Stormed by the self-employed seeking inspiring places that are conducive to productivity, the cafés have, somehow, become their new office. They don’t hide, even though self-employed is often synonymous with procrastination in the eyes of some. The problem, however, remains finding THE right place to work that meets all the required criteria. Especially since in reality coffee shops prefer to have a customer come and go rather than see their tables occupied by the same people for hours while they consume little.
So it's no surprise that the popularity of Crew quickly took off. The collective, whose main mission is to connect freelancers with clients, has skyrocketed along with the many freelancers looking for a place that meets their needs.
"We wondered what would Crew look like if we became a physical business, and we figured being surrounded by freelancers and entrepreneurs is the way it had to be," says Mikael Cho, one of the founders.
Housed in the former Royal Bank headquarters built in 1928, the space includes not only the Crew company offices, but also a section for entrepreneurs and freelancers who are members, as well as a café open from 8:00am to 10:00pm daily. “The coffee shops are less accommodating towards people who go there to work. They take certain measures that discourage long-term activities, mainly by reducing their opening hours and eliminating their Wi-Fi connection. We wanted to accomplish the opposite here.”
To say that this café is paradise for a freelancer would be an understatement. First, each seat has its own docking station, so gone are the days when one had to stand guard to keep a monopoly over the socket. Each station also has its own little locked compartment to secure property when one has to momentarily slip away to answer the call of nature. No need to seek the assistance of your neighbor either! The team also ensures the internet connection is absolutely infallible, "We have tested the system by assigning 25 team members to each station, equipped with two or three devices, and together we all watched Netflix (laughs)."
Have a craving? No less than Alex Ragoussit (Le Pied de Cochon, Flyjin Café) handling the kitchen. Besides, all the menus, which vary according to the time of day, are designed to maximize worker concentration. For example, breakfast is toast with avocado since the good fats in the fruit make you feel satiated longer and therefore avoid distractions. It's all in the brain food.
If you are looking for one more reason to love Crew, each spot is given a unique number that is instantly associated with the device used when connecting to the network. In other words, you can order food and drinks on your laptop and your order will be delivered directly to your desk. No travel, no queue.
For those who would rather establish their mark there, the Crew offices offer a large private section for those who become members. The cost, more than reasonable, ranges from $425 to $500 per month depending on the duration of the agreement. Remember, the number of seats, which is limited to 25, means you’ll probably be on the waiting list.
Members have access to a restricted area beyond the café, including design workspaces and inspiring conference rooms, use of the kitchen for lunch, and possibly the best view in the entire café with exclusive access to the balcony.
The best? The former office of the bank president, refurbished in zen and complimented by soft music and aromatherapy, provides members a little relaxation space. Easy choice, we’re spending the day.
No doubt Crew risks being a happy victim of its success. We suggest you arrive early if you want to enter into productive mode!
360, St-Jacques Street
Open from 8:00 am to 10:00 pm on weekdays and from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm on weekends.