When I first joined Vanilla, our Montreal HQ was a small sublet in an old textile factory that had (barely) been converted to offices. Our steady growth since then has meant several office relocations to bigger and more comfortable digs. Recently, we opened our first satellite office in Canada’s capital, which is a 2 hour drive from Montreal.
VP Sales (Jeremy Cochrane) and myself are based in Ottawa and have strong ties to the local high tech community. Ottawa’s tech scene is still dominated by networking and hardware firms but we are seeing more and more software companies and a growing pool of people who know how to build and sell software products.
Canada is a big country with a small population; the entire country has only 5 million more inhabitants than the state of California. Recruiting will always be a challenge. It’s not easy finding someone with the right skill set, an affinity for what we do and who is a cultural fit.
There’s a lot of debate about the pros and cons of having everyone in the same physical space versus a distributed team. What we see working for Vanilla is finding the best people and opening a satellite office if we hit a critical mass in one place.
Vanilla has team members in 5 different cities across North America and we’ve learned to use chat, email, and of course a staff forum to collaborate effectively.
We all feel very close.
The new Ottawa office is located in the Byward Market, a downtown district that houses restaurants, nightlife, an open air market and creative industries. We’ve already made some key hires in Ottawa, 5 so far with room to grow.
We’ve also expanded in our Old Montreal office by leasing an additional floor of the heritage status building we occupy (pictured above).
The next time you’re in Ottawa or Montreal, join us at our new office and say hi! We’d love to connect with you!