“Let’s plan a team retreat” may be five of the easiest words to say but, “What should we all do?” are probably five of the most frustrating. Ropes courses and Meyers Briggs tests are fun but you want to switch it up your OOO activities this year. We at The Venue Report go through the same initial excitement of planning a team offsite and then slowly the excitement bubbles down as all of the collective opinions roll in. Sometimes the best type of team gathering is a surprise served up on a silver platter and, ahem, this is where the geniuses behind Mint Collective come in. This collection of artists, photographers, videographers and culinary experts is bringing unique pop-up experiences to inspire innovation in the workplace, and goodness do they know what they are doing.
A week ago, the creatives at Mint Collective surprised our team at The Venue Report when they dropped off a gorgeous tray filled with succulents that mysteriously revealed the general location of the pop-up experience that our team would be having. We didn’t know what we would be doing or experiencing, we were going in blind. This was the beauty of it: all of the details were in the hands of these offsite pros.
Photography by Bailey Made
Surprise & Delight
The next day, our team arrived to the most stunning seaside cliff that was a mere thirty minutes from our office. We had never seen this breathtaking beauty before. Remember, we are The Venue Report, so we know of a lot of really great spots, yet Mint Collective still found a way to surprise us with this undiscovered location. We didn’t even have to travel overseas to be blown away by this stunning setting in our own hometown - no jet lag, flight delays or missed Ubers. Because sometimes there’s just no place like home.
No detail was overlooked by the amazingly talented team at Mint: from the personalized water bottles to the handwritten place settings, every single touch was pure magic. The decor from To Be Designed Events was inspired directly from our surroundings – floor pillows and place settings to match the indigo blue of the Pacific Ocean, coral floral touches mirroring the sunset and sand colored accents melting into the cliff side.
A Charcuterie Cornucopia
We were greeted with trays of drinks to wet our whistles and a buffet of small bites arranged cleverly in a myriad of rainbow colors with breaktaking views of the Pacific in the backdrop on a seaside cliff. You beautiful buffet, you. Before us was a charcuterie spread in a cornucopia of colors complete with vegetables, reed beet hummus and summer fruits.
We even were led through an olive oil workshop where we infused small bottles of olive oil with spicy red peppers, fresh herbs and large black pepper chunks. Each team member took a turn infusing the bottle of olive oil with the passed tray of ingredients at their discretion.
The Menu by C&L Catering
Porterhouse Steak Sliders, Roasted Red Pepper Aioli, Balsamic Arugula on Brioche.
Crudite with a Hummus Trio, Lemon Beet, Sriracha Carrot, Hatch Chili and Roasted Garlic with Caramelized Onion.
Grazing Station with Charcuterie, Cheeses, Seasonal Fruit, Candied Pecans and Local Honey.
A Creative Crafternoon
The Mint team elevated our team retreat by setting up the dreamiest “crafternoon” (aka craft afternoon) workshop, complete with calligraphy on the cliffs and abstract art overlooking the ocean.
Inspired by the wind and waves and instructed by Jennifer McHugh, the team painted abstract shapes and designs on wood blocks using the perfect palette of neutral shades that complemented the scene around us. By the end, we had a mini gallery of masterpieces, each as unique as the team member who created it (bonus, we have some new office art too!).
Following the abstract art, we were led in the fundamentals of brush calligraphy by Mollie Guarre. After a quick crash course, we got to work creating our very own banners with the inspirational mantra of our choice (our Content Coordinator’s mantra? “Wine not?!”).
Abstract Artist: Jennifer McHugh | Modern Calligrapher: Mollie Guarre | Catering: C&L Catering | Rental Furniture: To Be Designed Events | Photo + Video: Bailey Made | Event Staffing: Party Kroo | Host: Mint Collective