Hi Julius! Thanks for chatting with us today. First things first, how long have you been with Choco?
I've been in my new role for only six months, however, I joined the company in August 2018 as the last member of our very first sales team.
What did your first years at Choco look like?
I've been lucky enough to see the emergence of many aspects of our Operations department. On both the buyer and vendor sides of our business, we have built new functions over time to include teams like Sales, Account Management, Service Operations, and more.
Back when we were getting started, I did a traineeship doing field sales in Berlin - which was our only city back then. As time passed, I was granted the opportunity to grow with the company and became a City Lead.
In 2019 we started to greatly expand our geographical footprint. As part of this, I built teams in cities like Hamburg and Vienna. From 2020 to 2022 I then returned to our HQ in Berlin to move into the position of General Manager.
Wow, you've seen quite a few cities then! Now that you've been in Berlin for some time, let's talk about what it's like to work in Choco HQ. First of all, where's it located?
Our office is in Kreuzberg situated between Bergmannkiez, Neukölln, and Gräfekiez. It's a prime location, especially considering our industry. We have a lot of great restaurants and some of the most exciting and lovely parts of Berlin are just around the corner.
Of course, even if we move offices in the future (hint hint) being around a diverse and bustling food scene is crucial.
What I love about our current office is how easily you can discover the surrounding area, no matter if it’s going for a nice walk to the canal or out for a drink. Even though it's in the city, it's quite connected - so it's easy to walk to the canal or through Hasenheide. It's a great mix between the city and nature.
Collaborating in person is a big part of Choco's culture. What are your thoughts?
As a team, we thrive when we're together and have regular social interactions. In Berlin, we work from our office three to four days a week, depending on the team. It doesn't matter if it's grabbing a coffee or having lunch - there are some types of interactions that simply don’t happen when working remotely.
Since the pandemic, office policy has been an ongoing discussion - and it'll remain that way for years to come. But it's important that we actually have a clear stance, and we've always had one at Choco.
What does collaboration look like for you in your role?
I consider myself quite lucky because my role interlinks across several different functions. Most of our global business functions work in our Berlin office. So when I come in, I can easily access stakeholders and share knowledge in person. I work with a majority of teams, especially Operations, Marketing, Engineering, Product, and Design.
Most Chocorians have a fixed desk in the office, but there is a lot of ease and flexibility with where you sit and how you interact with different teams. I typically decide which of our four floors to sit on based on what makes the most sense each day.
Is there space to go if you need quiet and to focus?
Yes! Focus is one of our core values, so we have plenty of space for it. For calls and meetings, we have single-person sound-proof booths and fully-equipped meeting rooms for 1:1s or group meetings.
We also have a room dedicated to meditation and prayer as well as other places where you can wind down and clear your head.
What are some events that take place in the Berlin office?
We recently restarted getting together every other Friday to do something fun or just to have a drink. A different department or pair of Chocorians hosts every time, so it's always quite fun to see what they've got planned. It's a time when we interact with people outside our work scope and foster new relationships. Then we have the Workplace-team's Pub Quizzes, which are always an absolute blast!
Outside of the office, but in Berlin, we have some very active Choco sports teams! So far we play volleyball and football, but we're starting to expand into others like basketball as well!
Our bi-weekly All-Hands brings everyone together in HQ as well as remotely from each region to connect as one team. These are great for us to come together to share progress, celebrate wins, and align.
What’s unique about Choco’s office culture?
It's a very welcoming workspace. People here are genuinely supportive, empathetic, and friendly. And we like to help and see our teammates succeed.
So many people go up to new faces to introduce themselves and welcome them to Choco. Approachability is important in making sure every Chocorian feels welcome from the beginning.
It's also interesting to have people from so many nationalities and cultures working within the same four walls. Chocorians are open-minded, curious, and interested in learning about one another. We celebrate people from all backgrounds being able to be who they are and express themselves freely.
Wrapping it all up
Being physically together most of the time is a part of our culture and how we work. It's about building an environment around in-person collaboration and camaraderie.
If you’re looking for a mission you can be proud of with a team you can rely on, we’d love to hear from you. Check out our open roles.
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