When people ask me about Clickstop, they always ask the same questions. What do you guys do there? (We are an e-commerce business that owns and operates 7 online businesses. US Cargo Control is our biggest brand, supplying products we manufacture to truck drivers.) What do you do there? (I work on video, communication, and social media.) And finally, the one people are most shocked about… YOU DRIVE ALL THE WAY TO URBANA TO WORK?!? Well yes. When you find a place that you fit in, enjoy, and can do what you want for a career, the commute is not that big of a deal.
This is not just the way I feel. This is the way a lot of employees at Clickstop feel. Urbana may not be a thriving metropolis, but it is the town Clickstop is proud to call home. We have employees that commute from Cedar Rapids, Waterloo, Solon, Ely, and even Tama and Guttenberg. That says a lot about the community Clickstop has built in our little corner of Urbana. We are able to attract people all over Iowa because of our reputation as a company that does well by their employees.
With our new expansion, we will also have even more amenities that draw people in. We will have a gym, a game room, and probably the most anticipated, a full kitchen. You see, Urbana does not have a lot of options for places to enjoy your lunch. So, in order to make our employees lives more balanced, nutritious, and convenient, we are launching our new food program, Fuel. We are moving up! The head of Fuel, and a very talented culinary artist, is Chef Zach.
Clickstop employees are very excited for this new addition. Clickstop has had a healthy food program for a few years now. Starting off small, we sold snacks and drinks in the bistro; soon expanding to fridges with sandwiches, wraps, and pre-made meals that we brought in from HyVee. We also did catering days with Kristina’s Catering. But with the growth of our company, changes had to be made. Chef Zach was hired and Fuel was born!
With Fuel, employees can expect hot service-entrees with starches and vegetables. In the past six months, Zach has given us glimpses of the food program by preparing some wonderful soups, so a soup and salad bar is a must in the new facility. There will be a grab-n-go section, complete with wraps, sandwiches, and healthy snacks. We will have dual infused beverage dispensers and vitamix blenders for our smoothie lovers. And finally, Zach is offering in-house catering, which is already in full swing! Whether you want to do snacks, beverages or a full meal for your team, Zach has us all covered.
We wanted to learn a little bit more about Zach, so we asked him a few questions, what makes him passionate about food, and what he is looking forward to the most. Check out his responses below!
How did you decide to become a chef?
My first job was at Bonanza in Cedar Rapids as a bus boy/dishwasher. I was 15. As soon as I hit 16 (which was the age you have to be to run the fryer) the manager came to me and said that I was doing a good job. He asked if I was interested in being a cook. I asked, “If I do, does that mean I get a raise?” Of course all I was thinking about as a 16 year old was money. The manager said yes so I responded, “You bet, I would love to be a cook!” I worked my way up, starting as a fry cook, all the way to grill cook within six months. I just seemed to have a knack for it.
What makes you passionate for cooking?
I developed a passion for food. I love being a chef. It is so rewarding knowing I can affect people’s lives with the food I prepare.
What drew you to Clickstop?
I wanted to get back into the food industry, but only for the right opportunity. I happened to stumble on the culinary director and chef postings on Indeed and became curious about the company. I decided to do some research. I saw that Clickstop had won awards for culture and being one of the best places to work in Iowa. I had to apply! As I went through the hiring process, I thought to myself “wow, this is a long process… they must really want to get the right person for the job!” After I got the job offer, I told them if I didn’t get this position they would have had to find a different spot for me because I wanted to be a part of this amazing company.
What is your favorite thing about creating food?
The creativity and variety. It is always fun to try new recipes and being able to put my own flare on them. My cooking moto is that recipes are just guides, not absolutes. Throwing in extra ingredients or spices is always fun.
What are you looking forward to the most about the new facility?
The opportunity to have more cooking equipment and storage. With the limited storage and appliances in the bistro, I cannot create as many things as I would like. But that is all about to change!
What is your favorite recipe?
I do not have one. I mean, I just love food. All kinds of food. I surely don’t discriminate when it comes to what kind of food I will try or what I like to make.
So there you have it, one of our exciting new areas of the new addition and a talented new Clickstop Employee.
We want to hear from you! Let us know in the comments what you think, or who/what you want to hear about next!