Beverage Plant Manager – The Living Apothecary

Location: Berkeley, CA

Company Background: The Living Apothecary produces a line of innovative, delicious water kefir teas that contain the same probiotic content as kombucha but with much broader taste profiles and that can be created in both still and sparkling variations.  The Company was founded in 2012 by Shari Stein Curry and Traci Hunt whose mission was to make superior, sustainable and compassionate products that properly feed the body and soul.  They use only the highest quality, painstakingly sourced ingredients as they believe a beverage needs true legs to stand on.  The Living Apothecary currently offers eight delicious flavors of kefir waters. They are distributed at select Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, Bristol Farms, Mother’s Markets, Lazy Acres, and other top retailers.  The Company has partnered with LA Libations, an incubation platform that is partially owned by The Coca Cola Company, and it recently received an investment from Venice Brands, who will now become a key partner in building out the brand’s strategy, third partner network, and internal team.

Job Description:  The Plant Manager will be a key member of our growing team and will lead all in-house production operations.  We recently signed a lease to build out and operate a new 25,000 square foot production facility in Richmond, CA.  This person will oversee the completion of this new facility, and then will lead all efforts related to production, labor staffing, sanitation, food safety, inventory management, equipment maintenance, etc.

Responsibilities

  • Responsible for managing and executing production which includes managing the following departments day-to-day:
    • Line Production
    • Sanitation/CIP
    • Scheduling
    • Shipping and warehousing
    • Maintenance
  • Responsible for developing, implementing and executing SOP’s, troubleshooting and optimizing processes.
  • Responsible for achievement of the operations and financial performance metrics:
    • Production fulfillment of orders
    • Meet customer quality and delivery expectations
    • Maximizing production yield
    • Optimizing labor scheduling
    • Inventory control
    • Overhead spending and operating to budget
    • Manage compliance and improvements to food safety management system and employee safety initiatives
    • Compliance with regulatory requirements
  • Collaborate on the capital spending plan to maintain equipment and keep production capacity at or above sales demand. Plan and direct the installation, testing, operation, maintenance, and repair of facilities and equipment.
  • Communicate and collaborate internally and externally:
    • Cross-functionally within the organization with finance, quality assurance, human resources, operations and sales
    • Business relationships with employees, customers, suppliers and industry contacts
    • Neighbors, community leaders and regulatory agencies
  • Perform administrative functions:
    • Participating in the annual budgeting process
    • Reviewing and writing reports
    • Approving and reviewing expenditures
    • Enforcing rules
    • Purchasing of materials or services
  • Responsible for the production team personnel in a high growth business:
    • Manage employment decisions throughout the employment life cycle. i.e. hiring, firing, performance evaluation, salary recommendations, employee relations issues as appropriate etc.
    • Create a culture where employees can thrive personally and professionally.
    • Establish group and individual accountabilities and ensure performance is measured against those goals.
    • Demonstrate clear integrity and a sense of ethics and responsibility to the plant and its employees daily, serving as a model for others.
    • Foster an environment of continuous improvement to create the most effective and efficient workforce and work processes.

Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree, preferably in manufacturing management, operations, food science or engineering
  • 7-10 years’ experience leading an in-house beverage manufacturing facility as a Plant Manager or similar
  • Deep familiarity with how plant equipment functions and ability to lead evaluation and installation
  • Strong preference for someone who has run operations for a high growth, refrigerated beverage brand
  • Strong preference for someone who understands the kefir water fermentation process
  • Must have ability to constantly adapt to increasing production requirements, new product launches, etc.

Salary:  Commensurate with experience

Interested candidates should send an email and resume to greg@venicebrands.com