La Tortilla Factory is shifting its top management roles, hiring Jeff Ahlers as president and CEO after a lengthy search process led by the Tamayo family and the Santa Rosa, Calif.-based company’s board of directors.
Sam Tamayo, who has been La Tortilla Factory’s CEO for two years, has been promoted to vice chairman and chief innovation officer. Tamayo, who has climbed the company ranks, represents the third generation of Tamayos to run the family business in Sonoma County.
Ahlers has more than 25 years of experience in the supermarket, baking and perishables business, most recently as GM of Lucky Supermarkets. His bakery experience includes serving as COO at a family-owned bakery company in Lodi, Calif., and then as president of a $300 million in-store bakery business where he worked with many of the nation’s top retail supermarket chains. Earlier in his career he held the director of bakery, VP of bakery and SVP of perishables positions at Safeway.
“What excites me about this new position are the same things that drew me to La Tortilla Factory as a board member: this company’s incredibly strong values, its legacy of good stewardship and its bright future,” said Ahlers. “It’s an honor to join the La Tortilla Factory family and to help build that future.”
Ahlers will be responsible for managing the company’s day-to-day operations and long-term growth strategy, while Carlos, Willie and Sam Tamayo continue to ensure that La Tortilla Factory remains a values-based family business, according to the company.
“Three generations of our family have done a spectacular job building La Tortilla Factory into a market leader,” said Carlos Tamayo, chairman of the board. “We have decided to bring in new perspective and expertise to help guide our company through its next phase of development.”
La Tortilla Factory reiterated that its core values continue to be based on “a deep commitment to providing long-term, secure jobs to our 300-plus family of employees, our dedication to unsurpassed product quality and a tradition of service to the community,” said Sam Tamayo.