From Grass to Glass

Fairlife’s open-concept design and on-tap dairy delectables take it from office space to gathering place.

The Chicago office of Fairlife promotes a culture that embraces community and company values

When the weather is warm, and the garage door is up, 1001 West Adams can look more like a local bar and grill on Chicago’s West Side than a corporate headquarters. From the milk-bottle chandelier to the literal open-door policy, it’s all intentional at Fairlife. What began as a family-owned farm in Indiana still operates like a mom-and-pop shop, valuing quality, ethics, and transparency.

By opening its door to the community, Fairlife has become a personality on the block. Sampling its lactose-free protein drinks, marketed under the Core Power brand, is just one perk enjoyed by neighbors. Just as at its flagship farm, Fair Oaks Farm, visitors are always welcome. One wall in the office is covered with thank you notes from schools with Fairlife milk and soft-serve machines in their cafeterias.

Breaking down barriers between people and its product is paramount to the Fairlife brand. Founders Mike and Sue McCloskey take pride in the “traceability” of their milk, and that standard extends to the city where guests can watch scientists at work in the flavor laboratory. Experimentation doesn’t stop in the lab, either. The open-concept section of Fairlife’s office promotes collaborative innovation among employees. The social environment that begins at the Milk Bar (which is exactly what it sounds and looks like, a bar serving milk), carries into the Bullpen, an employee corral just beyond the lobby.

In its practices and products, Fairlife’s mantra is “believe in better,” and from both a community and corporate perspective the company is putting that philosophy into practice. Employees rave about the endless supply of “the best butter pecan ice cream you’ve ever had,” but the perks of this urban-agrarian-inspired office go beyond the freezer. Take a look inside to see why.

Every February, employees gather in the Field of Dreams to watch the Superbowl. In the offseason, it is used frequently for training, presentations, parties, or just stretching out on a yoga ball.
Every February, employees gather in the Field of Dreams to watch the Superbowl. In the offseason, it is used frequently for training, presentations, parties, or just stretching out on a yoga ball.
The open concept of the Fairlife lobby carries into the Bullpen, which houses the sales and marketing department. Without walls, the creative teams can collaborate freely.
The open concept of the Fairlife lobby carries into the Bullpen, which houses the sales and marketing department. Without walls, the creative teams can collaborate freely.
The real mixologists don’t work at the milk bar, but in the on-site flavor lab. Their concoctions make their debut in the bar’s soft-serve machine, where they are sampled by employees and passersby.
The real mixologists don’t work at the milk bar, but in the on-site flavor lab. Their concoctions make their debut in the bar’s soft-serve machine, where they are sampled by employees and passersby.