The origins of ‘Spring Fling’ dates back to 2009 when we (9 employees) decided to take a ‘left turn,’ or in other words, do something different as a team instead of our usual 4-hour Friday lunch at Habana. When this ‘left turn’ opportunity presented itself, the idea was pitched to the team, and we were all in. To better understand the excitement and anticipation the Sovereign 9 was experiencing, we have to go back in time 12 months prior to this opportunity. We were approached by a Hollywood advance team to scope out locations for an upcoming movie. The only information that we had was that it was a Mike Judge (Office Space) comedy based around a flavor company. Perfect! We are a funny group of people and we are in the flavor business so we figured we were a shoe-in! This could be the big break we needed! A date was set and the Hollywood advance team (1 person) came down for a tour, took quite a few pictures and then rode off into the sunset. Days turned into weeks and weeks turned in months and we realized that Mike Judge probably found another location. Soon after, we learned that the movie was made. The name of the movie was Extract and it was starring, Jason Bateman, Ben Affleck and Mila Kunis. Extract opened on September 4, 2009 and this is what triggered that ‘left turn.’ The Sovereign 9 took the opportunity; a quick lunch at Pei Wei fast food, an afternoon matinee in the back row, and hand-crafted cocktails that we made in the lab.
While these team building outings took a hiatus for a few years, the ‘left turn’ concept started to gather some steam as more employees joined the company. We decided to coordinate these team building events around our June/July annual reviews and compensation increases. For the first few years, we would go bowling and have a few pitchers of beer to celebrate as team. After three years of bowling, it was time to dial it up. And that is what we did. In 2015, we hiked to Crystal Cove and had margaritas at the world famous Javiers. The following year we went deep sea fishing out of Newport and fried up the Sculpin we caught for the best Fish Tacos ever!
Remember that during this time-period we would be setting personal goals for the company. Well, the same was for the party planning committee that was soon formed—they were setting goals to make this annual outing more outrageous than the last. At this point, the annual outing was given the moniker ’Spring Fling’ even though the event rarely took place in the Spring. To keep everyone on the edge of their seats, employees would only be given the date and duration of the Spring Fling, but no other details until the day of.