Improving school food and work culture at Cooperativa La Coccinella

Cooperativa La Coccinella is a network of 18 kindergartens spread across the province of Trentino in Italy.

In 2015, the executives at Cooperativa La Coccinella reached out to WE Factory with the request to develop real-life solutions to school lunch service problems together for the staff involved with the food service. The objective of the program was mainly to seek viable solutions to improve the current school food service offering across all schools regardless of size and whether they had an in-house kitchen. Eventually, by analyzing the service we helped them better the relationship with and amongst the service providers including but not only teachers, art therapists, cooks, and janitors and the end users like babies and their families.


The Challenge

When we entered the space for the first day of workshops, I understood that while the personnel had been receiving regular training in a traditional way, they weren’t familiar with the human-centered design methodology. That required a longer introduction. Also, when designing for babies, one needs to consider that they can’t participate in the process. Moreover, the kindergartens involved had different size. Some had in-house kitchens. The two oldest and biggest ones had a kitchen with a team of experienced cooks, who work with the manager of dietary restrictions, who also helps them develop the curriculum and make healthy meals for babies. The recipes change each season and mainly use local ingredients. Other kindergartens get the food delivered. But the quality is lower and the teachers dissatisfied.


“Veronica created a relaxed and comfortable setting to brainstorm with my colleagues from different departments. We also put the theory we learned into practice with a fun session in the kitchen. I was very skeptical in the beginning, but I had to change my mind. The program was well designed and we all benefited in terms of improved food service and communication.”

– Martina, Art Therapist, La Coccinella


The Making of the Program

WE Factory created a series of workshops with the following objectives:


Everyone is a creative – acquire the designer mindset

Map and understand the current status of the service

Identify the challenges and develop a design brief

Describe the user persona and create food recipes for each persona

Get creative with constraints – plating for delight


The program took place both in the classroom and in the kitchen. I started by asking participants to draw apples. Drawing is like a signal to the right part of the brain saying, wake up! At the same time, it helped participants get on the same ground.

Participants worked in teams and individually. At the end of the workshop, more than 150 ideas were generated. We created the first draft of a recipe book for the day-care centers’ cooks.


This series of workshops set the ground for the collaboration for annual literature festival for children 1,2,3…Storie organized by Cooperativa La Coccinella.

If you need any help with developing a culinary food program for your workplace please take a look at Workplace or contact us at

  • Client Cooperativa La Coccinella
  • Date February 4, 2018
  • Tags Service Design Program, Workplace Wellbeing