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A Day in the Life: Culinary Team Cook and Risk Champion Eddie Maspons

By Briagenn Adams2021-08-19
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Thanks to our Columbus-based Culinary Team, lunch is always on the menu at CoverMyMeds. Eddie Maspons has been applying his skills in the CoverMyMeds kitchen since Oct. 31, 2017. Eddie says working on the Culinary Team is a unique experience — and the 7 a.m. - 3 p.m. schedule compared to 5 p.m. - midnight dinner shifts is great, too.

Eddie Maspons joined our Columbus-based Culinary Team on Halloween of 2017 — an easy date to remember. Almost four years later, he’s still making memories in the CoverMyMeds kitchen.

We recently sat down with Eddie, an accomplished cook and 2018 CoverMyQuest winner, to talk about life, LEGOs and his loyalty to lunch tacos. As they say, bon appétit!

How did you first get involved in the culinary industry?

I’ve been cooking my entire life — I used to work at a few of Columbus’ fine dining restaurants, including The Pearl, a Cameron Mitchell restaurant located in the Short North Arts District in downtown Columbus.

I love the industry — the labor, staying active, all of it, and CoverMyMeds offers a unique experience for someone like me. The 7 a.m. - 3 p.m. schedule compared to traditional 5 p.m. - midnight dinner shifts is great, too.

What do you love about working on the CoverMyMeds Culinary Team?

We’re challenged to change how we cook to align with the sustainability and wellness goals set for our Columbus campus. We’ve got a cap on calories, and we limit added fat and sugar in our recipes. Thankfully, we recently added a nutritionist to our team to keep us accountable.

Personally, my vegetable intake has gone way up since coming back to campus. There are huge health benefits to eating fresh, home-cooked meals every day. I get a lot of enjoyment from making people happy through food — that’s why I love what I do.

My vegetable intake has gone way up since coming back to campus. There are huge health benefits to eating fresh, home-cooked meals every day.

Eddie MasponsCulinary Team cook and risk champion

Although typical days are hard to come by, what does a 'typical day' look like?

We always start by prepping cold stuff like dressings and fresh veggies for the salad bar. Then we start cooking lunch right away, so it’s hot and ready to serve at 11:30 a.m.

The rest of the day consists of brewing coffee, kombucha and tea, and prepping ingredients for the next day. I’m also the Culinary Team’s risk champion, so I might analyze our culinary risks and build plans to respond accordingly.

We also use the afternoons to take inventory of our pantry since waste reduction is a huge initiative. We work with a local composting company, but we try to limit everything we throw away.

How did the Culinary Team stay busy during COVID-19 stay-at-home orders?

Things picked up for the Culinary Team during the COVID-19 pandemic, believe it or not. We launched a video program in collaboration with ACES, our Alternative Commuting and Environmental Sustainability employee resource group, to highlight ways to incorporate green practices into everyday meals. We did four videos about soil sustainability, waste reduction, urban farming and plant protein.

We also hosted remote cooking classes — about two per week — so that took a ton of coordination and planning. Then, of course, we published the CoverMyMeds cookbook! We compiled our most popular recipes into an employee cookbook so people could replicate delicious dishes for their families at home. We truly embraced every challenge the pandemic threw our way.

How does the Culinary Team cater to such a wide variety of food preferences?

It’s not a problem for us — we can accommodate any type of dietary or allergy restriction. We always have a gluten-free option, plus a vegetarian and vegan option. We’re also open to employee feedback.

Sometimes it’s as simple as an employee walking down the food line and saying, “Hey — I like butter lettuce, can we get that?” Then, I’ll make a note to include butter lettuce in my next produce order.

How does the new CoverMyMeds campus compare to the previous location?

The new Columbus campus is incredible — I describe it to people like it’s a sports car we haven’t broken in yet. We’ve only just driven it around the block.

It’s amazing to witness all the changes happening in real time, and we’re excited for the second building to open in 2022 — it’s going to have its own culinary space and servery, just on a smaller scale.

The new Columbus campus is incredible — I describe it to people like it’s a sports car we haven’t broken in yet. We’ve only just driven it around the block.

Eddie MasponsCulinary Team cook and risk champion

When you’re not cooking in the kitchen, what do you do in your free time?

One of my favorite things to do is play with LEGOs — it's a hobby I picked up during quarantine, and the LEGO CAD program kept me sane during lockdowns. Right now, I’m designing my own coffee table with LEGOs.

I was starting to get a massive collection of LEGOs, and I didn’t have anywhere to put them. I thought — “Hey, why don’t I make my own storage solution?” It’s made from 2x2 LEGO bricks — it will eventually be 18 inches high and 29 inches wide, with a hollow inside and glass top.

If you had to choose a favorite meal from the Culinary Team, what would it be?

The word “taco” immediately comes to mind. It’s a very loose term and there’s a lot of freedom in that. There’s also something about how tacos work functionally for us ... they’re low-impact prep, the quality is fantastic, and everyone loves them.

We recently had an Indian-inspired taco day where naan bread served as the taco shell. That day was so cool to me. I kept telling all my coworkers — “Guys, nowhere else in Columbus is serving Indian tacos!”

That day was so cool to me. I kept telling all my coworkers — Guys, nowhere else in Columbus is serving Indian tacos!

Eddie MasponsCulinary Team cook and risk champion

Speaking of Indian tacos, what is the Culinary Team planning for Culture Day?

Culture Day at CoverMyMeds is something I really enjoy from a culinary perspective because I love to learn about the geography of food — where it comes from and the history that’s behind it.

We’re still in the planning stage, but I know we have a traditional Jewish dish on the menu, plus a Mediterranean-inspired meal. Food is a universal language, so Culture Day is one of our favorite events.

How does the Culinary Team’s work advance the CoverMyMeds mission?

The food we serve directly impacts our employees’ quality of life, so that’s a major influence. I’m also motivated by the culinary offerings of other innovative companies like Facebook, Google, and Disney.

Our Columbus campus is a destination workplace, and it’s flattering when employees plan their days in the office around our weekly menu. Helping people get the medicine they need to live healthier lives is a group effort, and we’re happy to do our part to fulfill that shared commitment.

Our Columbus campus is a destination workplace, and it’s flattering when employees plan their days in the office around our weekly menu.

Eddie MasponsCulinary Team cook and risk champion

Want to work at CoverMyMeds? Join the team and explore our open positions here.

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