Hi, my name’s Julia Wrin Piper. I was given two last names at birth, which is a nightmare for both Google and the federal government. So if you try to find my digital footprint, you’ll discover that, aside from some unfortunate early professional candids, I’m disturbingly absent from all the usual places. But, I assure you, I am very real.
In fact, as Clover’s new Chief Operating Officer, my presence may be more real than most imagine. While it may sound like a made-up catch-all for a company’s to-do list, the definition of “operations” is as concrete as, well, the concrete it is built on. “Operations” is the unglamorous, unforgiving, meticulous, grinding gears of a company at work.
At Clover, Operations defines each internal intersection of the company – from the loading dock when fresh produce arrives, to the production floor where we make soup, to the restaurant counter when we pour the coffee.
At its most basic, it is the fix time for a broken restaurant fryer, the age of an electrical outlet, the number of callouts and the accuracy of a sales forecast.
At its most beautiful, it is the continuous summation of hundreds of labor hours as the delivery van with today’s meal box reaches your door.
Operations is the business “plumbing” of an enterprise – everything good and bad and hard that make a good business, an ambitious and principled business, work. Day in, day out. Operations is the seemingly-absent-but-very-real thing that keeps the hummus smooth and the falafel fried. In many ways, this blog has been the story of Clover’s operations, filled with snapshots of intoxicating ups and painful downs.
Before coming to Clover, I was the Chief Operating Officer for Aeronaut Brewing Co., a New England craft brewing company that, similar to Clover, was founded by MIT grad students looking for ways to make great beer in a community-minded space. I was coming directly out of grad school, where I studied evolutionary biology in yeast (a whole different blog post), so I joined the Aeronaut R&D/Quality team. From there, I learned how science can be used to not only answer questions about reality, but to create new realities.
At Aeronaut, I led a stellar production team to make our version of traditional and inventive beer styles in spaces that raised up artists, makers, and community organizations. As a group of academic expats, we learned how to turn fun, off-the-wall fermentation ideas into real, competitive, and tasty products. Most importantly, I learned that the difference between a brilliant homebrewer and a multi-location industrial brewery is—you guessed it!—Operations.
At Clover, I hope to create a sustainable reality through the food that we make and the experiences we provide.
As Chief Operating Officer, I’m excited to work with an incredible team to grease and reinforce every gear in every corner of Clover. While the work takes time, the real progress that you can taste in a fresh seasonal sandwich is proof that together, we can make this little slice of our world a little bit better.