Produced and amplified by Narcity Media
Ever find it hard fitting in at a new job? Nervous about making new friends or sharing your ideas? Well David Ahola says that food can solve all your problems, and that’s why he came up with the idea of Epicater.
Epicater was created for a much larger purpose than just being another online food ordering platform. “What we want to do is elevate company culture,” Ahola says. “There is a reason companies invest tons of money on daily or weekly staff lunches. And it’s because they want to create an awesome culture and they want interdepartmental collaboration. Rather than their employees forming cliques and just going out for lunches they want them to sit down and solve problems together.”
Before Epicater began, Ahola worked for multiple startups, but they never took off. He said that he took the lessons he learned from his previous failures and used them to help launch a new successful business of his own.
“I wanted to build my own dreams with my own team, rather than building someone else’s,” Ahola says.
So when he came up with the idea of Epicater, he hit the ground running. The company creates an inclusive atmosphere that brings together employees from all corners of the office.
“A lot of the time at lunch people talk about different things going on outside of the company, but you would be surprised at the amount of problems and challenges that come up over the course of the day that are discussed at lunchtime. And sometimes these problems can be resolved much faster because people are able to discuss and collaborate with colleagues that they normally don’t speak with,” says Ahola.
The Epicater name
The name Epicater came from a comment one of Ahola’s friends said whereby he referred to his idea as “Epic Catering.”
“The name was originally going to be ‘Lunch Club’ but we realized that that was very limiting because we didn’t just want to do lunches — we know that different companies do catering for different reasons — so that wouldn’t have worked. It was a friend who said, ‘Your idea sounds like it’s kind of epic did you ever think of something like Epic Catering?’ and after that the name just stuck,” says Ahola.
After coming up with the initial name and idea for the company, Ahola says choosing a .CA was the clear choice and that he registered his .CA domain name right away.
“We started registration right away once we came up with the name because we didn’t want anyone to take it,” he says.
“We really wanted to add value to Canadian startups. Not to mention that Canada was the initial market we wanted to saturate before moving to anywhere else so a .CA just made sense,” says Ahola.
Also, choosing a .CA helped Ahola feel secure with his website. “CIRA appears to regulate and manage their .CA’s very well.”
While Epicater is currently operating in the greater Toronto area, they have recently expanded to the Kitchener-Waterloo region. The main goal is to expand the company across the nation and possibly even some places in Europe.
The design and development of the website was quick, easy and affordable.
During the actual development of his website Ahola said that he cut costs by using a premade template that helped him create the look he was going for.
“It was easy and we avoided high web development costs by purchasing a template and having a developer tailor it to our needs rather than build something new from the ground up,” says Ahola.