Program Manager – WNC Foodworks

The Center for Agricultural and Food Entrepreneurship (CAFÉ) is seeking a Program Manager for WNC Foodworks, a 5,000 ft2 training, education, and commercial kitchen facility located at the WNC Farmers Market in Asheville, North Carolina. The Program Manager will lead daily operations of the program. These include coordinating use of the facility by aspiring and early-stage food entrepreneurs and in working with stakeholders to develop and support training and educational activities for people wanting to make value-added food and agricultural products. The purpose of this job is to empower small businesses through skills development and access to infrastructure crucial for them to succeed.

Who We Are

The Center for Agricultural and Food Entrepreneurship is an established non-profit whose mission is to support limited-resource entrepreneurs engaged in value-added production and sale of food, cosmetics and natural products. We are the parent non-profit of WNC Blue Ridge Food Ventures, an 11,500 sft shared use food processing facility located at the Enka Campus of Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College. Since 2015, Blue Ridge Food Ventures has hosted more than 300 unique food businesses and their employees. In 2023, we are launching a new project, WNC Foodworks, with a greater focus on smaller entry-level businesses in sales of fresh foods and production of small-batch packaged food, cosmetics and natural products. CAFÉ is led by an Executive Director, with guidance and support from a volunteer Board of Directors.

Program Manager Duties

The Program Manager reports to the CAFÉ Executive Director. The workplace is located at the WNC Farmers Market in Asheville N.C. with occasional assignments to our primary kitchen complex located in Enka N.C., about five miles away.

The Program Manager will play a vital role in assisting client entrepreneurs and contributing to their success. This person will be the primary point of contact for small food businesses accessing the facility for commissary services, hourly kitchen rental, storage, and training activities. As part of client services, this position is responsible for maintaining scheduling for kitchen use, and assuring the facility is operating in sanitary compliance with local and state health regulations.

The Program Manager will represent WNC Foodworks in public and professional settings. A such, this position requires a person who is outgoing, friendly, and able to work collaboratively with multiple stakeholders. These include clients, the management personnel at the WNC Farmers Market, business-development support organizations, public officials, and the general public.

The ideal candidate will have experience in a combination of nonprofit work, business development, and food systems management.  Candidates possessing curiosity, enthusiasm, imagination, and a strong sense of follow-through will thrive in this position.

Essential Skills and Experience:

Basic computer and internet literacy;

Understanding of Excel, Quickbooks or other database management programs;

Good oral and written communication skills;

Certification or Degree in higher education, culinary training, food production certification, or equivalent experience;

Physical stamina requiring standing and walking throughout the day – ability to lift up to 30 pounds;

A cooperative spirit and ability to work well with others;

Punctuality and ability to schedule and execute tasks in a timely manner without close supervision.

Desired Skills and Experience:

Knowledge of Serv-Safe and basic county health inspection procedures;

Proficiency in Spanish;

Experience working in a non-profit mission-driven organization;

Understanding of Excel, Quickbooks or other database management programs;

Prior experience using social media platforms for marketing and promotion campaigns; Experience in food and natural products manufacturing;

Possess or can obtain industry certifications including Forklift Safety, Acidified Foods Manufacturing, and Hazard Analysis of Critical Control Points (HACCP).

Pay and Benefits

This is a salaried job paying $3,750 per month. A successful candidate can expect annual raises, 10 annual paid days off and 10 federal holidays. We offer flex time or compensatory time off for work performed outside of normal working hours, which are expected to be Monday-Friday 8am to 4pm.

How to Apply

Applicants should send a resume and cover letter explaining why they are a good fit for this position to, with the subject line Program Manager Position. In addition, provide full names and contact information for three references with whom you have worked or trained and who can attest to your skills and character.

The deadline for submission is Friday, August 24th. Final candidates will be contacted for interviews, and those not under consideration will be contacted in a timely manner.

Questions? Please contact us at

© 2019 Blue Ridge Food Ventures - All rights reserved​