the almost-too-pretty-to-eat avocado toast and charcoal soft serve? We doubt it. That’s why, we’ve rounded up the top five food trends for Fall, so you can stay up to date with what’s hot this season as the temperatures begin to cool down and you prepare for Autumn in the office.

Inspired By The Beach

Poke Bowls

What’s colourful, fresh and always has us thinking of the ocean breeze? You guessed it, Poke Bowls are here to stay. At this point, they’re more than a fad; they’re a trend that has become so common, we can’t imagine life without them. The trend of mixing the freshest raw fish with tangy fruits, soya sauce and seaweed salad isn’t going anywhere this fall—if anything, it’s only getting more popular. Keep the taste of summer freshness alive for the rest of the year and try out a custom Poke Bowl for the office! Not a fan of fish? There are vegetarian options that’ll still leave you dreaming of the Hawaiian sands.

Planted in Protein

Plant Burger

Meatless Monday’s are soon to become more than just a Monday thing, especially if you’re at a WeWork. Regardless of whether you’re a meat lover, or prefer to meat the team (see what we did there?) over tofu and tempeh, ensuring that your meal is full of protein is essential for fuelling your day. Since it’s so important, there have been so many new food items introduced into the protein lineup. And, guess what… They’re plant based! Now, before you’re thrown off by the idea of eating more ‘earth’, take it for a test drive. From chickpea burgers to tempeh steaks, these meat alternatives are nutritious and delicious options for all team members with dietary restrictions (or those who just want to try something new).

Childhood Favourites

Sweet Potato Fries

Grilled cheese. Mac ’n’ cheese. Chicken fingers and french fries. The list of foods that remind us of the kids’ menu at our local diner are making a serious comeback, but this season they’re back with an adult upgrade. There’s nothing better than that feeling of nostalgia: feeling like you’re six years old again and a french fry with ketchup was the most delicious. Think again. These ‘grown-up’ versions of our childhood favourites are sticking around for the rest of 2018. Roasted sweet potato fries, lobster mac ’n’ cheese, chicken strips and ciabatta flatbreads are just a few of the trendy items added to the list.

Keep Up The Energy

Dates oatmeal balls

At Platterz, we’re keen on encouraging the team to take a break and sit down together for a meal. But, we know your time is precious and every second counts. For those days that a meeting runs late or you’re on the go, it’s important not to forget about providing your body with the energy it needs. Hot on the list for Autumn are these energy balls, made to power you through your busy schedule. With natural ingredients and low calories, little bite-sized snacks can have a large impact on your productivity—no wonder they’re growing in popularity!

Harvesting From The Farm

Pumpkin Pie

It comes as no surprise that foods straight from the farm are in season, harvesting away in your local restaurant and on your social media feed. It’s prime time for the flavours we crave to make us feel cozy, comfy and chock-full of deliciousness. Imagine corn on the cob to start, apple or pumpkin pie to top it off, and a turkey sandwich to fill up in between—trust us, you’ll fall hard for these foods. Locally-grown ingredients that are fresh off the farm will be trending as the leaves change colour, up until the first Canadian snowfall.

This season, cater your team any of these on-trend foods and they’ll be sure to eat it up!

Be sure to keep up with these trending topics and foods straight from the source, and sign up for what’s Fresh at Platterz.

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It’s Not a Myth: Aaamazing Salad is Truly Amazing

Aaa·ma·zing Sa·lad

/AHˈmāziNG ˈsaləd/

When moving to Canada from China eight years ago, chef-owners Eva and her husband, Jacky, wanted to do something AH-mazing. Fast forward eight years, Aaamazing Salad is a booming healthy spot in Toronto’s trendy Kensington Market. One being a chef and the other boasting an art background, this dynamic husband and wife duo creates colourful healthy salads that appeal to not only the eye, but also the body.

“In China, salad is just fruit and romaine lettuce with a simple dressing. Here, salad can be a [whole] meal.”

Aaamazing Salads Salad

When first moving to Montreal, Eva and Jacky walked past a salad restaurant that had a lineup out the door. Coming from China, the two of them never thought that salad could serve as a main dish, nor be a restaurant’s main focus–they only viewed it as an appetizer. “In China, salad is just fruit and romaine lettuce with a simple dressing. Here, salad can be a [whole] meal,” says Eva. With a young daughter, who they wanted to grow up living a healthy lifestyle, the couple was inspired by this Montreal spot, and thought ‘we can do this too’!

“It’s pronounced AH-mazing. I wanted to do something amazing, and it just came to me.”

Kensington Salad Shop, owners Eva and JackyAfter diving deeper into health and nutrition research, Eva and Jacky started experimenting with nutrients and various healthy flavours. “We try to match tastes together, while also thinking of everybody’s’ [nutritional] needs. I also love the colours of vegetables,” Eva explains as she compares salad to a piece of art. When asked about the name of her restaurant, Eva explains “it’s pronounced AH-mazing. I wanted to do something amazing, and it just came to me.” We can attest that her salads are AH-mazing indeed!

“We have to get the best [quality] of each ingredient. Quality product is more expensive, but it’s worth it.”

Aaamazing Salads Salad
In 2014, Eva and Jacky opened Aaamazing Salad. Prior to opening, Eva explains that they worked on developing their asian sesame dressing for more than one and a half years, and continue to perfect it, four years later. Eva and Jacky use the same approach in developing their whole menu; they are always working to improve the taste and ingredients of their product. “Quality [of ingredients] is really important,” explains Eva. “We have to get the best [quality] of each ingredient. Quality product is more expensive, but it’s worth it.”

“We start with a new recipe for a dressing, and based on the texture, we match it to grains or salads and then build up from there.”

Preparing SaladThe items on the menu all start with an idea. “We start with a new recipe for a dressing, and based on the texture, we match it to grains or salads and then build up from there,” describes Eva. Their popular (and delicious) Rocket Bowl began with a chickpea sauce. “Step by step we add ingredients”, such as eggs and avocados which are key items in the Rocket Bowl.

“Platterz gives us a chance to serve a lot of different customers and really big companies.”

Aaamazing Salads Kensington Market
Aaamazing Salad heard about Platterz from another local spot, Toronto Popcorn Company, who serve gourmet popcorn flavours—including Maple Bacon Popcorn. Yes, you read that right—just across the street from Eva’s restaurant. “Platterz gives us a chance to serve a lot of different customers and really big companies,” denotes Eva on our working relationship. “Platterz focuses on both their customers and their partnerships, making sure both parts are happy.  We can really feel it. I’ve had a really good experience working with Platterz, and give a lot of thanks to Platterz for our business.”

Healthy Salads
Eva made us feel so at home during our visit, and ensured we did not go hungry either. She sent us home with enough salad to feed our team for a week (not to mention it was incredibly delicious AND colourful).

What are you waiting for? Bring some healthy colour into your office—people will love it, we promise!

For behind the scenes footage from our shoot, check out our Instagram page highlights!

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Instagram: @aaamazingsalad

City: Toronto, Ontario

Veal Sandwich
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An Old School Favourite: California Sandwiches

Known for being one of the best sandwich restaurants in Toronto, California Sandwiches opened in 1967 and has been a local favourite ever since. Walking into their Dufferin and Castlefield location, we could feel the 51 years of restaurant service behind them—a busy team of kitchen staff cooking up sandwiches, meat lasagna, and salads. Regulars were coming in for their daily orders, and owner Joseph Papa happily greeted all his guests.

California Sandwiches Bag

We sat down with Joseph to hear about California Sandwiches’ long-standing (and not-to-mention very popular) history. Making us feel like a part of the family, Joseph brought us freshly made lattes, and offered us some sandwiches. We knew we were in good hands, good company, and surrounded by good food.

“The popularity [of the veal sandwich] was really demanding, and then we started selling sandwiches only.”

California Sandwiches Classic Sauce

“My family purchased a grocery store in the early 1960’s. All grocery stores at the time were also delis and sold sandwiches”, Joseph explains. “In the early 1960’s, my father hosted poker games in the basement of the grocery store, and the players asked for veal sandwiches. His mom said, ‘we can make those here’.” Soon after, the veal sandwich was added to the deli menu at the grocery store, and it quickly became a classic. “The popularity [of the veal sandwich] was really demanding, and then we started selling sandwiches only”, Joseph explains. The original location—244 Clairmont Street, closed as La Rinascente, and officially became the first California Sandwiches in 1967.  

“It definitely adds passion to the business.”

La Rinascente Original Menu 1967

Contrary to the popular saying, “don’t mix business with family”, the Papa family has shown great success over the last 51 years. All locations are family owned and run with all the key members of any family—yes, that means seeing and working with parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and siblings, everyday. “It definitely adds passion to the business”, says Joseph, while explaining the pride in maintaining a family legacy.

“Everybody [here] is treated like family, customers and employees too.”

California Sandwiches Salads

The familial aspect of the business goes beyond the operations side of California Sandwiches. “Everybody [here] is treated like family, customers and employees too. We have lots of regulars.” The sense of family was definitely in the air; Joseph greeted customers by name, and guests made casual conversation with him. We can relate to this here at Platterz; we view our whole team as a family, and loved seeing that California Sandwiches has a similar mentality—no wonder we get along so well!

“Our business has increased since working with Platterz… the Platterz team is very detail oriented, just like we are.”

California Sandwiches Sandwich

“Our business has increased since working with Platterz. We’re more well known now and are serving many offices who didn’t know us before”, says Joseph on our working relationship. This was quite the compliment coming from such a restaurant institution! Joseph adds, “the Platterz team is very detail oriented, just like we are”.

“We would never serve anything we wouldn’t want to eat ourselves.”


The most popular items on the Platterz corporate catering platform are California Sandwiches classics: the veal sandwich (the sandwich that started it all), the meatball sandwich, antipasto platter, greek salad, and roasted potatoes.

“It’s very hard not to eat a sandwich everyday. We would never serve anything we wouldn’t want to eat ourselves”, says Joseph. We can only imagine what it’s like being surrounded by California Sandwiches, sandwiches daily! We would definitely be tempted…

Make history with California Sandwiches at your office.

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Instagram: @californiasandwiches
Website: http://eatcalifornia.ca/
City: Toronto, Ontario