May 10, 2012 -
Q+A with Spice Office Boss, Liz Andjeski
Four years ago, Liz Andjeski helped her sister Jess with a Spice of Life catering gig. It was then that her whole perspective on finding happiness in the workplace changed. As a former logistics coordinator for a design firm, Liz spent most of her days emailing folks who live on other continents. As Spice of Life’s Office Manager, she now works directly with individuals in our community – farmers and their families, small businesses, and Pastor Cilantro too! No more big box stores for this girl. Liz now embraces the philosophy that life is better on a local level.
Q. What’s a typical day like behind the scenes at Spice?
A. This question is difficult because every day is different. I never know what’s going to happen when I walk through the door. There’s a lot more to this job than a typical office manager position. Some days I’m dealing with contractors to get bids to get this building into shape and others I’m working with the city on obtaining a permit. I’m not just sitting at a computer all day looking at financial documents and cutting checks – thankfully! There’s never a dull moment. Also, this building is huge, so I do a lot of stair climbing!
Q. What is unique about the culture here as opposed to some of the other places you’ve worked?
A. At my last job, I was a logistics coordinator working with vendors from halfway around the world. Spice’s vendors are small, family farmers, local contractors and businesses. It’s nice to be able to put a face to the name. I don’t just communicate with them through email. I know their names, faces and their families. It’s so much more close to home – literally.
We have a local church down the street that has a hoop house, and they needed to get rid of a bunch of cilantro. I got to watch them harvest it for the first time. There’s something really special about working with these people. It’s a whole different world from what I was doing before. It makes the job really fulfilling to know that we’re all working together to keep each other in business.
Q. What led you to Spice?
A. My sister [Jess] asked me to help out as a server at the events and I was nervous because I’m an awful waitress. As it turns out, it’s totally different than working in a restaurant. For the most part, we’re working outside. I saw how happy my sister was and I began to dream of working here myself. I knew I had the experience to help them in a managerial capacity. When they offered me the job, it was really like a dream come true. I couldn’t believe I was being offered this amazing opportunity. It’s priceless to work with my sister and my closest friends. I’m forever indebted to Jess for that.
Q. How has your perspective changed since working here?
A. I’m a lot more conscientious about what I eat and what I feed my daughter. I push myself to get outside of my comfort zone and buy locally as opposed to shopping at the “hypermarkets.” I take the philosophy home with me at the end of the day. I have the resources to buy locally, so I’ve really committed myself to that.
Q. What’s your favorite thing on the menu right now?
A. The menu is always changing, but one of the constants is the Andouille Burger. That’s my favorite hands down!
Q. What do you love most about your job?
A. I’m going to cry! I get to work with my sister and all my closest friends. I leave this job some days and I can’t believe I get paid to do this. If I didn’t love this job I wouldn’t be able to do it so willingly. I work with the greatest people in the world as far as I’m concerned. We work our asses off, but we do it because we love each other and we love this company. I find real purpose working here and it makes me really proud. I get excited when I tell people what I do and who I work for!