These days, you probably know the city of Chicago as the home of great comedy, amazing parks, soaring skyscrapers, championship hockey and—no matter what our colleagues at Google NYC say—the greatest pizza in the world. But you might not know that Chicago is also home to one of Google’s oldest U.S. offices: this week Google Chicago celebrated its 10th anniversary. To mark the event, we celebrated with a party, a giant anniversary cake (18 lbs of butter, 100+ eggs and 60 lbs fondant) and most importantly, 10 community grants to 10 organizations in Chicago.

Over the past 10 years, Google Chicago has grown in terms of both size and responsibilities—we started with just two members of our nascent sales team, but today we have more than 400 employees in our office across engineering, sales and operations. Chicago too has certainly come a long way from Carl Sandburg’s days and we’re proud to be playing a small part in making the city a center for technological innovation.

Along the way, we’ve been fortunate to work with folks from around the region to make things better for users. Our Apps team has helped bring our email and app solutions to students at both Notre Dame University and Northwestern University, we’ve built a project with the Chicago Transit Authority and last year, we announced, alongside Mayor Daley, Google’s $3.2 billion economic impact on Illinois.

We’re also particularly proud of our contributions to Google. Our Chicago-based engineering team launched the Data Liberation Front, which allows users to export their data from our products, from the ground up. With those efforts, the team has begun to change the way consumers think about web services and data portability. In 2007, we acquired Chicago-based FeedBurner, and today the product has been fully integrated into Google’s ad platform. And Google’s acquisition of DoubleClick included what is now the Chicago-based Google Affiliate Network, whose deals have helped consumers across the globe.

Google Chicago couldn’t have come this far without a talented group of employees. We’ve been very fortunate to find top-notch talent in the Midwest to build out our sales and engineering teams, and we don’t expect that to stop anytime soon. Come join and help us build the next 10 years in Chicago!

Oh, and one last thought: please ... when you visit us in Chicago, NEVER put ketchup on your hot dog. (In Chicago, we know a thing or two about our hot dogs!)