SALT LAKE CITY — Neil Checketts has been promoted to chief operating officer of Kneaders Bakery & Cafe. Mr. Checketts, who was most recently vice-president of food safety and quality assurance, has more than 17 years of experience as a registered environmental health scientist with an expertise in food safety and food quality.
Mr. Checketts was the first person to serve as vice-president of food safety and quality at Kneaders and will continue to oversee food safety and quality assurance. He also will be responsible for the efficiency of the business by driving continuous improvements throughout the company, maintaining and executing processes, and ensuring that target goals are met.
“Neil brings extensive experience and knowledge in food safety,” said James Worthington, chief executive officer of Kneaders. “His dedication to the company is unmatched and his acumen is untouched. From working in food safety roles for juggernauts such as Wal-Mart to serving in state regulatory roles, Neil is the ideal candidate for this role. Neil has become a part of the Kneaders family, and we congratulate him as he assumes the title of c.o.o.”
Before joining Kneaders, Mr. Checketts was senior director of food safety at Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., where he managed the food safety and communicable illness programs for the nearly 4,000 Wal-Mart stores in United States and Puerto Rico. He also was vice-president of food safety, quality assurance, quality control and regulatory affairs for Sobeys Inc., a Canadian retailer with more than 1,600 stores. He began his professional career working for several health departments in Utah as a registered environmental scientist.
Mr. Checketts graduated from Utah State University in 1998 with a bachelor’s degree in environmental biology with minors in chemistry and Russian. He received a master’s degree in business administration in 2002.Founded by Gary and Colleen Worthington in 1997, Kneaders Bakery & Cafe is headquartered in Orem, Utah. The fast-casual restaurant offers European hearth bread, sandwiches, pastries, soups and salads. Additionally, all restaurants have a retail section and offer a variety of custom-made and themed gift baskets in addition to providing catering services. Kneaders Bakery & Cafe currently operates corporate-owned and franchised locations in six western states.