R&D Director


Swedesboro, NJ, US, 08085

Job Type:  Food Safety & Quality Assurance

Aspire Bakeries is a North American baking company with a leadership position in specialty frozen baked goods. Formed from leading bakery companies, its innovative food portfolio includes breads, artisan breads, buns, cookies, donuts, muffins and pastries from beloved brands like La Brea Bakery®, Otis Spunkmeyer®, and Oakrun Farm Bakery®. With 13 bakeries in North America, we are committed to driving innovation, predicting upcoming consumer trends and flavors, and exceeding our customers’ expectations. Aspire Bakeries champions the values of Integrity, Ownership, Customer Focus, Creativity and Care to help us deliver on People Safety, Food Safety, Quality and Collaboration.



The Director of R&D will lead the optimization of manufacturing processes and spearhead the development of innovative food concepts. This role focuses on enhancing efficiency, reducing waste, and labor optimization while specializing in Artisan Bread, Frozen Dough, and Laminates. The Director will collaborate closely with key customers and internal teams to drive product innovation from benchtop development through commercialization. Reporting to the VP of R&D, the ideal candidate will ensure seamless product transitions, maintain market trend awareness, and uphold the highest standards of quality and efficiency.



  • Review existing process documentation and standard operating procedures (SOPs) and update as required to improve manufacturing capabilities and efficiency.
  • Identify areas of improvement in quality, consistency and efficiency.
  • Propose process improvement recommendations, both immediate and long term.
  • Training - Work with production team, to ensure production associates are properly trained.
  • Develop rapport with key customers to support new product growth, both blue-sky innovation and at customer request.
  • Conduct Product Ideation sessions based on Aspire Bakeries capabilities to maintain a strong project pipeline.
  • Maintain high level of knowledge base regarding market trends and new ingredient opportunities through social media, attending industry seminars, continuing education, trade shows, industry periodicals, and professional technical/culinary associations.
  • Responsible for helping to ensure a seamless transition and sustainable quality of product from benchtop to manufacturing. 
  • Identify and resolves problems in a timely manner, gather and analyze information skillfully, develop alternative solutions.
  • Demonstrate expertise in bakery equipment use and settings.
  • Demonstrate expertise in running line trials and working with bakery personnel.
  • Communicates with project managers to accurately maintain data through commercialization process.
  • Knowledge of Aspire Bakeries capabilities and product offerings.
  • Adhere to NPD/BRC guidelines and Good Manufacturing Practices
  • Pursue training and development opportunities; strive to continuously build knowledge and skills; share expertise with others.


  • Proven passion and thorough knowledge of the Bakery channel and Bakery Innovation.
  • 10 years working as an industrial food developer required.  Additional ops experience preferred.
  • BA/BS in Food Science or related field required; MS preferred.  Additional culinary education preferred
  • Expert grasp of English (verbal and written) required.  Fluency in Spanish preferred.
  • Proficient knowledge of:
    • Skilled at Microsoft Outlook, Word, PowerPoint, Excel.
    • Knowledgeable of SAP and Genesis.
    • Understanding of OEC Graphics, Discovery, SharePoint, etc.
  • Domestic travel up to 30% of time.  Occasional international travel if needed.


Aspire Bakeries is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or veteran status.