Hiring Kitchen Manager

Sep 1, 2021 by

About Local Environmental Agriculture Project (LEAP):

Local Environmental Agriculture Project (LEAP) is a 501c3 non-profit based in Roanoke City. 

LEAP nurtures our food community to create an equitable food and farming system which prioritizes health and abundance. We do this by supporting community initiatives, markets, farms, and farmers.

LEAP values: 

  • Equity: We believe that all people should have affordable access to the food that feeds them and their families. We believe that farmers and food producers should be able to have viable businesses.
  • Dignity: We value and honor all people. We work to see, hear, listen, and understand the food community at all levels.
  • A holistic approach: Our region’s people, animals, and environment have wide-ranging and different needs. We seek to understand this complexity and support systems which focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • The benefits of local food: We are rooted in trusting relationships with community members, businesses, organizations, and governments to collectively support our food community. 
  • Love: We serve our community with passion, love, and humility. 

LEAP’s work:

We are a service organization centered in the Roanoke region. We are committed to listening and responding to the ever-changing needs, challenges, and opportunities of our food community. Our approach recognizes individual and community dignity. LEAP works collaboratively with community partners, farmers, food producers, and consumers throughout Roanoke City, the Roanoke Valley, and the state. LEAP’s local program team works to create economically viable market outlets for local farmers and food producers and to efficiently and equitably connect consumers to local food (current programs include LEAP Farm Share, West End Farmers Market, Grandin Village Farmers Market, LEAP Kitchen, LEAP Mobile Market, Community Gardens, Healthy Food Incentives). LEAP’s regional and state teams work closely with partners to build networks, provide technical assistance, and create strong relationships in order to support more resilient local, regional, and state food systems (current programs include Regional Food System Planning, Farm to School, Virginia Fresh Match statewide SNAP nutrition incentives). For more information, please visit www.LEAPforlocalfood.org and www.VirginiaFreshMatch.org.

LEAP Kitchen Manager

Position Description

The LEAP Kitchen Manager works closely with the local program team, LEAP Kitchen member businesses, and community members throughout Roanoke City. The LEAP Kitchen is a shared commercial kitchen and food business incubator, and a community resource to support food entrepreneurs to develop and run viable food-based businesses. The LEAP Kitchen is also a space that can serve LEAP programs (community gardens, farmers markets, farmers selling to the Food Hub) and the community (youth and adult education, affordable meal preparation, entrepreneurship, etc.). This position leads LEAP Kitchen programs, serves the LEAP Kitchen members and volunteers, and reports to the Local Program Team lead.


  • In close partnership with Kitchen members, community partners, and LEAP team members, create, implement, evaluate, and refine LEAP Kitchen management, operation, and strategic plans. Ensure that these plans meet the current and future needs/goals of the LEAP Kitchen and are sustainable, cost-effective, and based on LEAP’s mission, vision, and values. 
  • Ensure that the LEAP Kitchen is clean and maintained for Kitchen member usage and that it follows all applicable regulations and requirements. Ensure exceptional customer service standards throughout the LEAP Kitchen and make sure such standards are met by all Kitchen members, LEAP staff, and volunteers. 
  • Establish and maintain strong, trusting relationships with Kitchen members, farmers, community members, community partners, and food based businesses. Maintain clear and consistent lines of communication.
  • Create supportive and welcoming physical and virtual spaces for beginning and expert food entrepreneurs throughout Roanoke. Provide support to emerging food entrepreneurs working out of the LEAP Kitchen and connect them to business development resources and market opportunities. 
  • Work with the Local Program team to decrease food waste, increase local food sales, and create more accessible foods through light processing of produce to sell through our local programs. This includes but is not limited to piloting and expanding value added products (dried, frozen) to sell year-round via LEAP Farm Share, Mobile Market and other outlets.
  • Work collaboratively with community partners to increase food, nutrition, cooking and entrepreneurship based educational programs and training at or in partnership with the LEAP Kitchen. 
  • Keep accurate and detailed financial records of all Kitchen income and expenses. Work with the Financial Manager to ensure accurate and timely accounts receivable and payable for the LEAP Kitchen.
  • Help identify, plan for, and implement funding strategies, business opportunities, sponsorships, and partnerships to support the LEAP Kitchen, food entrepreneurs, farmers, community members, and community partners.
  • Work with the Support Team to collect Kitchen Member and community member feedback on a regular basis and share relevant feedback. Analyze data to provide deeper insights about and how to improve LEAP Kitchen programs and services to meet community needs, program goals, and LEAP’s mission.
  • Work with the Support Team to create and implement strategic communications and marketing campaigns to meet LEAP Kitchen membership and program goals.
  • Recruit, train and manage Kitchen staff and volunteers to build the human-powered, logistical, documentation, and financial systems necessary to sustain and grow the LEAP Kitchen. Work with the Volunteer Lead to recruit, train, and support volunteers and interns (growth area).

Required Knowledge, Skills and Attributes

  • A minimum of 3 years of experience working with food production, commercial food preparation, business start-up, community engagement, education and/or outreach across all abilities and age spans.
  • Proven record in working with adults from a variety of racial, cultural and economic backgrounds.
  • Proficient use of Microsoft office products, financial tracking systems, email, smart phones, and other technology.
  • Ability to interact in a professional, courteous, and confidential manner with others and to function as an ambassador of LEAP/food access/food businesses in a wide variety of venues and circumstances.
  • Ability to communicate effectively both verbally and in writing; and to listen and solve problems collaboratively and proactively.
  • A passion for community, equity, and food.

Additional Information/Requirements

  • Post secondary education preferred (trade school, Associates Degree, Bachelor’s Degree)
  • Bilingual and multilingual candidates are strongly encouraged to apply (Spanish, Arabic).
  • This position is hourly and year-round. Starting at 20-25 hours a week with potential to grow to full-time and/or salary. 
  • Position will be housed at LEAP’s offices in Roanoke with some remote work possible
  • The candidate must be available to work some weekday evenings and weekends
  • Hourly rate $13-$15/hr depending on experience. Benefits include paid time off, retirement plan matching program, and flexible work schedule. 

To Apply

To apply, please email the following to kelly@leapforlocalfood.org 

  • A cover letter that speaks to why you are interested in this position and your experience and relevant skills. 
  • A resume that supports your cover letter and provides your work experience related to culinary, community engagement, mentorship, business development, entrepreneurship, food retail, customer service, and administrative responsibilities. 
  • Position closes on October 1, 2021.

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