Careers

Got a passion for food and a drive for equity?  Reach out to us! 

We are currently hiring for three senior-level positions.

We are always looking for mentors and food industry professionals to share their skills. If you are interested in volunteering, take a minute to tell us about yourself.

Join CommonWealth Kitchen, Boston’s only nonprofit food business incubator, as Director of Business Development.

CommonWealth Kitchen provides a launching pad for entrepreneurs from historically marginalized communities to start and build successful food companies. Our shared kitchens in Dorchester are home to an average of 50 early-stage food businesses from food trucks and caterers to CPG producers (consumer packaged goods) such as hot sauce. CWK pairs this kitchen operation with education and technical programs to support food businesses along their journey from concept to established company, reaching another 200+ diverse businesses annually. CommonWealth Kitchen’s comprehensive approach is uniquely organized to level the playing field to allow its member companies—75% of whom are owned by women and people of color—to succeed in the notoriously challenging food industry. The Director of Business Development works to identify and manage strategic industry partnerships that can provide members with financially viable market opportunities essential to their success. This market development and strategic partnership management work is core to CWK’s efforts to build an equitable, resilient food economy truly grounded in racial, social, and economic justice.

Position Overview

The Director of Business Development is responsible for identifying, developing, and managing CWK’s market access work with a variety of partners and stakeholders, including buyers, distributors, event planners, procurement staff, developers, and food service operators. Responsibilities include the following:

  1. Coordinating with the Program team to assess member businesses’ needs and readiness and manage the process for connecting businesses to the right strategic partnership opportunities.
  2. Gathering and continually analyzing data and feedback on business development strategies to ensure members’ access to all channels and opportunities for new avenues.
  3. Developing strategies to codify and systematize this market development work such that each new opportunity does not require a wholly separate, stand-alone strategy that cannot be readily repeated.
  4. Measuring and documenting all work through mutually developed metrics that demonstrate CWK’s impact for its leadership, its members, and its investors.


Among CWK’s upcoming or recent business development opportunities are: securing space and all requirements for CWK food trucks in Kendall Square and in the Longwood Medical area, collaborating with a major grocery chain for a CWK local food space, and launching a CWK food hall in a rapidly growing biotech corridor.

Primary Responsibilities

The Director of Business Development will enjoy busy days advising entrepreneurs about their sales and market development strategy, implementing the steps to bring CWK products and services to an institutional partner, and tracking down the many member opportunities CWK expects to develop at its June 2022 food show. This role requires an entrepreneurial mindset, excellent problem-solving and relationship management skills, and great attention to detail, categorized as follows:

Access to Markets

  • Develop and oversee system for screening inbound market opportunities and matching to appropriate businesses.
  • Build and manage industry partnerships with grocers, distributors, food service operators, event planners, and others to open doors and drive access and business opportunities for CWK’s full range of food-based businesses.
  • Develop and manage strategy for developing new opportunities matching market opportunities to business needs (For example, helping find alternative vending locations for food trucks given the slow return of office workers).
  • Monitor public procurement processes to identify potential new opportunities, such as City vending sites.
  • Represent CWK at vendor events, and other activities to build CWK’s industry networks.
 

CWK Member Support and CWK Operations

  • Coordinate with CWK’s program, facilities and co-manufacturing teams to identify member needs and effective market development strategies to meet those needs.
  • Coach businesses on market access strategy, effective sales and marketing practices, and present those best practices as part of CWK’s core educational programming.
  • Manage operations and reporting for CWK’s own retail outlets, including CWK @ Kendall, CWK Launchpad at MIT, etc.
  • Work with Communications and Program teams to assist with CWK’s annual corporate gift box program, and similar initiatives to drive sales and build networks.
  • Manage events focused on connecting members to sales opportunities, including CWK’s buyer show, and similar efforts.
  • Support CWK’s work with regional partners such as Healthcare without Harm and the Coalition for an Equitable Economy to drive broader systems change.
 

Organizational Strategy and Policy

  • Develop a clear vision, value proposition, and set of measurable impact goals for CWK’s business development and market access strategy- and manage to these goals.
  • Develop criteria and policies for how/when CWK makes opportunities available to food businesses in our extended network.
  • Collaborate with other CWK teams to develop materials to support this work and communicate opportunity and impact to industry partners, media, businesses, funders, allies, and other stakeholders.
  • Develop and manage systems to track and evaluate impact.
  • Participate in annual planning and budgeting process.
 

Qualifications

Blending relationship management, negotiation, advocacy, business coaching, sales, and strategy implementation, this role is big! It’s ideal for an entrepreneurial, impact-driven individual looking to help build and scale diverse food businesses and play a key leadership role within CWK’s fast-growing social enterprise. Candidates should demonstrate the following:

  • Deep commitment to CWK’s mission, vision and values including CWK’s focus on racial, social, and economic justice.
  • Minimum 7-10 years in business development, operations, sales or comparable experience.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Superb organization and management skills with outstanding attention to detail.
  • Demonstrated cultural competency and a high “EQ” to work effectively with and quickly gain the respect and support of diverse constituencies, including board and staff, donors, entrepreneurs, industry partners, foundation and civic leaders.
  • Ability to work independently, take initiative, and construct, articulate, and implement short and long-term strategic plans.
  • Familiarity with food industry and core business practices for retail and wholesale food businesses preferred.
  • Knowledge of G Suite (Google apps), MS Office, Salesforce, Asana and Slack preferred.
 

CommonWealth Kitchen is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse staff who are representative of the community we serve and who bring a variety of traditions, experiences, and points of view to our organization. Individuals of all backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply. Interested candidates must be authorized to work legally in the United States.

Compensation and Benefits

CommonWealth Kitchen offers a fast-paced, rewarding work environment at our 196 Quincy Street location, a group employee health insurance plan, and excellent holiday and vacation benefits. Salary range is expected to be $75,000-$95,000, commensurate with experience.

Reporting

This position will report directly to the Chief Operating Officer.

To Apply

This is not your typical sales or business development position and CommonWealth Kitchen is not your typical food industry business. Boost your candidacy by including a carefully drafted cover letter that explains why you are uniquely qualified for this position. CWK is working with Carolyn O’Brien Consulting, LLC on this search.

More about CommonWealth Kitchen

Since our inception, CWK has graduated 65+ businesses out of our programs and into their own facilities that were still in business pre-COVID. Over 75% of these companies are owned by women and/or people of color. Combined, these alumni employ 600+ and generate over $65M in combined annual gross revenue.

CWK has received numerous awards and accolades for its work, most recently being named Boston Magazine’s Best Community Catalyst in their July 2021 Best of Boston edition.

Through this work, CWK is building a just, equitable, food economy where everyone can participate and prosper and meeting our mission of building a new food economy grounded in racial, social, and economic justice.

Join CommonWealth Kitchen, Boston’s only nonprofit food business incubator, as Director of Institutional Giving.

CommonWealth Kitchen (CWK) provides a launching pad for entrepreneurs from historically marginalized communities to start and build successful food companies. Our shared kitchens in Dorchester are home to an average of 50 early-stage food businesses from food trucks and caterers to CPG producers (consumer packaged goods) such as hot sauce. CWK pairs this kitchen operation with education and technical programs to support food businesses along their journey from concept to established company, reaching another 200+ diverse businesses annually.  CommonWealth Kitchen’s comprehensive approach is uniquely organized to level the playing field to allow its member companies—75% of whom are owned by women and people of color—to succeed in the notoriously challenging food industry. The Director of Institutional Giving will be a passionate writer, researcher, communicator, and strategist partnering with CWK’s Executive Director and funders to secure new opportunities for entrepreneurs and CommonWealth Kitchen.

Position Overview

CommonWealth Kitchen has navigated both opportunity and challenge over the course of the COVID pandemic. With support from public financing and generous investments from local foundations, CWK purchased its campus in February 2022. The City of Boston and other funders have invested in CommonWealth Kitchen to help produce meals during the height of the crisis, support restaurant resiliency, and launch new opportunities for CWK member entrepreneurs at MIT, Stop & Shop, and Longwood Medical area. The new Director of Institutional Giving will join CWK during a time of growth, rather than scarcity, requiring an individual ready to collaborate with the Executive Director in crafting compelling proposals, reports and marketing materials that tell the powerful story of CWK’s impact.  The Director will skillfully manage and cultivate relationships with funders and partners, and implement systems that support strong foundation relations, government grantmaking, and corporate giving. CWK is nearing completion on an organization-wide Salesforce database integrated into all of its operations, and the Director should have expertise and affinity for accurate and timely data gathering and reporting across programs. The Director of Institutional Giving will also work closely with the Director of Marketing and Communications on all aspects of CWK’s external messaging in support of the fundraising strategy.

Primary Responsibilities

This new role is a chance for an experienced fundraiser with institutional giving experience to join the senior leadership team at CommonWealth Kitchen. CWK’s budget has grown to $3.6 million annually, which includes an enviable mix of public, private, and corporate foundation grants; government contracts; and growing earned revenue (nearly 40% pre-COVID).  Loyal individual donors contribute 5% to the philanthropic budget, and this role will support growing those efforts at times, as well. Among the immediate opportunities is the relaunch of CWK’s annual food show in June 2022, which will offer prospective corporate supporters an engaging introduction to CWK’s talented entrepreneurs and their products.

The Director of Institutional Giving will be responsible for the following:

Institutional Fund Development and Stewardship

  • Maintaining and growing institutional support, including proposal and report research, writing, and deadline management as well as building and stewarding key strategic relationships, ensuring the highest attention to detail and quality.
  • Working with the Executive Director to develop corporate sponsorship strategy for CWK’s annual food show, business education programming, and other new initiatives.
  • Collaborating across CWK functions to manage the fundraising elements of the Salesforce database that supports all of CWK’s data needs.
  • Partnering with CWK’s finance team to develop budgets and fundraising goals.
  • Representing the organization alone or with the Executive Director, Senior Management Team, Board, and/or CWK members to donors, prospects, funders, and volunteers.
  • Ensuring that CWK’s written materials, whether traditional or digital, support fund development and inspire new investment.
  •  

 Organizational Leadership and Strategy

  • Participating as a member of CWK’s Senior Management Team, helping set organizational goals, strategies, policies, and procedures.
  • Collaborating with the Executive Director and Marketing and Communications Director to devise a robust marketing strategy and supporting materials to strengthen CWK’s brand and reputation locally and nationally, and secure additional funding.
  • Hiring and supervising staff and consultants as needed and thinking strategically about how to build CWK’s fundraising infrastructure.
  • Participating in meetings as well as organizational, partner, and community events necessary to perform job responsibilities and/or to represent CWK.
  • Hiring and managing a program associate that will work with this position to manage all aspects of implementation.
  • Other related assignments, including supporting individual giving, at the direction of the Executive Director.
  •  

Qualifications

Where else could you combine your foundation and corporate fundraising expertise with two active kitchens, inspiring entrepreneurs, delicious foods, and an authentic chance to shape a just, equitable, food economy where everyone can participate and prosper? Candidates should bring the following experience and personal qualities:

  • Deep commitment to CWK’s mission, vision and values, embracing CWK’s focus on racial, social, and economic justice.
  • Demonstrated track record as an effective written and verbal communicator with highly developed skills in persuasive writing and speaking. Must demonstrate excellent attention to detail and experience researching and crafting proposals, donor correspondence and other materials.
  • Demonstrated success participating on a diverse team, working across functions and outside the fundraising silo, and thinking creatively and entrepreneurial.
  • Excellent relationship management skills, representing CommonWealth Kitchen and its members with authenticity not just to institutional donors, but all constituents.
  • Ability to work independently, take initiative, and construct, articulate, and implement CWK’s short and long-term goals.
  • Minimum of 7-10 years of professional fundraising experience.
  • Proficiency in Google docs, MS Office, Salesforce, Asana software preferred.
  •  

Compensation and Benefits

CommonWealth Kitchen offers a fast-paced, rewarding work environment at our 196 Quincy Street location, a group employee health insurance plan, and excellent holiday and vacation benefits. Salary range is expected to be $80,000-$100,000, commensurate with experience.

Reporting

This position will report directly to the Executive Director, while collaborating closely with the COO and Director of Marketing and Communications.

To Apply

Please submit a resume with clear metrics that demonstrate your impact, as well as a thoughtful cover letter that outlines both your expertise in institutional giving as well as how your personal or professional journey has led you to a commitment to building equity in the food industry. CWK is working with Carolyn O’Brien Consulting, LLC on this search.

More about CommonWealth Kitchen

Since our inception, CWK has graduated 65+ businesses out of our programs and into their own facilities that were still in business pre-COVID. Over 75% of these companies are owned by women and/or people of color. Combined, these alumni employ 600+ and generate over $65M in combined annual gross revenue.

CWK has received numerous awards and accolades for its work, most recently being named Boston Magazine’s Best Community Catalyst in their July 2021 Best of Boston edition.

Through this work, CWK is building a just, equitable, food economy where everyone can participate and prosper and meeting our mission of building a new food economy grounded in racial, social, and economic justice.

CommonWealth Kitchen, Greater Boston’s nonprofit food business development center, is in search of an experienced manufacturing professional to serve as Director of Manufacturing to oversee operations of our co-packing work, plus provide advisory services and technical support to our community of food trucks, caterers, bakers, packaged goods companies, restaurants, farms and related food companies.

This hands-on senior management role requires excellent culinary and organizational skills; extensive knowledge of food production including HACCP plans and scheduled processes; experience with large capacity production, filling, packaging and labeling equipment; product formulation and development; food safety knowledge; and demonstrated managerial experience including developing and managing budgets.

The ideal candidate will be results-oriented, have excellent communication skills, careful attention to detail, excel in a collaborative multicultural work environment, with proven ability to effectively manage multiple direct reports and outside vendors and a clear commitment to CWK’s mission.

Primary Responsibilities

Contract Manufacturing

Manage all operations of CWK’s contract manufacturing work, which provides outsourced processing to a variety of packaged goods companies, farms, and restaurants, as well as producing a custom line of CWK products for institutional accounts. Additionally, in response to the COVID pandemic, CWK’s manufacturing team is producing prepared meals to feed families in need.

Specific responsibilities include:
  • Oversee operations of CWK’s contract manufacturing operations, including managing customers, developing production schedules, managing inventory, overseeing production, traceability, lot codes and similar production records, and ensuring compliance with all applicable food safety regulations;
  • Work with CWK program staff to assess, develop a pipeline and on-board new projects and clients for the manufacturing operations, including negotiating and enforcing contract terms;
  • Work directly with customers to scale up recipes, develop/tweak formulations and processes, adjust sourcing, and similar as needed for efficient scaled up production;
  • Manage onboarding process for all new projects and products including assessing financial viability to CWK and the prospective client;
  • Work with finance team to manage all billing, vendor relationships, A/P and A/R and similar management functions and ensure adherence to budgets;
  • Oversee production of meals and products associated with CWK’s CommonTable initiative, which is helping to address food insecurity in the midst of COVID pandemic
  • Directly supervise team of 5-10+ kitchen team members, including training, coaching, professional development, and annual performance reviews;
  • Coordinate with facilities team to ensure all equipment is properly maintained and facilities are clean and sanitized.

Entrepreneurship Program

Provide culinary support and mentorship to CWK’s food business community.

Scope of work will include:
  • Provide 1-on-1 coaching and support on topics such as recipe formulation, packaging, improving production efficiencies, costing out products and recipes, managing production, and developing new products or menu items;
  • provide other technical support and training to CWK’s extended community of food businesses, including restaurants, push cart vendors, food trucks, caterers, bakers, and packaged goods companies

Organizational Management

  • Serve as a member of CWK’s senior leadership team, providing strategy and advice on overall operations;
  • Develop and manage annual work plan and budget for all manufacturing operations;
  • Lead and facilitate department meetings;
  • Lead culinary operations in a respectful, inclusive manner, one that is aligned with by keeping an eye towards strategy, inclusion and hold the team accountable to a culture of learning, collaboration, respect, and transparency.

Qualifications

  • 10+ years of professional experience with a record of excellence, including at least three years of management experience in a food production setting; Experience in recipe development and scaling, working through shelf life testing, scheduled process approval and similar;
  • Thorough understanding of food safety and the regulatory environment for commercial kitchens and food manufacturers; Serv-Safe, Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP), Preventive Controls for Human Food (PCQI), and Better Process Control School certifications required;
  • Strong leadership, organization, communication and project management skills;
  • Ability to work independently, in a fast-paced, collaborative, and diverse environment, while maintaining a strong sense of ownership, a commitment to quality and results, and unwavering attention to detail;
  • Personal commitment to CWK’s mission.

CommonWealth Kitchen is an equal opportunity employer. We value having a diverse staff who are representative of the community we serve and who bring a variety of traditions, experiences, and points of view to our organization. Individuals of all backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply. Interested candidates must be authorized to work legally in the United States.

Benefits and Compensation

CommonWealth Kitchen offers a rewarding work environment at our 196 Quincy Street location, a group employee health insurance plan, and standard holiday and vacation benefits. Salary $65,000-$75,000.

To Apply

Please send a letter of interest, resume, and supporting materials to tyler@commonwealthkitchen.org (no calls please). We will review all submissions and only contact individuals selected to continue in the search process. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

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