They say the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Perhaps the same can be said about happy employees – or at least, that’s the assumption from the Counselor Road Tour’s trip into the South.
Here in South Carolina and Georgia, it’s clear that food matters. “Any celebration is an excuse to eat,” says Craig Callaway, CEO of eCompanyStore , based in Alpharetta, GA. To prove his point, eCompanyStore held a company-wide dessert bake off that featured everything from Gooey Cookies and Cream Bars to the aptly titled “Better than Sex” Cake.
That sugar high was the culmination of the Counselor team’s gastro-focused first day on its Best Places to Work tour. The digestive Olympics started bright and early at Credential Express, which provided a Chick-fil-A breakfast of chicken and biscuits and peach sweet tea along with mixed fruit. The employees at the Greenwood, SC-based supplier dug in as they celebrated the passing of the Wookie award to an employee who went above and beyond the call of duty.
Thankfully, the Counselor team had enough time to digest before its next stop at a Cracker Barrel for some local sports team spirit wear. Editor Andy Cohen sprung for an impulse buy of bacon jerky. While the treat was certainly more bacon than jerky, the verdict was unanimous: ridiculously delicious.
Lunch came just in time at Pinnacle Promotions, which was celebrating its 20th anniversary. An all-company break room gathering led to a food truck party out back where employees had a choice between barbecue and tacos. The pork was solid, the banana pudding even better, and the capper was a selection of popsicles ranging from chocolate sea salt to honeydew lime.
The Counselor team could have easily folded its napkins and called it a day, but the eCompanyStore leaders insisted they judge their dessert competition – and provided the imprinted “Culinary Counselor” aprons to prove their point. Callaway and the Counselor crew picked, prodded, and savored 18 different desserts before choosing their winner. Kelly Sundgren and her coconut cake triumphed, which was certainly a surprise victory for the eCompany veteran. “When my husband opens the oven door, I run the other way,” says Sundgren, who professes a self-avowed aversion to cooking.
As the eCompany staff dug into their sweet creations, it was clear their work wasn’t eating at these satisfied employees. Rather, it was the other way around.