June 6th, 2014

Beer, Bacon, and Birthdays

Rachel Messeck
Partnerships Lead

P’unk Ave is a pretty unusual place to work.

From the fact that we have four showers in our studio, to the fancy door handles with locking mechanisms none of us can figure out, to a drum set and silk screen studio in the basement, well, it’s a little different from the average office.

But it’s also an awesome place to work, and what makes it so are the quirky traditions we’ve integrated into our work culture. They’re why our team continues to grow, and rarely shrinks. At P’unk we believe that we should be constantly curating the work environment we most want to be in every day. Ilyssa touched on that last week in her post about being a Khrony, Ben alluded to it in his post about our obsession with amazing coffee, and I focus on it daily in my role at P’unk Ave. While doing work that has a positive social impact and that allows for innovation in our day-to-day is one of the ways we keep our team strolling into the studio ready to go 5 mornings per week, I’ll let you in on a secret.

And that secret is that we LOVE hanging out at 1168 E. Passyunk. Here are a few reasons why.

Bacon: If there’s anything to motivate you to get your weekend-weary self to work on Monday morning, I’d put big money on bacon as the front runner. So every Monday morning, we kick off the week with a full team meeting, family style over breakfast. Over the course of the meeting, whispered bursts of “yo, lemme get a piece of that tasty bacon” and “can someone pass me the granola?” pepper invaluable conversations surrounding team updates on milestones and discussions of pipeline over the next few months. Whether we have yogurt and granola, scrambled eggs or quiche for breakfast on Monday, there is always bacon (and a variation for the vegetarians and vegans). We believe that it’s the key to the successful start of a work week. After all, isn’t there some saying about bacon stimulating the cerebral cortex?

Yellow Mugs: As most know, the P’unk Ave team lo-o-o-oves a good cup of coffee. Or as Joel likes say, “that sweet, sweet cafecito.” But we also love how we drink our coffee: in little yellow mugs that have a vintage look while remaining simple and still contemporary. They’re a quirky way to share an important P’unk Ave experience—we use them daily, our clients use them when they visit the studio, and we even send team members moving on to greener pastures off with the memento of a yellow mug of their own. It seems like they’re not in production anymore, so every now and then we pore over Ebay hunting for them, as well as rummage through thrift shops and flea markets. Check out the load Ilyssa discovered at her favorite thrift store!


Extra P’unks: If you check out the P’unk Ave About page, you’ll see a pretty handsome crew of 17 people. Who you won’t see, however, are the vicious guard dogs we’ve enlisted to protect the studio. See guard dog featured below: 


Nearly every day you will find one of our four-pawed friends hanging out at the studio, chewing on a tennis ball, cuddling in someone’s lap while they write code, or entertaining us by blowing bubbles in their water dish. (Seriously, one of our dogs does that.) The P’unk Pooches are a unique piece of 1168 E. Passyunk, especially when an unsuspecting potential client or new P’unk comes to the studio for a meeting— they are immediately more comfortable when they get to play with a P’unk Pooch. I mean, with these faces, how could they not feel at ease?!


Celebrations: We believe in celebrating big milestones at P’unk Ave— both project related milestones and one another’s personal achievements. For example, a birthday at P’unk Ave is a big event. We celebrate with birthday treats, a custom designed card (by Ilyssa) signed by the whole team, and often an after-work outing. We acknowledge the anniversary of when a P’unk started with their “P’unkiversary,” a work day that usually concludes with a happy hour drink at one of our favorite South Philly watering holes—Garage or Fountain Porter. We also like come together with a toast when a new developer launches their first full Apostrophe site. Incorporating celebrations like these into P’unk culture is not just a tricky scheme to have another beer or a piece of cake, but an essential tradition to remind our teammates that we are all invested in both their well-being and their personal and professional growth.


Beer: Okay, okay. So we have schemed our way into drinking more beer, thanks to the keg we keep in the studio. Stocked at all times by Kerry, our resident beer expert, you’ll often catch us kicking back at the end of a long day, cold beer in hand. It’s an nice way for us to decompress together after spending hours on end at the computer or having a day stacked beginning-to-end with meetings. Our keg even has a custom designed beer tap! Besides looking rad, it’s a symbol of how dedicated we are to making our space our own— every time we pour a beer from the keg, we’re interacting with a really personal piece of the studio. It’s our attitude towards most things P’unk, whether a client project or an internal one: invest in a project like it’s your own. Make it something you want to brag about. We’ve found that everyone has a special talent or interest that they can contribute to improve our work culture. After all, a company is a little bit like a beer— many flavors and a unique combination that comes together and delivers an awesome experience.


Rachel Messeck
Partnerships Lead

Check out another article
May 19th, 2014