Workplace One Blog

Member Spotlight: Cheffer

Member Spotlight: Cheffer

WP1: Tell us a bit more about your professional journey? What brought you to where you are today?

I’m lucky to have been able to have different experiences in my professional journey. It’s brought me to work in different corners of the world - from Kenya, Shanghai, New York and settling here in Toronto. I’ve worked in management consulting, non-profits, and have worked on different technology startups.

That journey eventually led me to meet Keshev Kulkarni, my co-founder at Cheffer. We noticed that with our combined backgrounds and insight in the foodservice industry, we could combine to generate some significant value in the space. We saw that we could combine Keshev’s background from leading data products at Compass Group (the biggest non-commercial foodservice company in the world), my background in working with foodservice operators through the food rescue non-profit I lead, MealCare.

After a lot of work and many ups and downs, we found where we could add the most value which has brought us to what we do today.

WP1: What do you enjoy doing when you aren't at work?

When I’m not working on Cheffer, I spend time working on MealCare, a non-profit organization I co-founded and lead which diverts surplus food from university campuses across Canada and delivers the food to support people with food insecurity in +12 cities. We’ve delivered over +110,000 meals to date. Apart from that, I like to read (sci-fi is my favourite), spend time with my loved ones, and play volleyball when I can.

WP1: How do you describe your business/company to a stranger?

Cheffer is software platform that helps hotel and hospitality management companies get all their properties to align their purchasing, get the best contracts, and save money. Hotel management companies save between $5K-$7K per property per year by using Cheffer. We work with hotel companies across Canada with brands such as Hilton, Delta, Holiday Inn, and we work with local Toronto hospitality companies such as Dark Horse Espresso and Our House Hospitality (Chef Matty Matheson’s hospitality group).

WP1: How many people does your company employ?

We have 6 employees at our company.

WP1: Where do you and your team members live in Toronto? What neighbourhoods do you call home?

I have lived in Corktown / St. Lawrence now for the past 6 months, it’s great here. I like this neighbourhood because it feels less busy and hectic than other areas of the city, while being so close to whatever you’d need.

WP1: What are some of your favourite local businesses (retail, restaurants) either in your neighbourhood or in King East/Corktown near your office location?

  • Dark Horse Espresso

  • Le Beau Croissanterie

  • Garrisons Barbershop

  • Gusto 501 - so close to the office!

  • Mystic Muffin

  • Mengrai Thai

  • Rooster Coffee

  • 88 Foods - The owner is so kind and welcoming!

  • St. Lawrence Community Center (Volleyball)

WP1: How long have you been a Workplace One member?

  • We have been proud members since November 2023.

WP1: What made you choose Workplace One?

We were lucky to win a short-term trial office space here at Workplace One in a raffle and once we got in, we knew we never wanted to leave so now we have officially signed on as private office members. First off, the people here are incredible. The Community Manager at our location is amazing and makes this place feels more like home. Aside from the people, there’s a few things that stood out about Workplace One King East. Since the first time I visited, I felt that atmosphere to be a perfect balance of homey and warm while being clean and professional. There is character to the space with the natural wood floors and bricks with tons of natural light, all while being super well cleaned and maintained.

King East

WP1: What are the 3 most important things for you in a workspace?

  • Our team needs to feel productive in the space - this is something that combines a bunch of different elements, sometimes intangible, but makes all the difference. It is undeniable that Workplace One has this, and it makes us a more productive team and company.

  • Cleanliness

  • Welcoming feel and community

WP1:What amenities do you take advantage of most? Complimentary coffee? Reception Services? Other locations? Meeting rooms? Something else?

  • The complimentary coffee is one of our favourite things here. We love the drip coffee and the coffee machine - my go-to recently has been the Americanos. I also really like the bubbly water on tap.

  • Every Wednesday, Chris brings out some snacks and a variety of drinks (non-alcoholic and alcoholic), and it is honestly something that I look forward to each week.

  • The call room has been very nice too, I often get compliments from people who I’m on a call with that they like the background I’m in with the bricks and decorations.

  • The activities that you put on, such as having a masseuse come in to give members a massage, or the seasonal celebrations - they’re always a lot of fun and keep things exciting.

WP1: How has your company or you personally benefited by being part of the Workplace One community?

  • The people we can interact with at Workplace One come from diverse backgrounds and industries which is fun and gives us learning opportunities. We’ve connected with people who’ve made introductions to customers, we’ve met people who work in different industries but give us insights that make us think differently about our own industry, and we’ve met entrepreneurs who are a few years ahead of us in their business who we can learn a lot from.