Inside The Office Where San Francisco Startup Hampton Creek Is Making Eggs Obsolete

Hampton Creek Office 19

The office of Hampton Creek, a startup that’s working on making eggs obsolete, is unlike any other we’ve visited.
When we stepped into it, the place was buzzing. Music playing in the background. Employees were crowded around a communal table up front, and in the distance it looks like a science lab.

It’s a small space — just 2,500 square feet. The company is planning a move to bigger, 90,000 square foot space in San Francisco’s Mission neighbourhood. In its current office, there was a good mix of music being pumped out of speakers, giving the place a lively feel.

Hampton Creek is a food startup that’s trying to make low-cost, tasty alternatives to egg-based products. Right now it has Mayo, and cookie dough. Its big project in development is a scrambled eggs alternative.

Here's a look at the space when you step in the front door. The head you see in the front of this picture is Hampton Creek co-founder Josh Balk.

This is Jake Tetrick, the 'son' of Hampton Creek's CEO. His title is 'Director of Happiness.' (Nepotism at play here, clearly.)

At the front of the lower level of the office is this big table where everyone was working.

This is the library of different types of mayos from tests.

This crazy looking contraption measures oil quality.

Associate food scientist Trung Hoang, chats with April Oh, who is chief of staff.

Our tour guide, Hampton's head of communications Morgan Oliveira shows what Mayo looks like without eggs.

This Xiaotian Zhang, a sensory food scientist.

And this is Julie Uccelli, Hampton's bakery food scientist.

Across from Uccelli is a Blodgett oven, which is used to bake cookies.

We had one of these. They're pretty good. They're not the best cookies in the world, but they're above average. If you ate one you would never know it was made without eggs.

On the left is Doug Ivey, a molecular biologist who is working on project scramble.

This is 'plant #3154 protein gel.' Basically, Hampton Creek uses this to see how proteins react and uses the information to make decisions about which plants to use to make its products.

The former Prime Minister of the UK, Tony Blair eats a muffin.

This is one of Hampton Creek's robots that helps it create new products.

Here's some more baking equipment. As you can see, Hampton is a mix of art and science. It's one thing to figure out what can make for good egg replacer, but it's another thing to make that stuff taste good.

Here's another batch of mayo.

This is company value #1: Be a Gorilla. It was explained to us as, 'We are incredibly tenacious and don't take no for an answer. If we run into a roadblock, we don't give up -- there's always a way to get something done. Roar.'

This is Trevor Niekowal making some french toast. We had the french toast, and it was excellent. We couldn't tell the difference between it and egg-based french toast.

Here's a quick look at some of the food we ate. It's all good.

And finally, here's a postcard with Hampton Creek's chef's daughter on it.

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