Chapter 7

3.1K 153 5

"Didn't I tell you? Isn't this office space awesome?" said Andrew proudly.

"It's nothing like I expected," said David.

The MochaToca office was a modern, sprawling jungle inside an older traditional thirteen-floor office building in the middle of downtown Portland. Because the Pearl District was the fashionable place to have your startup, seeing as it was the trendy urban renewal area in the Northwest, many of the office spaces were both expensive and small. MochaToca had grown so quickly that they had now taken over the top five floors and were in negotiations on two more.

A petite twenty-something woman who looked like a Georgia Peach gone punk with jet-black pixie-cut hair and tattoos of a panther on one arm and a bear on the other peeking out of her neon yellow tank top walked right up to David and Andrew.

"You must be Andrew and David. I heard you might be coming to visit today. Would you gentlemen like a tour?"

"Yes, very nice to meet you, Jeni, we would love a tour," said Andrew with bright eyes. David leaned over, jammed his elbow into his friend's side and whispered: "Stop gawking."

"Can I get you two some coffee from our in-house coffee bar?" Jeni directed them through the main foyer, which had a floating glass wall made of smaller glass panes hanging offset at different heights. Each pane was made of electric frosted glass and the opacity was set to turn on and off randomly, which created a breathtaking effect.

"Yeah, coffee would be great."

As they passed the glass wall, it opened to a bustling office. In the middle was a meadow of open space freckled with leather couches, white sitting cushions, and metal coffee tables with glass tops. On the periphery of the room were rows and rows of grey desks and tall green chairs. Many of the desks had sleek twenty-seven-inch iMacs and some even had a second display. A few of the desks had plants on them, large succulents and flowering cactuses. The walls were mostly bare and grey, but they were speckled with magnificent stag ferns the size of a baby elephant's ear.

And then there were the flags. Everywhere you turned, there were flags. There were green flags and brown flags and black flags and white flags. Some flags indicated different groups: Web Developers, Customer Support, Global Sales, iOS Developers, Copy Writers, and even the Lawyers. Other flags indicated a favorite sports groups: mainly Timbers, Ducks, Beavers, and Seahawks. There were flags to indicate favorite music bands and even a few pirate flags.

"I see you noticed our flags. Some people call 'em campy, but I like 'em." Jeni kept walking.

"They seem really well designed, with a consistent font and a color pallet that works," said Andrew with a smile.

David spoke under his breath, "Ooh, aren't we just Mr. Project Runway today."

"Andrea says they create an atmosphere where people can have self-expression, but also one where people know what their neighbors are up to," said Jeni, looking back at them with a faint smile.

"What's she like?" asked David.

"Andrea? She's awesome. Really generous woman. She took a big chance on me—I used to serve her coffee at Starbucks. We started talking and all of a sudden she asked me if I would come work for her as her assistant. Double the pay I was making pushing coffee."

They walked past bright chatty corners full of noise and activity. "Here is our inside sales team," explained Jeni. There were dark broody corners that smelled of over-brewed coffee. "Over there's our sys-admins, they don't much like the light." Everyone looked busy, but like they were also having fun.

"So what do you guys do?" asked Jeni.

"I'm in between things right now, but just got out of investment banking," explained Andrew. "David's a wantrepreneur," he said with a smile. Andrea kinked her head and squinted slightly.

The Term Sheet | Wattys 2016 WinnerRead this story for FREE!