APRIL 16, 2019 | 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM


The 3th Annual Food & Beverage Manufacturing Career Summit is designed to help students explore the vast career opportunities available in the agriculture, food and befverage manufacturing industries. Students will be introduced to careers in AGRICULTURE, MACHINING, ENGINEERING, SALES & MARKETING, MANUFACTURING, CULINARY ARTS, WINEMAKING, FOOD SCIENCE AND SO MUCH MORE!

Over 150 students meet with representatives from over 20 local food and beverage manufacturers to explore the wide array of career paths available in their industry. Plus, speak to counselors from the Santa Rosa Junior College and Sonoma State University to learn about the educational pathways that will help you enter these high-paying careers.

North Bay Business Journal and Press Democrat were on site to report on the last two events, read the articles here:  2017  |  2018

“The idea that I could use my mechanical skills and welding in a winery setting interested me and I never thought about it.”

-Windsor High School Student

“I got to see the program I plan to attend when I register at the SRJC.”

-Windsor High School Student

“I am really glad I went to this. I would have never known about the wine classes and it seems like a lot of fun! I am definitely going to take classes in the fall.”

-Archbishop Hanna High School Student

“They really helped me learn about the pathway that I want to pursue a career in, giving me tips about classes to take and some steps to get me there.”

-Petaluma High School Student



Growing demand for specialty foods and craft beverages is a driving factor in Sonoma County’s rapidly expanding Food and Beverage Manufacturing Industry. The industry is one of the fastest growing sectors in the North Bay, having added more than 2,000 jobs since 2013, and job growth is projected to accelerate rapidly through 2020. Sonoma County’s world renown as a high quality producer of specialty foods and wine further bolsters the industry’s viability and long term strength in our community.

The following reports are developed by the Sonoma County Economic Development Board (EDB) to provide a regional overview of statistical data by occupation, including wage ranges, hard and soft skills requirements, and workforce demographics.

Industry Participants

Straus Family Creamery
Straus Family Creamery is a certified organic dairy that produces organic milk, ice cream, yogurt, butter, sour cream & cream-top milk in reusable glass bottles. They place a high value on the people who work with them, stating, “People are our most valuable resource; they are the heart and soul of Straus and make everything we believe in happen. We strive to have a harmonious workplace where our company’s principles, values, vision and mission are supported on every level.” To see more of what Straus Family Creamery has to say about what it’s like to work for them, and to review current job openings, click on the logo below!
Petaluma Poultry
Petaluma Poultry, the home of ROCKY® the Free Range Chicken and ROSIE® the Original Organic Chicken, has been in operation in Sonoma County for over 40 years. They are committed to sustainable farming practices, reducing waste, preserving the environment, supporting their employees, and contributing to the local community. Check out their website for information on their values and careers by clicking the logo below!
E&J Gallo Wineries
Founded by two hard-working brothers, Ernest and Julio Gallo, in 1933, E&J Gallo Wineries pride themselves on holding the ideal of Family at the top of its values. A pioneer of California wine production, E&J Gallo owns and operates a variety of wine brands, large and small, luxury to affordable, locally and abroad. Glassdoor Employees’ Choice Awards recently named E&J Gallo Wineries as one of the 50 Best Places to Work nationwide. See why employees love working for this iconic organization by clicking the logo below.
La Tortilla Factory
We’re a fun, dynamic company with a great culture and stellar products. Our employees thrive in constantly evolving environments and a positive family culture. No matter which career interests you, our reputation and future success are founded on five core values: our Quality, our Courageous Innovation, our People, our Customers, and our Community.

We encourage you to consider joining the La Tortilla Factory team. Here, you will have the opportunity to use your skills to positively influence your life and help us drive innovation.  La Tortilla Factory offers competitive wages and a generous benefits package, as well as the opportunity for promotion and advancement. It’s no wonder that we have been recognized by our employees as one of the best places to work, EIGHT years in a row!

We are a diverse workplace and Equal Opportunity Employer with a wide range of job opportunities, from skilled trades to corporate management.

Cowgirl Creamery
Do you have a passion for cheese? Then join the Cowgirl Creamery team! From cheese makers and mongers to the many people that support them, we’re always on the look-out for great folks. Check out our open positions!
Redwood Hill Farm
Founded in 1968 as a small, family farm on the Sonoma Coast, Redwood Hill Farm & Creamery’s mission is to make the best tasting, least processed goat milk yogurt, kefir and artisan goat cheese. Its deep commitment to support the well-being of their employees, their animals, community organizations, and local dairy farmers starts at the top with founder Jennifer Bice, who today leads operations at the Farm. For more information, click the logo below.
Manzana Products
For over 90 years, Manzana Products Co., Inc. has been crafting premium apple products, in the rolling hills of Sebastopol, CA. Manzana places a high value on taking care of the environment and their employees.  They strongly believe that the quality of their products and reputation is a reflection of this dedication. Manzana specializes in producing high quality organic and natural products; Apple Juice, Applesauce and Apple Cider Vinegar for Private Label Customers and under its own North Coast brand.
Traditional Medicinals
Traditional Medicinals was founded in 1974 by renown herbalist, Rosemary Gladstar and her partner Drake Sadler, a community activist and environmentalist. The company is passionate about bringing centuries-old plant wisdom to high quality tea manufacturing in order to promote health and wellness for people and the planet. They manufacture over 50 wellness and herbal beverages at their solar-powered Sebastopol plant. For more information, click the logo below!
Clover Sonoma
At Clover Sonoma, our success is our people and the community we serve. We pride ourselves in the commitment to provide quality products and excellent customer service.

Clover is a great place to work. Our down-to-earth ways attract quality people who want to be a part of our family organization. Our teams are truly dedicated in every way for the success of our company and a rewarding employment relationship. We offer competitive salaries and a very generous benefit package! If you think you would like to be a part of our team, please review our current openings. If any of these fit your career interest and experience, we encourage you to apply!

At Rabobank we would love to know WHO you are. So if we ask you this question, it entails more than a good CV and a healthy dose of ambition. If we ask you this question, we want to know whether you share our opinions on, for example, work and individual responsibility. We want to know whether you are full of ideas. And if you are capable to work on a new future with us. On your future and our future. But above all: on the future of our clients.
Constellation Brands

At Constellation, our culture, brands and people set us apart and help us elevate life with every glass raised.

We are passionate producers and promoters of some of the world’s most popular beer, wine and spirits brands. We are driven by a desire to succeed, and share an enthusiasm for combining an entrepreneurial and collaborative spirit with a customer focus to deliver quality ideas with integrity.

We believe Constellation is a place where you can elevate yourself and others to new heights to achieve great things now and in the future. For us, that’s what it means to Be Stellar, and here’s what it takes:

Be Passionate
Immerse yourself in our brands and our business. Develop a deep passion for what we do and let it shine through in every interaction with customers, partners and colleagues. Never stop learning and sharing.
Be Purposeful
Know why you’re here – how your job fits into the big picture and contributes to company results. Tap your expertise and experiences to offer solutions, provide another point of view and challenge the status quo. Speak up when you see an opportunity or a potential risk. Make your mark on our business and on the land, people and communities where we live and work.
Be Driven
Dig deep to reach your full potential and be results focused. Challenge yourself to be better and deliver more than expected.  Be ready to do the hard work needed to achieve big dreams. Draw energy and inspiration from those around you. Keep raising the bar for yourself and your colleagues.
Be Collaborative
Share your knowledge, ideas and solutions to help us achieve our goals and perform as a team. Be open to others’ contributions. Don’t wait for answers – find or create them. Take advantage of our assets and knowledge to solve and prevent problems. Join us in recognizing and celebrating accomplishments as colleagues and friends.
Have Fun
Bring your true self and spirit to work every day. Laugh, enjoy, and elevate life.

Should you have any questions on our hiring process or online submittal system, please consult the FAQ tab.

Be stellar with a career at Constellation Brands.

Jackson Family Wines
One of the largest family-owned wine companies around, Jackson Family Wineries places family, community, and sustainability at the heart of their business operations. Launched in 1983 with the debut of its double platinum award winning Vintner’s Reserve Chardonnay, today Jackson Family Wineries is a global force in the wine industry with a portfolio of brands that spans five continents. For more on their values, employee stories, and career opportunities, click the logo below.


Straus Family Creamery

German Lango
Production Manager

German joined Straus Family Creamery as an entry-level production assistant with no industry experience. His interest in the business quickly grew and he dedicated himself to learning all aspects of production. Today German is now Production Manager.

E&J Gallo

Ronny Dotson
Training & Development

Ronny joined Gallo as a high school intern, and was immediately struck by the variety of opportunities available to him at the organization. In his fifteen years at the company, Ronny has tackled many different jobs, and today helps employees learn new skills and grow their careers.

E&J Gallo Wines

Josh Little
Team Leader 2

Josh started working for the wine industry as an intern in the vineyard and he hasn’t looked back. His internship experience helped him better understand how his skills and interests aligned with career opportunities in the industry, and what he needed to do to pursue the type of jobs he wanted to do.

Petaluma Poultry

Andrea Soriano
Materials Manager

Andrea, a graduate of Elsie Allen High School, began working for Petaluma Poultry as a Quality Yield Technician in the production plant. She learned that by showing interest in other parts of the business and by being ready and able to learn new things she could quickly advance her career.

Jackson Family Wines

Ramiro Garcia
Cellar Master

Ramiro started his career in the wine industry as a skilled cellar worker. His knowledge of the complex equipment, commitment to Jackson Family Wines, and interest in the industry propelled him to Cellar Master.

Whole Foods Market

Nezar Jabbar
Associate Store Team Leader

Nezar began his career working in the restaurant industry, then joined the Whole Foods team by starting in the Prepared Foods department. Today he inspires and motivates team members to be their best and to deliver on Whole Foods Market’s mission to support healthy people and communities.

Taylor O. at J Winery
Tasting Room Representative, J Vineyard & Winery
Employee Name: Taylor O.
Job Title: Tasting Room Representative
Department: Hospitality
Company: E & J Gallo/ J Vineyards & Winery
Typical Salary Range: Entry level positions in the tasting room generally start at $13/hour and increase with experience and training


Please describe a typical day at work.

I come into work at 10am Friday through Sunday (start time is 10:30 the rest of the week) to set up each venue. This includes stocking glassware, the wine refrigerators and merchandise, preparing ice buckets for chilled wines, gathering wines anticipated for use throughout the day, making sure each menu is complete and clean for guests navigate, and pre-setting tables for the reservations. Friday through Sunday we conclude set-up at 10:30AM.

We then participate in a morning meeting with the entire team lead by the Tasting Room Supervisor and Manager. During this time we go over the reservations for the day, are updated on current information and given daily goals.  I then go into my assigned venue where I pour wine for guests while educating them on our products as well as the history of the winery. I am available to answer any questions they may have and provide them with information about purchases, shipments, our email list, and the wine club.

If I am in a venue with a food and wine pairing, it is my responsibility to talk through each pairing providing background information on the chef’s inspiration along with what the guest should expect to get out of each pairing and why. At the end of my shift I collaborate with the rest of my team to break down each venue from the day’s activity. Once everything is put back into its designated location and all glassware and dishes have been washed and put away, I clock out for the day.

Why did you choose this career path?

I grew up in Sonoma County with friends and family in the wine industry which helped develop a passion for wine early in my life.

How did you start out?

I went to Sonoma State and studied Wine Business and Marketing. Throughout my time in school I held various internships: at a winery, in marketing, and in the vineyards during harvest.

What do you love about your job?

I love the experience I am getting, the connections I am making, and the people I have met during my time at J Winery.

What skills, training, and certifications do you need to have to be successful?

In order to be successful in the wine industry it is helpful to have experience in different areas within the wine world, such as the vineyards, winemaking, sales, marketing, etc. Acquiring the CSW (Certified Specialist of Wine), SOMM and/or WSET certificates will set people apart in the industry. Having people skills that allow someone to build and maintain relationships is important for someone looking to interact with others regularly, especially in a hospitality role.

What advice would you give to someone considering this career?

My advice would be to give your best every day and be open to new experiences and opportunities. Be willing to work hard no matter what task you are given and always work to achieve your goals. Never go into a job thinking you are above it because there will always be something to learn or someone to learn from.

Operations Team Lead, E&J Gallo Winery
Name: Ronny D.
Job Title: Operations Team Lead
Department: Operations
Company: E&J Gallo Winery
Typical Salary Range: Generally starting around $60,000 and increasing with training and experience


Please describe a typical day at work.

A typical day at the Winery consists of first getting in early and checking in with the cellar crews. The main focus is to help prioritize the work load for them, including crew member allocation. After that, it’s a lap around the facility to ensure there are no surprises. Then it’s into the office for some payroll work, invoice paying, and to catch up on emails. I usually like to take an hour or 2 throughout the day to work on special projects, if my calendar allows me the time. Usually we will get a handful of work orders to bring out to the cellar each day, which we go over in detail with the crew leads, to ensure there is no confusion.

You can pretty much bank on having at least 2-3 meetings per day, if not more. There is a lot of cross functional meetings as Operations is the customer service hub of the Winery. I like to use time each day to go over safety performance/issues with our crew members, as well as conduct effective safety conversations (ESC). All remaining time is filled with training, meetings, and re-prioritizing work as needed.

Why did you choose this career path?

I have always enjoyed seeing the journey of things from start to finish. And I always loved being a leader, whether it was within my group of friends or on my sports teams. Being born and raised in Sonoma County, I grew up seeing the rapid growth of our area in the wine industry, which made this career path an easy choice. And I’m thankful every day!

How did you start out?

I started out as a seasonal wine tech in the cellar and worked my way up through the ranks.

What do you love about your job?

I love the leadership we have at the Winery; we are given the freedom to try off-the-wall innovative ideas and are entrusted to make the right decisions without being micro managed. It encourages you to fail a little so you can learn from those mistakes and become a stronger leader yourself.

What skills, training, and certifications do you need to have to be successful?

Some skills you need are: Hard worker, not afraid to get dirty, ability to adapt to situations, problem solving, punctual, leadership skills, the 4 E’s (engage, enlist, envision, execute).

Some things that aren’t needed but do help are: a college degree, bilingual, and any wine related training or certifications are a bonus.

What advice would you give to someone considering this career?

Many professionals want their work to impact people in a positive way. As a Team Lead in Winery Operations, you’ll constantly analyze existing operations to find improvement opportunities. You’ll also play a significant role in sourcing new equipment, processes, and people.

Team Leads at Gallo can pursue varied careers, so don’t hesitate to explore your options. Whether you feel more at home behind a desk as an Analyst, in the vineyards as a Ranch Lead, giving tours with Hospitality, or joining the Winemaking Team, you can use your Team Lead skills effectively.

Nicole H. at J Winery
Winemaker, J Vineyard & Winery
Employee Name: Nicole H.
Job Title: Winemaker
Department: J Vineyards & Winery
Company: E & J Gallo/ J Vineyards & Winery
Typical Salary Range: Generally starting around $60,000, depending on training and experience


Please describe a typical day at work.

Each work day is very different; that’s what makes my job as a winemaker so enjoyable. Work activities are driven by the season. For example, during harvest, I start my day in the vineyards tasting grapes for readiness for the pick. Late morning, I’ll drive to the winery to check in on fruit that has already arrived. I’ll then plan and coordinate with the winery Operations team, and finish the day tasting fermenter lots out of tank and writing up work orders for upcoming cellar activities. During the “off season”, I taste wine lots with my team most days, put blends together in the lab, plan and coordinate cellar work, work on special projects, and interface with our sales, marketing, research, and vineyard teams regularly.

Why did you choose this career path?

I chose this career path because of how dynamic my responsibilities are. Winemaking allows me to work in the areas of chemistry, operations, vineyard management, finance, marketing, sales, and research (just to name a few) on a regular basis.

How did you start out?

I worked in restaurants while in high school and college, and developed a curiosity about wine and an appreciation for its interaction with food. I chose to attend UC Davis, which has a world class Viticulture and Enology degree program. Upon graduating from UC Davis, I completed a seasonal cellar internship at a small high end Pinot Noir producer in Carneros, and it was a wonderful experience. However, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do next career-wise, but I knew that I wanted to continue to work in the wine industry. I decided to try my hand at wine sales, and signed on with Gallo Sales Company, working out of their Bay Area distributor. From there, I was promoted to another sales position working directly for Gallo Winery, selling the portfolio to hotels, restaurants, and fine wine shops.

After two years of sales, I was ready to jump back into winemaking. To get my feet wet again, I worked in Western Australia for a harvest, and then came back to work in winemaking for Gallo’s Livingston Winery, the largest winery site in the world. At the end of my tenure there, I was overseeing the winemaking of all of the Chardonnay made at the winery. I had spent six years in Livingston and was ready for a new challenge, so I moved to Healdsburg and started working at Gallo’s Sonoma Winery. A few years later, an opportunity came up to oversee the laboratories and quality systems across all of Gallo’s coastal wineries, and so I took it on and became a Quality Manager. This was a great experience that gave me the opportunity to manage a large team across many different sites, and allowed me to gain new skill sets with respect to labs and Quality. In 2015, shortly after Gallo acquired J Vineyards and Winery, the opportunity arose to join J as Winemaker. This was my dream job, and I took it on without hesitation! It’s been an incredible learning experience, and I feel very fortunate that all of my past experiences were able to lead me to where I work today.

What do you love about your job?

Each day and each season is different, so there is no chance for boredom. I love being outside in nature, and I’m able to do that regularly while visiting vineyards. The whole winemaking process involves constant problem solving, and that keeps me feeling energized and engaged. Also, there are some great perks that include consuming great food and wines, as well as interacting with others in a great industry.

What skills, training, and certifications do you need to have to be successful?

A formal education in winemaking is very helpful, but not required. I work with other winemakers with degrees in Chemistry, Biology, and Engineering to name a few. Many of my colleagues who did not receive a formal degree in winemaking have completed winemaking certification courses through accredited universities. Training and experience is essential to success in winemaking. Every winemaker should work in the cellar at some point in their career, and ideally in the vineyards and laboratory as well. These experiences and training provide a foundation upon which a winemaker will operate on for the remainder of his/her career.

What advice would you give to someone considering this career?

Be curious, and ask questions, set up trial work to understand how things work. Read wine publications published for winemakers & viticulturalists, as well as for the general public. Taste as many wines as you can get your hands on, and learn to talk about them. Don’t be in a rush to achieve a Winemaker title; instead, gain diverse experiences that will allow you to be successful down the road. Travel, and work harvest internships abroad to see how others approach winemaking. Be humble, and realize that the more you learn about winemaking, the more you’ll realize you don’t know.

Operations Management Trainee, Petaluma Poultry
Name: Sylvia C
Job Title: Operations Management Trainee
Department: Operations
Company: Petaluma Poultry
Typical Salary Range: $45,000-$53,000


Please describe a typical day at work.

I come in at 6:00 AM and start by checking email, then I take attendance and start the line. I communicate with the USDA, check line speed and employee rotations.

Why did you choose this career path?

I love animals and the science behind raising them for consumption.

How did you start out?

I started out by becoming an intern.

What do you love about your job?

I love the people I work with.

What skills, training, and certifications do you need to have to be successful?

Communication skills

People skills

Day-to-day operations training

What advice would you give to someone considering this career?

Take a communications class.

Nicole H. at J Winery
Continuous Improvement Manager, Petaluma Poultry
Employee Name: Lindsey C.
Job Title: Continuous Improvement Manager
Department: Petaluma Poultry
Company: Plant Supervision
Typical Salary Range: $55,000-$68,000


Please describe a typical day at work.

On a typical day, I compile reports on performance, efficiency, and retention, among other metrics essential to our success as a processing plant. I use this data to drive sustainable improvements for the company through our processes impacting people, products, planet, and profitability.

Why did you choose this career path?

I am passionate about working with people towards a common goal, and chose to pursue a processing plant position to further my experience in the poultry industry.

How did you start out?

I spent over two years on the line operations side of our business on the East Coast, then I transferred to Sonoma County to pursue operations experience in the processing plant. After being a process supervisor for eight months, I was promoted to my current position.

What do you love about your job?

I love motivating our associates to want to be successful and promoting an atmosphere of continuous improvement on all levels. I get to help solve problems, use my creativity to present data/research, and I get to see our company get better each and every day.

What skills, training, and certifications do you need to have to be successful?

In this position, both technical skills and interpersonal skills are essential in order to execute data-driven process improvements. I also have six-sigma, Lean Manufacturing, and Root Cause Analysis training.

What advice would you give to someone considering this career?

Always keep in mind that on either a personal or professional level, an attitude toward continuous improvement will always lead to success. This job ensures that we celebrate all success, big or small, with keeping in mind that we can always take it to the next level. Being a people persona, being driven and motivated, and being innovative are keys to success in this position!

Vineyard Unit Manager, Gallo Vineyards, Inc.
Employee Name: Jeff Magnasco

Job Title: Vineyard Unit Manager
Department: Gallo Vineyards, Inc.
Company: E&J Gallo Winery
Typical Salary Range: Starting at $50K to $60k annual salary

Please describe a typical day at work.

A typical day at work is starting the day with our vineyard teams, discussing the day’s work and any questions that may have come up. After startup, we check in with our FLC crews and look at the progress of what they are currently working on. Working with my team we are constantly communicating to line up equipment and personnel for the next day. We maintain our ranch budgets and aligning with our various partners to ensure we meet wine style targets for our various Premium wine programs all while continuing our commitment to sustainable farming.

Why did you choose this career path?

I grew up around the wine industry in the Dry Creek Valley and that started my interest. My dad has been in the industry for about 40 years or so and I knew growing up I wanted to do what he was doing.

How did you start out?

I started out when I was in high school through my ag science classes and FFA. Once I had my license I began working seasonally/part-time for a few different local vineyard management companies. That hands-on experience opened my eyes to all that I could accomplish in this industry. Once I graduated and began classes at SRJC I gained even more opportunities to network within the industry as well as received the opportunity to work abroad in South Australia for about 6 months at Penfolds Winery.

What do you love about your job?

I enjoy the interaction with the team I work with. From winemaking partners to our field crews and tractor operators, they make each day a new experience and a learning opportunity to become better at what a love doing, growing premium wine grapes. In addition, the amount of research and new information that we gain in this continuously growing industry makes it that much more enjoyable to learn, grow and collaborate with my peers.

What skills, training, and certifications do you need to have to be successful?

In today’s industry, a 4-year degree in Viticulture and Enology is a standard requirement. I’d also suggest a minor or at least course work in Agriculture Business. I have held my PCA license for the last 10 years, so I would suggest PCA, CCA or at least a QAL license to help support your vine nutrition and pest management programs and the decisions that go into program designs.

What advice would you give to someone considering this career?

I would suggest that you take every opportunity to get hands on experience and working within the various positions of this industry. The more experience you gain the better prepared you will be in your career and you will gain a better understanding for where you want to be moving forward.

Cellarmaster, Carneros Hills Winery
Employee Name: Ramiro Garcia

Job Title: Cellarmaster, Carneros Hills Winery
Department: Production
Company: Jackson Family Wines
Typical Salary Range: DOE, Salaried Position

Please describe a typical day at work.

Every day is different. Each morning I hold a tailgate meeting with the crew to coordinate the day and motivate employees. After that it can be anything from meetings, trainings, planning for winery events, or researching how to make operations more efficient and safer.

Why did you choose this career path?

Wine makes everyone happy!

How did you start out?

I started at a small winery in Gonzales, CA as a harvest employee. I learned so much from just one harvest and grew from there. I came to JFW in 1999 as a Skilled Cellar Worker and then was promoted to Cellarmaster.

What do you love about your job?

Training and teaching others to help develop their skills and help others grow in their careers. As a former baseball coach, I have transferred so many of those skills to my current job. I love the company I work for and seeing the winemaking process through from grape to bottle.

What skills, training, and certifications do you need to have to be successful?

At least an AA degree, on the job training is a must, certified forklift trainer

What advice would you give to someone considering this career?

Work one harvest and see if it is for you. If you enjoy the hard work and busy season, then it’s a great place to be year-round!

Production Supervisor, Manzana Products
Employee Name: Luis Mazul

Job Title: Production Supervisor
Department: Operations
Company: Manzana Products
Typical Salary Range:  $70 – 80k per year


Please describe a typical day at work.

As Production Supervisor, it is my responsibility to ensure that our production lines are producing good, quality product in the volumes required by our customers.  My day starts at 5 am by ensuring we have all of the proper packaging materials and ingredients for the product that is planned for production that day.  When the crew arrives at 6 am, I ensure that they all know their responsibilities for the day and our expectations for production.  At that point, my Line Leads take over running each of our four lines.

The balance of the day, I spend working on Continuous Improvement projects, managing employee relations issues, attending communication and project meetings, and my day ends between 1 and 3 pm.

Why did you choose this career path?

I have a passion for food.  I started in the hospitality industry as a chef.  I wanted to know more about the ‘why’ of food so I moved into food manufacturing.  Understanding the science of food.  I knew that there was something at a molecular level going on that I could not comprehend so I had to look for that answer.  This pursuit lead me to Food Science, which lead me to food manufacturing.

How did you start out?

My food journey began right after high school when I pursued a Culinary Arts Degree from Santa Barbara Community College. From there, I went to France where I did a 2-month internship with a hotel/restaurant in Bordeaux.  When I returned to the U.S., I was a chef for 5 years before pursing my degree Food Science at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.  After graduating, I moved to Sonoma County and started to pursue my career in food manufacturing.

What do you love about your job?

Being able to practice everything that I have learned through my education and experience. Being able to appreciate the food that we eat daily, especially working for an organic foods company.

At Manzana, we really do have a family atmosphere. It’s never a dull moment.  I can’t see myself being behind a desk in a cubical all day.  I am on the production floor, interacting employees, interacting with the product itself.  Getting to see a product start from a fresh organic apple and go through the process to become a healthy, organic apple product that I am proud to put out into the world.

What skills, training, and certifications do you need to have to be successful?

  1. Management skills; effective communication, delegation, performance management.
  2. An understanding of FDA/HACCP/FSMA requirements
  3. Production Management skills, including best use of resources including labor, equipment, materials and support services (i.e. maintenance, logistics, quality)
  4. Relationship skills; the ability to work with people at all levels of the organization. I may be in conversation with anyone in the organization at any given time – from our CEO on down.

What advice would you give to someone considering this career?

Study business; food business and otherwise. My background is research development and food engineering.  Business skills will expedite your Production Management career.  Understand company finances and how good production management influences the bottom line so you can influence that.

Value and appreciate those interpersonal skills courses; skills in communication, coaching, managing others will take you far.

Supply Chain Manager, La Tortilla Factory, Inc.
Employee Name: Jaime Martinez

Job Title: Supply Chain Manager
Department: Supply Chain
Company: La Tortilla Factory, Inc.
Typical Salary Range:   Buyer/Planner: $60k – 90k+;  Purchasing or Supply Chain Manager: $80k – $100k+

Please describe a typical day at work.

Collaborating with Sales, Finance, and other departments to advance company goals and initiatives. Reviewing key performance indicators, and working to improve them.  Reviewing requirements against capacity and materials availability, and working to meet them.  Meeting with current and potential suppliers.

Why did you choose this career path?

My interest in business led me to this career path. I began with the desire to learn more about general business in school, and sought out management training positions after graduation.  Once I was in a supply chain management role, I continued to enjoy the work and decided to continue in the field.

How did you start out?

I worked at the family restaurant business going through school. During college, I participated in hospitality management internship and other college level programs related to food & beverage industry.  Then I applied to the Navy Supply Corp program.  After an almost yearlong training, I started out in a foodservice position, and later moved to general supply and supply management.

What do you love about your job?

I love working with a team of highly talented people to provide a great product to our customers and consumers. We are challenged to provide this product in the most efficient manner, and work hard to keep ahead of our competitors to continue to do what we do into the future.

What skills, training, and certifications do you need to have to be successful?

For this position, a business or economics degree is highly desired. There are many supply chain managers who are very talented that have worked in their fields successfully without an advance degree or even a bachelor’s degree, however, this is more often becoming the exception.  There are certification programs such as ISM’s (Institute for Supply Management) CPSM (Certified Professional in Supply Chain Management), and APICS Association CPIM (Certified in Production and Inventory Management) that are good for learning more in the field.

What advice would you give to someone considering this career?

Get as much education as possible, and get as much experience in different areas of supply chain management. Sub-specialties in supply chain management include purchasing, logistics, and production planning.  With each new position try to get closer to your desired industry and area of interest.  Supply Chain management is a relatively new specialty in business.  Interconnected, global supply chains are becoming more the norm.  More often, business need employees who are knowledgeable in managing these supply chains and apply methodologies to make them more efficient.  If you dedicate yourself to the field, you will have many opportunities open to you.

Additional funding for this program provided by:
Jackson Family Wines

Amy’s Kitchen

Costeaux French Bakery

Sonoma Brinery

Redwood Hill Creamery

The Family Coppola

La Tortilla Factory

Mycopia Mushrooms

Revive Kombucha

Traditional Medicinals

Alvarado Street Bakery

Manzana Products

Constellation Brands