BY Foods management and operations office are based at Candal Parque, a business park just south of the Douro river, that used to be an electro-ceramic factory back in the day. It’s not towering glass covered skyscrappers, or riverfront old warehouses, but it has a certain avant retro charm, with modular buildings and fin-de-siécle vibe to it.
Every year, they put out a publication featuring all the businesses it houses. For us it is always an event. We send some copy, a photographer comes around, so the offices are spruced up. It reminds us that we are part of a community. And that is the great advantage of business parks – constantly being in touch with plenty of different activities that can inform or even educate us, if we open ourselves to these opportunities. Also, the convenience of it all is appealing. To have hairdresser’s, car cleaning services, the gym, a complete canteen and the mail all pleasantly clustered around our offices has a cumulative effect on our enjoyemnt of even going to the office.
There is some criticism levied against business parks that is fair. They take up a lot of land, and they cluster around highways or other motorways, and that spreads the suburban sprawl and creates traffic chokepoints. The appearance of big building blocks, or their eventual obsolescence and disrepair can be an eyesore to the landscape. Not so with Candal Park – quite the opposite, even. Our park brought new life to a huge property that had lain in abandonment for years, and is still renovating different modules, ever growing.
Tactically though, the greates perk business parks offer BY Foods is the potential for growth, and the versatility it offers. When we grew to the point that it made sense to separate our offices into management and operations, being in a park allowed us to have the offices in close proximity – allowing us to keep the off-the-cuff agility of a smaller team while not forfeiting our growth as a company. That would be completely impossible in a another physical setting.
Going forward, there is not much that can happen that a business park like ours doesn’t offer us: more office space, a transport pool, warehouse storage and whatever else the future may demand of us. And as Candal Park continues to grow, more and more amenities and luxuries will be available to us as commuters.