The Swiss architect Le Corbusier believed that home should be “a treasure chest of living.” It’s a place where memories are gathered – of people, moments and details.
For the last three years, our treasure chest of living has been a quirky, bluestone building in Melbourne’s infamous (but quickly gentrifying) King Street. The York Butter Factory, affectionately known as YBF, has brick walls and yellow tables, two Nintendos and too many Macbooks to count. The wooden floor echoes every footfall, the coffee machine operates at a constant hum, and both are regularly interjected by the *click, click, click* of Slack notifications.
Within its walls have lived many entrepreneurs, developers, designers, dreamers and worker bees; people who stayed for a few months and others who have been there for years. Some arrive early in the morning, others work late into the night. Some spend more time at YBF than in their own house, and a select few have even slept on the couch once or twice (not advised).
I arrived at YBF in November, 2012, a wide-eyed young intern who had never before heard of startups. I soaked up the enthusiasm and expertise of all of these people, and made many life-long friends. We exchanged ideas by the coffee machine, shared our news on Wednesday afternoons at “show-and-tell”, and celebrated wins over beers on Friday evenings. Then when Startup Weekend rolled around, all our other friends from the startup community would show up to join us – if only just to steal the pizza and beer. Oh, and then there was the time we filmed the Harlem Shake startup edition.
YBF is also where I met Richenda. She arrived at about the same time as me, just after founding ntegrity. It all began with her, a laptop, and a big dream: to change the way Australian businesses “think, see and do” digital.
Now, we have a team of seven full-timers as well as team mates from all around the world, from San Francisco to New York, Berlin and beyond. We’ve worked with countless clients, from not-for-profits to commercial businesses; early stage companies to market leaders. With every piece of work we’ve felt our confidence grow as our clients grew with us.
And throughout all the growth, wins and hard times, YBF has been our home.
But sometimes in order to grow, you need to leave home, and as a growing business we’re always in need of more space!
Our final days at YBF will be bittersweet – closing a wonderful chapter to begin a new one always is. But we’re looking forward to venturing from the known into the unknown to challenge ourselves, explore new territory, find a fresh perspective and expand our horizons.
So thanks YBF, for being our home.
Our new home will be The Cluster @ Level 10, 50 Market street – only three blocks from YBF. Come say hi in the new year.