Cobb’s Serendipity Labs accommodates a variety of workplace needs.
By Lindsay Field Penticuff
“Whatever your need may be, Serendipity Labs has the ability to accommodate.” “I’ve enjoyed being a member here, and I look forward to enjoying the office space for quite some time.” “Serendipity Labs is an office dream come true!” “The facility is beautiful, and their hospitality is second to none.”
These are just a few of the five-star comments that David Hebert, franchise owner of Serendipity Labs, and his team have heard over the past three years since opening a co-working space in the Cumberland area with his wife, Susan. “We aren’t the typical co-working space that many people are accustomed to,” Hebert says. “Those are typically very loud and more congested, but our space has a different feel. It’s very professional. It’s quiet, and our members are very respectful of others.”
“We like to say that we provide the white glove service here,” adds Angie Yip, general manager of Serendipity Labs. “That’s what makes us shine compared to some of the other flex space offerings.”
Launched in 2011, and with 30-plus locations across the United States, Serendipity Labs was founded on the premise that it is about more than just a workplace. “It’s about being able to interact with individuals and network, and build these relationships, which can be serendipitous,” shares Yip.
And Yip and her colleague, Myia Owens, are there every day, and it’s evident in how they’ve become extensions of the client companies they serve in the space. “Our clients look at Angie and Myia as team members. So, it is serendipitous,” Hebert says. “There’s also a lot of interactions between the members. We host socials, and Angie spearheads and drives a lot of those to help make sure there’s leverage among the organizations and talking among one another.”
Why they chose the co-working space business
David and Susan Hebert moved to Cobb County in 1999. They’ve run two Primrose Schools — one in Mableton and another in Smyrna — and now manage their own consulting company. “We sold the schools so that we could focus on raising our own kids, and when we later started looking for new business opportunities, that’s when we found Serendipity Labs,” says David Hebert.
As a business owner of his own, Hebert says he found himself spending a lot of time between multiple client sites, needing office and meeting space to support his own clients. “That’s when I started looking at the whole co-working industry and knowing that my wife and I were looking for a business as our kids were moving into college, we started looking at whether there were opportunities to franchise a co-working space,” he says.
That’s when they were introduced to Serendipity Labs. “We liked Serendipity Labs because it stood for a lot of the things that we had in our preschool business, which was upscale, hospitality-driven and renewal opportunities, and it is a customer relationship-type business.”
As residents of Cobb for the past 23 years, they wanted to keep the business near home, since David says he planned on utilizing the space himself for his consulting business. “We wanted a business that we were going to heavily participate in, and we didn’t want to manage a business from afar.”
Their overall goal is to open locations across Cobb, including in Marietta, Kennesaw, and into the northern portion of the county. But at first, they wanted to open a main location in an established business district, so they selected the Cumberland area. “We looked at most every building inside the Vinings and Cumberland areas, along with The Battery and along Powers Ferry Road to find what we felt was the right opportunity,” Hebert says. “And one thing we felt strongly about was that we wanted the business to be easily accessible with first- or second-floor, easy access to parking.”
They found just that in their current location at 3225 Cumberland Blvd., Suite 100, in Atlanta. “We are glad we went with this location, especially in a post-COVID-19 pandemic era, because people don’t have to worry about being in a crowded elevator,” says Hebert.
The co-working space is two stories and includes about 30,000 square feet. On the first floor, clients have direct access to the parking lot and their own dedicated entrance. It also includes co-working spaces, a cafeteria and kitchen space, in addition to a dedicated team suite and a larger conference room that can accommodate upward of 40 people. On the second floor, which can be accessed by an elevator or stairwell, there’s additional dedicated offices and team suites.
“Throughout the whole space, we can accommodate between 250 and 300 members, whether they are individuals who work for a large company and come in to get a dedicated space to work out of, or a small company that needs a team suite of four to five people or combinations of that,” says Hebert.
There’s a host of amenities, including free parking, free coffee and tea, and a free gym, just to name a few. And there are two types of memberships — resident and non-resident. Resident members have 24-7 access to the co-working space and are offered an abundance of perks. Non-resident members can access the co-working space from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and they can come and go as they like during those hours.
Finding flexible solutions amid a pandemic
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic forced many people to work remotely, Hebert and his team were seeing an increase in demand for a co-working space like Serendipity Labs. But that demand has grown even more in recent months. “As we initially came out of the post-COVID-19 pandemic, it was just people wanting to get out of the house,” Hebert says. “They wanted a place to work, a place to take conference calls, and get away from the kids and the dogs.”
However, some of the small or mid-size companies that are coming back to work are giving up their commercial leases because they realized it wasn’t the best solution for them. “They are wanting a more flexible solution because half of their team may be working at home, but they still need a place to meet and want dedicated space for that,” Hebert says. “Utilizing a co-working space like ours allows for more flexibility and a company doesn’t have to commit to a five- or 10-year lease option.”
And many companies are looking for ways to remain more flexible with their office locations. “They are making decisions on how to come back into a workplace, and there’s honestly no better team than ours in this the co-working industry,” Hebert says. “And I know you’ll hear that from a lot of our members.”
Hebert even runs his own consulting company in Serendipity Labs, so he’s had the pleasure of speaking to clients daily and getting feedback on their experiences. “The members know me, and they know where to find me if there’s a complaint,” he concludes. “That could be risky, but I think they look at me as another member company, and we share ideas and different approaches. We talk about where we can help each other, so it’s very positive from that standpoint.”
A Serendipity Labs membership includes:
- Network access to all U.S. locations
- 24/7 access and badge access entry
- Guest reception and concierge services (staffed Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., excluding holidays)
- Complimentary parking and gym
- Secure high-speed internet
- Secure cloud-based infrastructure and high compliance standards
- Janitorial services
- Access to monthly member events
- Business services, including mail and package delivery, scanning, notary, administrative support, IT support, copies, secure printing, meeting space (at cost) and market and retail items available (at cost)
- Use of Serendipity Labs business address for your company
- Complimentary coffee, tea and filtered water
- Access to conference rooms at preferred rates