Kettle Cuisine, a market leader in premium quality, all-natural soups for foodservice and grocery operators, says that Joe Rainert will take on the role of CEO of the Chelsea, Mass.-based company. Jerry Shafir, who founded Kettle Cuisine 27 years ago, will transition from CEO to chairman of the board of directors and continue to help the company navigate future opportunities.
Rainert first joined Kettle Cuisine in January as EVP of sales, marketing and innovation. Before joining Kettle Cuisine, he served as managing director of a $200 million fresh, chilled foods company in London. Rainert also boasts an 18-year career at Bakkavor in the U.K., where he ran soup, sauce and ready-meal businesses serving leading retailers such as Marks and Spencer, Waitrose, Sainsbury and Asda. Prior to his career in chilled foods, Rainert was a chef and restaurateur, running a Michelin-rated restaurant in England.
Shafir expressed his confidence that Rainert will bring outstanding leadership to Kettle Cuisine and carry the company on to much success while staying true to the core food values on which the company was built.
“I look forward to seeing Joe lead Kettle Cuisine into the future,” Shafir says. “Joe has an extraordinary background, combined with a passion and commitment to food quality and innovation. He is customer focused, results oriented and has a fantastic track record of developing high-performance senior teams. I am supremely confident in Joe and the excellent management team at Kettle Cuisine.”
Shafir will continue to stay active with the company as chairman of the board. He also plans to take more time for personal pursuits, including travel and philanthropy.
Both Shafir and Rainert will be in attendance at the National Restaurant Association (NRA) Show in Chicago that begins Saturday, May 18, as well as the International Dairy-Deli-Bakery Association (IDDBA) Seminar and Expo in Orlando in June.
In the featured photo at top is Jerry Shafir, left, and Joe Rainert.