Lunch with Badger Bill

Badger Bill makes lunch for the Badgers, 2009

Many of you are familiar with the phrase, “there’s no such thing as a free lunch.” At Badger, you can enjoy a free, organic and delicious lunch every workday—and get paid for it! You can also enjoy free organic coffee, tea, and fresh fruit, as well as a kitchen stocked with healthy, low-cost snacks and drinks.

Sound incredible? Well, back in 2000, when the company had grown to nearly twenty employees, Badger Bill began making soup once a week as a way of bringing everyone together for a shared meal. Within the year, this practice evolved into having an in-house cook prepare meals every workday, and it continued even after we moved into our new, larger facility in 2011.

Pam and Tal busily prepare Badger Lunch

Today, we’re fortunate to have two cooks in the Badger kitchen, Pam and Tal, and a part-time helper, Robin, who focus on using fresh, seasonal and local ingredients to the delight of nearly 100 employees. And during the summer and early fall, we take “local” and “fresh” to a new level by using herbs and vegetables grown just a few hundred feet away in the Badger garden.

Why provide a free lunch and a paid lunch break? Our mission is all about keeping people and the planet healthy through our products and business practices, so it makes sense to want our fellow Badgers to stay healthy too! This generous act built around a shared meal strengthens our culture, builds community, and fosters cross-departmental relationships that otherwise might not happen. Some of the best conversations I’ve ever had at Badger occurred during lunch.

If you ever want to experience the joy and camaraderie of a close-knit team of people who are well fed, happy, and engaged in the workplace, visit Badger during lunch!

L-R: Badgers Georgia, Robin, Esther, Rennae, and Kristen enjoy good company a delicious lunch!

What’s on the menu this week? How do chicken pot pie, veggie pot pie, and a full salad bar sound? Or, how about peanut noodles, a quinoa salad with kale and almonds, tuna salad and a full salad bar.

Here’s Badger Bill’s Take on Lunch

“When people tour Badger, they are always impressed with the mindful pace and the industrious, cheerful demeanor of the working Badgers. Sometimes I joke that when I was little and in school, I most loved snack, nap and recess. I’m still that way, so these amenities have been incorporated into adult Badger life. And along with snacks, we now have a full-blown organic lunch every day, served by three Badger cooks who take great pride in keeping us all well fed and fit as fiddles.

In the old days, about 16 years ago, I decided to cook up a big pot of soup for the Badgers every Friday. There were about 15 of us. Nowadays, there up to 100 Badgers to feed every day!

Back then, I “marketed” my soups, even though the Badgers were super hungry and quite willing to be fed! I used titles like Badger Bill’s High Altitude Coconut Curry for Culinary Contentment! (I did make coconut curry but I never actually used that last title – though I wish I had!) Next, the meal experience expanded to include Orchard Hill artisanal bread made in a clay oven and a fine local salad with greens from local CSA’s in-season.  Badger lunch has always been a free meal, and my goal, then and now, was to relax and enjoy a good meal in the company of friends! It is really remarkable how eating together has brought us closer together as a working community, dedicated to doing our best to make the world a better place. Our little lunch is just a drop in the bucket on a global scale. But to me, it represents my intention: may all beings the world over have good food to eat in a climate of generosity and in the company of family and friends.

It fulfills our mission of creating a business environment that is respectful and supportive of all employees.”

— Badger Bill

Bill Whyte is the Founder of Badger. He started Badger back in 1995 in his kitchen when he made some balm for his carpentry cracked hands. In addition to his continued work here at Badger, Bill is a black belt in Aikido, an avid gardener, an artist, and a delighted grandfather. Bill's favorite Badger products: Ginger Massage Oil, Cheerful Mind Balm, Seabuckthorn Hair Oil, and Navigator Class Man Care (all of it!)

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