Kettle Cuisine

Category Buyer - On-Site

  • Location:   Everett, WA
  • Position Type:   FullTime

Job Summary

Kettle Cuisine. Imagine a company full of people who are so passionate about making and delivering delicious food, that it has become their career. That's us; and it could be you! Join us to find your career in food! Kettle Cuisine handcrafts small batch, all natural soups, sauces, sous vide meats, glace, demi-glace and entrees from scratch for restaurants, foodservice operators and grocery retailers who take pride in the food they share with guests. The Category Buyer, located in our Everett, WA facility, is responsible for the procurement of raw materials, communication with vendors, and ensuring quality standards of raw materials. This position has the authority to act as a purchasing agent for the Company with an approximate annual spend budget of $50MM. The Category Buyer reports to our Purchasing Manager.

Role and Responsibilities

·         Plan and execute raw material requirements for internal customers through ERP System (Ross).

·         Order raw materials within lead time specifications as needed, enter purchase orders with detail to quantity and cost, communicate purchase orders to vendor, and confirm/update pricing as needed.

·         Adherence to inventory levels based on usage, forecast, minimum and maximum inventory ranges.

·         Monitor daily raw material inventory and orders/logistics to ensure on-time deliveries and efficient production.

·         Contact vendors when orders do not meet our standards (Ex: out of spec, not on time, incorrect quantity).

·         Maintain product reorder data including lead time, minimum order quantity, minimum and maximum inventory levels, shelf life, primary and secondary vendor.

·         Maintain Vendor Database with contact and ordering info for customer service and sales representatives.

·         Negotiate with vendors for competitive pricing, source and review new products as the business demands.

·         Qualify new suppliers as business and market needs change for the organization.

·         Develop and implement cost savings/cost reduction programs and projects.

·         New Vendor and Product setup (price quotation and negotiation, raw material documents, data setup).

·         Invoice approval and reconciliation by researching supplier information, invoice approval software, and ERP data.

·         Maintain pricing information for the purpose of tracking and placing contracts.

·         Attend daily and weekly team huddles and meetings to report on and field issues and questions regarding materials.

·         Initiate and lead actions to improve quality, reduce cost and reduce inventory.

·         Use internal Supplier Evaluation Program to monitor and improve supplier performance.

·         Assist Operations Team (Receiving/Warehouse/Production/Planning/ Logistics) with raw material issues, delivery and pickup times, inventory discrepancies, and ensure supplier is aligned with business needs.

·         Work with Quality Team to action expiring inventory, manage raw material rejections and returns, supplier credits and other issues as needed.

·         Due to 24-hour production schedules, after hours and weekend communication may be required during peak season or when issues arise.

·         Project Management - Develops Plans; Coordinates projects; Communicates changes and progress; Completes projects on time and budget.

·         Support Purchasing Manager and Operations Team as the On-site Purchasing Team contact.

·         May perform other duties as required.

Key Responsibilities:

·         Ensure raw materials are in stock for required production (Metric: Raw Material Shortage Report)

·         Ensure Quality of Raw Materials and Manage Vendors Quality Standards (Metric: Raw Material Rejections/Returns)

·         Ensure plant efficiency through proper communication and planning of raw materials (Metric: Downtime / Raw Material Shortage Report)

·         Reduce inventory and cost to improve cash flow and increase company profitability while maintaining quality standards and production supply (Metric: Weeks on Hand / Inventory Exposure)

·         Manage and seek out cost saving opportunities, Ensure pricing accuracy (Metric: Material Price Variance)


Qualifications and Experience

·         Minimum of 3-5 years of experience in this type of role in food manufacturing industry

·         Knowledge in chilled/refrigerated food manufacturing industry

·         Demonstrated excellence in driving consistently strong profitable sales growth

·         Experienced working with Procurement/Supply Chain Planning

·         Exceptional written and verbal communication and presentation skills

·         Adept with the Microsoft Office Suite, especially Excel, and strong understanding of ERP/MRP Systems

·         Financial and business acumen

Required attributes

·         Self-starter with initiative to conceptualize and drive initiatives forward

·         Strong negotiation, critical thinking, and decision-making skills

·         Working knowledge of purchasing process and ethical procurement standards

·         Ability to communicate effectively in person, on the phone, and via email

·         Build and maintain strong relationships with internal and external stakeholders

·         Ability to read and interpret raw material specifications and supplier documents

·         Positive attitude and motivated by contributing to the overall success of the team

·         Creative problem-solving skills and ability to communicate solutions

·         Obsessive attention to detail, well organized and able to juggle many projects at once

·         Comfortable moving at a fast pace and in ambiguous environments

·         Willing to address difficult situations head on with patience and respect

·         Passionate about food and quality

As A Leader Within the Kettle Cuisine Team You Are Expected To:

·         Model and support Kettle’s Core Values and safety culture

·         Create a culture of accountability & performance

·         Drive a focus on quality and continuous improvement

·         Plan work, track results and resolve variances



·         Works with little supervision, but work is reviewed. Exercises discretion within areas of responsibility.

·         Recommends actions and alternatives to supervisor and others.

·         Position has little to no contact with customers.

·         Position makes indirect contribution to efforts that generate moderate levels of revenue.

·         Decisions or actions may have a direct impact on other departments and/or external relationships of the organization. Errors are usually detected after the fact and may result in moderate interruption and delays in work output.



The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those a Category Buyer encounters while performing the essential functions of this job.

Physical Demands/Efforts

·         Work requires occasional physical exertion, including some lifting of objects weighing up to 25 pounds.

Mental & Visual Demands

·         Work performed by this position requires moderate concentration to effectively execute moderately complex tasks.

·         Work occasionally requires some degree of visual effort for periods of time.

Work Environment and Hazards

·         Employee works in an office and manufacturing setting with some exposure to heat, cold, dust, or other factors of minor inconvenience.

·         The position has some exposure to hazards that might cause minor injury.

·         Less than 25% travel is required for this position. Travel would be to other sites via airplane or locally by car to vendors.

·         Category Buyer may need to work weekends or overtime as required.

Compensation: $70,000-$90,000 (DOE)

Kettle Cuisine offers the following benefits at low cost or no cost

Medical, Vision and Dental Insurance, 401k

Paid Time off (PTO) and Sick Leave

Paid Holidays

Paid Maternity and Paternity Leave

Life and Disability Insurance, Tuition Assistance 


Kettle Cuisine complies with all aspects of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and state disability laws.  This means we will not discriminate against qualified individuals with a disability in any phase of the employment relationship including application for employment, hiring, promotions and/or advancement opportunities, termination, compensation, training and any other conditions or privileges of employment.



Kettle Cuisine takes the utmost pride in its people, products and reputation. Each employee is expected to understand and live our Core Values every day.

Ø  Honor Food – We create and produce the best tasting, safest, all-natural recipes that strive for perfection in every batch, from bench to kettle

Ø  Honor Each Other – We seek to develop trusting, respectful and mutually rewarding relationships with all our team members and business partners

Ø  Honor Development – We recognize and nurture each other’s talents, strengths and interests in order to further strengthen and grow our team 

Ø  Honor Innovation – We continually strive for creative and sustainable ways to achieve excellence

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