Plant-based foods have the power to change lives — and cultures too. Challenging the norm is our vibe, and it’s the start of a larger movement. Kite Hill's chef-founders and employee-artisans are this movement. We craft 100% plant-based foods that deliver an eating experience that’s as close to dairy as it gets. Our innovative range of foods enables the team at Kite Hill to surprise and delight our consumers each and every day. We believe that by choosing to eat plant-based foods instead of dairy, we are making a positive choice for our bodies and the world around us. This game-changing food isn’t just better for you, it’s better for animals and the planet, too. Our commitment to innovation knows no bounds. With a portfolio that includes yogurt, cream cheese, dips, butter, sour cream, cheese, and filled pasta we’re elevating expectations of what plant-based food can be. Every day we’re coming up with new ideas and pushing dairy-free food to taste better than ever before. Because at Kite Hill we don’t play the game, we change it.
Our Core Values:
- We make Great Tasting Plant Based Foods
- Imagination Drives Innovation
- Do Good
- Do the Right Thing Even When No One is Watching
- We are Better Together
- We are Passionate and Enjoy the Journey
- Everyone is Included
Diversity and Inclusion at Kite Hill:
Kite Hill is an equal opportunity employer and prohibits discrimination or harassment of any kind. We passionately value diversity and inclusion on all levels and believe that everyone should bring their authentic self to work every day. We believe that the power of differences, active debate, listening, and a willingness to learn make us a more effective organization.
The Plant Manager holds overall responsibility for the strategic and operational leadership of our facility, encompassing all aspects of site operations including Safety, Quality, Manufacturing, Maintenance, Engineering, Sanitation, Warehouse, Scheduling, and some Purchasing. In addition to managing day-to-day operations, this role entails the recruitment, selection, training, and development of staff within the designated area of responsibility. The Plant Manager will collaborate closely with support teams, such as Quality Assurance, R&D and Marketing, to drive enhanced productivity and profitability within the Kite Hill Hayward plant. Candidates for this role must have at least 5 years of progressive experience in a food manufacturing environment (RTE or Fermented Food preferred) with a minimum of 3 years in a key leadership role in production or plant management. Experience in managing an artisanal cheese factory or similar dairy product manufacturing is highly desirable.
The Plant Manager must be prepared to navigate and lead the organization and team through substantial month-to-month growth, accommodate new retailers and products, and do so with confidence by having already encountered and resolved similar challenges. A commitment to the role is necessary and the need to be available anytime is critical.
Essential Duties and Competencies
• Responsible for the performance of plant’s operation, focusing on safety, quality, cost controls, and the employee environment.
• Develop and manage an annual budget in conjunction with the Senior Leadership Team and the plant leadership team.
• Monitor and control departmental costs. Analize and adjust labor standards by cost center to support the annual budgeting process.
• Develop and oversee manufacturing processes & equipment with assistance from management and support teams.
• Guide department managers in the development of labor usage and continuous improvement strategies to better utilize resources and react to changes in production.
• Provide effective communication to the plant staff on company efforts, direction, and needed activities.
• Analyze equipment downtime and machine problems with leadership to resolve issues.
• Collaborate with Maintenance and Engineering to coordinate and implement capital projects and maintenance activities, equipment process flows, optimization of plant layouts, coordination of shutdowns and startups.
• Champion Good Manufacturing Practices, maintain clean and sanitary work practices.
• Educate and enforce Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP's), Hazard Analysis of Critical Control Points (HACCP), quality and sanitation standards to ensure product quality and integrity.
• Oversee the creation of operational schedules and manufacturing activities to ensure production demand is met while exceeding the quality specifications of our products.
• Measure and improve yields, waste, labor, efficiency, utilization, and spend.
• Direct the overall activities of production to deliver customer orders on time and in full.
• Foster a positive employee environment through consistent and fair practices.
• Lead employee development, and training efforts.
• Lead the plant's safety process to ensure a behavioral-based safe, hazard-free working environment, exists for all employees.
• Responsible for instilling the importance of safety in the workplace through adherence to safety rules, practicing safe work habits, utilizing appropriate safety equipment, and reporting unsafe conditions to the appropriate administrator.
• Manage employees to ensure effective selection, retention, development, disciplinary action, and performance management in partnership with Human Resources.
• Track and analyze operations key metrics (KPI’s) to monitor the plant’s “health”. Ensure production exceeds quality and safety standards so we continue to maintain our leadership position in the industry.
• Ensure Standard Operating Procedures are developed and maintained for all aspects of the production process.
• Support Research and Development initiatives on new products, processes, ingredients, and packaging. Provide production line time and track test costs.
• Champion site’s food safety culture and strategies to continually mitigate food safety risk.
• Utilize a continuous improvement mindset to identify process improvement opportunities.
• Support Quality Assurance programs and develop timely corrective actions.
• Support the plants SQF program and participate in any plant audit.
• Required to be flexible to production’s needs and adjust one’s work hours.
• This position has direct supervisory responsibilities.
• Serve as backup to site leadership.
• Perform duties as assigned by management to ensure business operations run smoothly.
What Makes You Successful / What Makes a Great Candidate
• Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture of products.
• Knowledge of employee safety, food safety, and quality programs (HACCP, SQF), as well as compliance with FDA and OSHA standards.
• Strong analytical and problem-solving skills.
• Excellent communication skills, both verbal and written.
• Highly proficient in Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Teams, SharePoint).
• Excellent interpersonal skills and a collaborative management style to create an engaged, motivated, and high-performing team.
• Ability to lead, influence, and motivate a small workforce through interpersonal and team-building skills.
• Strong business acumen and understanding of accounting and Profit & Loss line items.
• Ability to understand cost containment, budgetary principles, and a commitment to environmental stewardship.
• Must be able to work flexible hours, including nights and weekends, in support of plant operations.
• Must be self-motivated, results-oriented, possess a high degree of initiative, and work well under pressure.
• Bachelor’s degree in business administration, Food Science, Organizational Leadership, Operations, Business
Management, or other similar disciplines required.
• 5+ years in a manufacturing environment with experience directing operations.
• Ability to work within and through the organization using influence and client management skills.
• Strong organizational, communication (written & verbal), and persuasive skills.
• Ability to interpret a variety of technical information in mathematical and/or narrative form and deal with several abstract and concrete variables.
• Advanced mathematical and statistical skills.
• Intermediate financial skills and understanding.
• Industry-specific certifications or qualifications, particularly in Food and Safety.
• Frequent periods of sitting at a desk and working on a computer
• Prolonged periods working on feet, using tools, and performing repetitive actions that entail frequent bending and stooping.
What Will Set You Apart from Other Candidates
• Proven experience in leading with Human Safety-First mindset
• Being a builder of processes, someone who is not siloed in only being a manager for the site but focused on the success of the company.
• Strong servant leadership focus.
• Technical knowledge in equipment for pasteurization, fermentation, fillers, and case packers.
• The willingness and ability to adapt to production needs, work hours, and unexpected adjustments in the work environment.
• The capability to collaborate with other departments and stakeholders, including Sales, Marketing, and R&D, to align production with overall business objectives.
• Previous experience in leading an SQF facility and external auditing.
• Collaborating on an annual budget from a Sales Forecast to drive and optimize margin.