July 12, 2022

Meet the COO

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. 

Recent Posts

March 27, 2024
Every year, just after Valentine’s Day, we start getting the same question in from customers: Will there be a Passover Box this year? Sometimes the pleas are more direct, sometimes more colorful. The glories of the vegetarian Chopped Liver are a common theme. This year, Sarah, an NYC-based friend of mine said she’s spent so much time thinking about the emails describing last year’s box that she’s DRIVING UP TO BOSTON to claim one!
February 15, 2024
We have a new sandwich out everywhere today. It’s a take on a Buffalo Chicken sandwich. We use celery root, aka celeriac, this nobbly, gnarled joy of a winter vegetable. We cut it into planks, batter it with panko, and fry it. We’re getting ours from Norwich Meadows Farm, a farm in NY state that’s known for creating really flavorful organic veggies using a cool irrigation system. 
February 7, 2024
For the week of Valentine’s Day, we’ll be delivering these Making Whoopie (Pie) Kits 😉. They have everything you need to make whoopie pies — more specifically, Chris’ favorite oatmeal cakes with beet buttercream frosting. You’ll also get a scoop for making the perfect size pie, and a roll of sugar cookie dough for more sweet fun.
January 18, 2024
Pull out your plaid and cue up the bagpipes because it’s Clover’s third-ever celebration of Burns Night, an introduction to Scottish food/drink/music/poetry and a reason to raise a glass during this dark and cold month! You may be asking yourself, what is Burns Night?
January 17, 2024
Chances are you’ve tried the new Clover Bowls. We’ve been running them since the Spring. After a few tweaks, we landed on a roster we love: the Mediterranean Bowl, the Verde Rice and Bean Bowl, and a Rotating Seasonal Bowl. The bowls have transformed our menu – Josh, a Kendall customer, recently wrote to us, “The beet poke bowl is the best new item I’ve tried at Clover in years. I love the freshness and bite of the mix of flavors.” We’ve also heard some very good suggestions about how to make them even better…
January 3, 2024
Meet the Veggie Monster Meal Box! Some of you are subscribers to our Friday newsletter about plant-based cooking. Now… that newsletter has spawned a meal box! Pack your fridge with everything you need to make an entire week of vegetable-based meals. Think hearty pot pies; sweet and spicy maple-roasted squash tacos; bowls packed with…
December 20, 2023
New Year’s Eve is no time to be buried in the kitchen, so we pack our NYE Box with Clover fan favorites that come together fast and encourage a night of Finger-Food Feasting. Can you think of anything better than digging into bubbling hot Brussels Sprout Cheese dip on a freezing cold Boston night? Or scooping up our bright nutty Romesco sauce as the clock ticks to midnight?  And our breakthrough Carrot Lox (probably the best thing to come out of our food dev in 2023) will have you resolving to spare more salmon in the year ahead.
December 19, 2023
Stop by Clover today (Tuesday 12/19) and when you order a Brussels Sandwich on the app, we’ll give you $1 off our new chocolate chip cookie! It’s a gift from King Brussels, on his final day in the Clover Kingdom. Use this link to get yours!
December 16, 2023
Are you looking for the perfect gift for a friend who loves Clover? We have online gift cards! You can specify a time that you’d like the card to hit their inbox – and there’s a new feature that lets multiple people pool money to send a card to one person. Pretty cool!  
December 10, 2023
What would we serve if we had all of you over for Christmas dinner? This (epic) box, available only for Christmas, is an homage to the holiday traditions of our Clover staff. And like all Clover boxes, it supports our hardworking Massachusetts farmers, millers, bakers, and cheesemakers. This box is designed to feed you and keep you properly festive throughout a week with different meals/snacks, and can also be laid out all together on a holiday table as one big feast.
December 4, 2023
These sweet potato latkes date back to early days on the Clover food truck. They’re so yummy and the sweet potatoes lend them such a fun golden color. They’re probably the most popular item in our Hanukkah Meal Box, which you can get delivered on December 7th. Inside the box you’ll find: 
November 29, 2023
I’m writing to share some news: we’ve decided to permanently close CloverROW, our outpost in the Assembly Row neighborhood of Somerville. The closure of this restaurant is part of the whole company’s focus on reaching financial sustainability and positioning us for future growth. These decisions are really hard, but they’re necessary steps for us to simplify Clover. And, happily, all the amazing staff at CloverROW, including the manager Joe, will be able to move into other Clover restaurants. The math is straightforward…