Old Home, New Ideas: Our Move to Tchoup!
In summer 2019 we finally settled into our beautiful new office at 4109 Tchoupitoulas and Marengo. Jennie (Founder & Principal) and Kevin (VP Sales & Operations) worked tirelessly to convert a historic home into a commercial office. We now have the room we need to collaborate and conjure up creative ideas, to host our clients comfortably for meetings and to pop champagne for our successes.
We interviewed Jennie on this huge transition and what it means for Deep Fried’s growth as an agency.
How many years were we at Magazine & 6th, and what were our reasons for the move?
J: It had become a bit of a joke that we kept outgrowing spaces and moving every few years. Each office held a special place in our hearts, but Magazine & 6th was a particularly special and memorable home to us for the last three. It was a benchmark for our growth; while we were there we expanded from nine employees to 16. Not only had we outgrown the square footage, but we had been turning breakout rooms into desks, and we needed more space to express ourselves and hold team meetings.
How did we choose the Tchoupitoulas space?
J: I came across the new listing for this property on a Friday afternoon. It’s a historic center-hall cottage, and those are so hard to come by. I called my husband and told him he better leave work on the Northshore to come see it, because I just might buy it. I was half joking! We were always looking for the next best place but when I saw this I just about flipped. For a multitude of reasons, no other property had ever turned out to be “the one” to purchase for our office but this one felt different immediately. It’s on the National Register of Historic Places; it was one of the oldest homes in the entire area and had been a home to a single family for over 150 years. Center halls are known for their stately look, wide central corridors and gorgeous parlors. This home sits on a double lot, and features a beautiful back yard, two stories, over 4,000 square feet and so many of its original elements.
What were some of the biggest challenges in successfully converting this house into an office building?
J: Oh my goodness… converting a building from residential to commercial is really tough! A big part of the challenge was the amount of time it took to finish the construction due to meeting life safety standards with the State Fire Marshall. Because the home had lots of history, we wanted to preserve all of its goodness, but we needed to alter the floorplans and walls to bring them up to commercial code. We spent lots of time with architects and overseeing the construction site and inspections. It was a stressful time, but we kept saying that once we hit the finish line we would forget about how tough it was. It’s true – if anything, it just makes us more grateful for the space. Good things come to those who wait!
Now that we’re settled, what does this move feel like for you, and what does it signify for Deep Fried?
J: The minute we occupied the space we were “home.” Perhaps it’s the provenance of the home, or the 178 years of stories that have taken place in it, but something about the place envelops you with comfort. I knew that we would be occupying the space going into our 15th year in business and it does feel quite serendipitous. We’ve put a lot of blood, sweat and tears into our work over the years, so yeah, I must say… it feels good!
What are your favorite elements of the new Deep Fried office?
J: There are almost too many to name, but major highlights include:
- A beautiful and welcoming front porch
- Multiple conference rooms, as well as cozy, casual spaces for chatting or spreading out
- A big kitchen with commercial 48” range, counter seating and café style seating
- A spacious backyard with WI-FI and several picnic tables for working outside, taking lunch breaks and hosting family crawfish boils
- Lots of local artwork, beautiful lighting, and original mantels
- Windows in every room = lots of office plants
- A phone booth for taking private calls or recording podcasts
- Being walking distance to lots of hip local restaurants and bars (Tchoup is the new Magazine!)
Stop by and see this sunny space for yourself!
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