Every day at the Shaky Leaf Café, the cafeteria located in the Ancestry.com building, we prepare two proteins, think meatballs, pork loin, balsamic chicken, or pulled pork; two sides, like mac and cheese, herbed barley, or lemon risotto; and one vegetable, such as sugar sweet corn or roasted zucchini. A soup is concocted, a popular choice being the broccoli potato cheddar. We also prepare a special for our grill. Recent specials have included chicken tacos (especially tasty with our house-made cilantro ranch dressing from the salad bar), Philly cheesesteak sandwiches, and delicious chicken sandwiches. We also feature cheeseburgers and hand-cut French fries every day. We have pre-made sandwiches and salads in our grab-n-go section. We feature a different dessert every day, as well as cookies and brownies. The dessert most often raved about is definitely the house-made banana cake with a sour cream frosting. People are often disappointed on days that it’s not featured, and we don’t like to disappoint!
Arrive @ 7 AM
Prepare food for lunch service
Our Chef, Tiffani Bishop, and the first cooks arrive at 7 AM. Almost all of the food listed above is made from scratch, so we arrive early to ensure plenty of preparation time. Assignments are handed out and the kitchen is soon abuzz with people mixing, chopping, marinating and roasting. We really enjoy this time of creation and try to make something innovative to help expand the palates of Ancestry employees and their guests.
As known as our favorite time of day. One of us will prepare something to eat—it’s often breakfast foods since we take this break around 10:30—and we gather around a table to connect with each other about food philosophy, our lives, and generally take a moment to relax, reflect on the day thus far and prepare for our guests to arrive. Lately on these beautiful summer days, we have our meal outside in the courtyard near the compass fountain.
From 11:30-1:30 we serve about 200 of Ancestry’s 600 employees every day. One of our favorite parts is that we get to see a lot of the same people and we really develop personal relationships with our guests. We know what they like and sometimes send them home with food for dinner! They come bustling in for the lunch hour, some quickly grabbing food to take to their desks and others ordering from the grill, passing through our freshly stocked salad bar, grabbing a banana cake, and enjoying their meal in our modern dining room or outside patio. The two hours go by in a flash and suddenly we’re almost empty again with only a few guests coming in here and there to grab soda, coffee, fruit and cereal that are offered free to Ancestry employees at any time of day.
From 1:30 to about 3:30 we are breaking down the different food stations, cleaning up the dining room and kitchen, beginning preparations for tomorrow’s lunch and making everything once again sparkle like it did when we arrived. Tiffani takes care of menu planning and food purchasing and heads home around 4 PM. We enjoy our regular schedule of 7-4 as many in the food service industry don’t get a normal day schedule like we do. It’s just one of the many perks of working at The Shaky Leaf.