We're Hiring: Director of Operations

We’re looking for an Operations Director to help Ground Up grow. This role is perfect for someone who loves to develop and lead teams, solve operational puzzles, grow a loyal customer base, and work at a company surrounded by womxn on a mission.

About Us: Ground Up is a small-batch nut butter company that employs women overcoming adversity to provide them with job skills and training to get back on their feet. We produce peanut-free, honey-sweetened nut butters in flavors such as Cinnamon Snickerdoodle and Coconut Cardamom. Our products are sold through our own direct-to-customer site, in over 500 retailers, including New Seasons, Whole Foods, Fred Meyer, and other PNW retailers, and in smaller boutique stores across the country.

We’re a fast-growing social enterprise that is entering new markets, growing our team and gaining national exposure, named #20 on Portland's 100 Fastest Growing Companies list. 

It’s an important and exciting time for an Operations Director to take us to that next level. You may be an operations leader in a food company looking for your next step, a seasoned senior leader who’s looking to focus more on mission, or an owner-operator who’s ready to apply what you’ve learned in your own business to a new challenge.

This is a full-time, salaried (exempt) role based in Portland, Oregon. You’ll be working alongside a passionate team of womxn in our SE Portland office / warehouse space! 

Position Description

The Operations Director leads all aspects of Ground Up’s operations, creating an inclusive work environment, defining and achieving business targets, and coordinating the efforts of team members across planning, production, warehouse management, and distribution. This person is equally at home shaping strategic direction and supporting the team on the production floor. The Operations Director is deeply committed to Ground Up’s mission to employ and develop women facing adversity, and actively creates a workplace where women thrive. 

Accountabilities include:


  • Provide leadership and management of the business on a day-to-day basis, improving processes and capabilities, defining success metrics, driving performance, and owning the operating plan to facilitate growth, scalability, and consistent execution.
  • Build teamwork across the business; interact effectively with all parts of the company; and be a credible social enterprise leader in the community.
  • Work with co-founders and part-time CFO to set annual financial and operating plans. Hold self and others accountable for achieving sales, profit and operating plan.
  • Collaborate with co-founders on multi-channel sales strategy.  Understand the profitability of each channel/customer type and build aligned operational plans.
  • Communicate company goals, plans, and milestones. Celebrate and recognize accomplishments and keep the team aligned to highest priority work. 


  • Lead a permanent operations team, variable seasonal staff, and cohorts of training program participants on 6-9 month training cycles (average 12-15 team members total)
  • Build a staffing plan and lead hiring, onboarding and retention of the operations team.
  • Manage, develop, evaluate and mentor the team. Provide leadership and guidance on problem-solving and team effectiveness. 
  • Create a welcoming, inclusive environment where women thrive. Understand the unique aspects of working with people who have experienced trauma.
  • Ensure staffing model reflects fluctuations in the business for seasonality and proactively plan for variable production.
  • Ensure the daily work environment reflects Ground Up’s mission and enhances and strengthens the culture.
  • Model self-development, work/life balance and self-care.

Operations, Process and Systems

  • Own procurement and production planning processes. Train and develop operations manager/assistant managers to ensure continuity and consistent order fulfillment. 
  • Evaluate current processes and systems related to planning, production, inventory management, distribution and identify areas for simplification and improvement.
  • Own process change, ensuring teams are fully engaged and trained.
  • Ensure all operations - procurement, planning, production, distribution - align to product promotion plan and seasonal business fluxuations.
  • Assess and analyze risks associated with a food manufacturing facility, ensure compliance and build risk mitigation plans.
  • Strengthen operational systems and processes, improve communication and decision making among the team.
  • Consistently looks for and implements sales building, cost reduction, and margin improvement opportunities.

Leadership Attributes: 

  • Passionate about the mission of Ground Up and supporting women facing adversity 
  • Proactive, curious, collaborative
  • Active listener, approachable and kind
  • Strong business acumen and drive to deliver and improve results
  • Ability to flex between setting long-range plans and understanding today’s current operational realities
  • Addresses conflict directly, constructively and timely
  • Addresses problems at the root cause level and seeks sustainable, systemic solutions
  • Takes personal accountability and initiative, demonstrates personal learning
  • Inspires and motivates others, celebrates milestones big and small


  • 7 years experience leading teams, with emphasis on production, warehouse or food industry roles
  • General management experience across multiple disciplines: operations, finance, people, systems and process
  • Understanding of a food production environment, work and food safety  - role will require up-to-date food and work safety certifications
  • Proven ability to scope work, plan, organize and prioritize highest value work
  • Familiarity with scaling operations for a growing business
  • Familiarity working with team members who experience adversity and barriers to work is preferred, as is experience with trauma-informed leadership


  • Benefits include paid time off, paid holidays, healthcare reimbursement, a 4-day workweek in summer months, and lots of delicious, clean-ingredient nut butter!

To learn more about the impact you could have as Ground Up’s Operations Director, check out this Today Show feature or read what Bon Appetit has to say.  You can be part of something bigger and Spread Good everyday!

Interested? Please send a resume and brief description of your experience to hiring@grounduppdx.com

At Ground Up, we maintain an open hiring policy and aim to create and cultivate a community that is diverse across race, gender, sexual orientation, age, religion, identity, experience, and perspective— where every employee feels supported to apply their whole self to our collective mission.