Director of Research and Development

Myrtle Point, OR

Who You Are:

  • You are comfortable working in the fuzzy front end while being able to help bring clarity and structure to the members of your team. You are driven to make decisions with honesty and integrity based on a thorough analysis and consideration of data. You bring creativity to your work in your approach to solving problems and are not afraid to think outside of the box. You have a go-getter attitude to find ways to develop the best-tasting, innovative, nutritious, and accessible products on the market while making a positive impact on both the top and bottom lines of the business. You are passionate about pushing forward systemic improvements in childhood nutrition for a healthier, happier, more equitable world.

The Task At Hand:

  • Responsible for leading the Research and Development team under the direction of the Chief Innovation Officer. This role drives departmental plans and projects to support the Once Upon a Farm Strategic Plan. This role leads all activities around the formulation and continuous improvement of products including benchtop work, ingredients assessments, competitive sample benchmarking, sensory evaluation implementation and testing, commercialization and plant trials with co-manufacturers, sample preparation of prototypes, physical analysis, spec sheet elaboration, tasting, and data entry for tracking, reporting, and documentation.

In This Role, You Will:

  • Direct and lead the Research and Development team including day-to-day managerial logistics, annual review inputs, performance feedback, and budget oversight
  • Lead formulation development, product kitchen trials, production trials, sample evaluation, and assistance when and where needed and delegate these duties on a project-specific basis to the appropriate team members
  • Work cross-functionally to ensure R&D projects and initiatives are managed through commercialization to fully support the vision and direction of the project brief
  • Prepare benchtop prototypes and register them into a database with appropriate analytics including Ph, Brix, Viscosity, and other product parameters
  • Provide a science-based viewpoint throughout the innovation and commercialization process to ensure optimized product scale-up and launch
  • Collaborate early and often with the Quality team to build food safety into products from the very beginning to reduce food safety risks
  • Work with Operations to prepare product specifications, set up formulas, and write technical reports and test run plans
  • Support co-manufacturer plant trials for commercialization of new manufacturers, and products and implement formula changes/improvements. Ensure all protocols are followed and product specs are met
  • Participates in and supports coordinating and implementing sensory tasting events, including the analytical and physical evaluation and sample preparation. Build test protocols, recruit internal tasters, execute tastings, and document results accurately and in a timely manner
  • Develop product nutrition and ingredient information for product labels. Assist in creating NFPs for all new and reformulated products
  • Work with Quality to coordinate and maintain all product certifications including Organic, Non-GMO, Kosher, and Clean Label
  • Create SOPs for the R&D department innovation processes and other projects as needed
  • Monitor current market trends via trade journals, conferences, and competitors' market trips to predict future focus
  • Recommend changes/improvements to existing products according to changing customer needs, product complaints/dissatisfaction, or internal production difficulties
  • Coordinate buying/receipt and review of samples from competitors for testing and evaluation
  • Foster thought leadership by participating on relevant boards, sitting on panels, attending relevant conferences, etc
  • Up to 30% travel required: Although this is a remote, “work from home” role a variety of activities require in-person attendance such as plant trials, product startups, industry meetings, and departmental/company meetings

In This Role, You'll Bring With You:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Food Science, Microbiology, Chemistry, or another related field is required. Master’s Degree preferred but not required
  • Ten years of professional experience in RTE (Ready-To-Eat) Food Manufacturing preferred
  • Prior professional experience managing, leading, and mentoring a team preferred
  • Experience in sensory activities preferred
  • Genesis and/or Flavor Studio experience preferred
  • Good organizational and time management skills
  • Fine attention to detail and ability to work both independently and in a group setting
  • Able to be a team player, be punctual, and follow instructions
  • Able to keep your work area clean and organized
  • Solid knowledge of Microsoft Suite, Excel, Outlook, Slack, and other professional platforms
  • Genuinely passionate about improving childhood nutrition for a healthier and happier planet
  • Desire to contribute to a dynamic high-growth, purpose-driven work environment
  • Demonstrated ability to thrive in ambiguity, deeply understand business needs, develop a cohesive strategy, and make decisions requiring a high level of judgment

Compensation: Salaried, Exempt, Full-Time

  • The anticipated salary range for this position is $150,000 to $200,000. The actual salary offer will carefully consider a few factors, including your skills, qualifications, experience, and location. Certain positions are eligible for additional forms of compensation such as bonuses, stipends, equity, and role-specific perks.


  • Remote-first work environment
  • Annual Bonus
  • 401(k) program + 4% company match after three months
  • New Hire Remote Life Stipend + annual Nourish and Nurture Allowance
  • Cell and Internet Stipend
  • Quarterly Farm-to-Fridge home deliveries and Employee Discounts
  • New Parents: Up to 18 weeks of paid Parental Leave, Baby Steps Back To Work, 3 months’ supply of Once Upon A Farm products, and breast milk shipping service and support for those who travel after birth for the duration of your breastfeeding journey
  • Unlimited Paid Time Off
  • Paid Volunteer Time
  • Paid Time Off to fulfill civic responsibilities including jury duty and voting in local, state, and national elections
  • Medical Insurance for the employee covered at 100% on select plans with additional plan options at a reduced cost to the employee
  • Vision and Dental Insurance covered at 100% for the employee and dependents
  • Life insurance
  • Flexible spending account (Medical & Dependent Care) and Health savings accounts for applicable plans
  • Employee assistance program (EAP)
  • All other benefits, leaves, and insurance as required by law, based on your specific residence
  • And so much more!
Community Managers / Country Directors
North America

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