Kneaders Bakery & Café has announced Neil Checketts as the organization's new chief operating officer effective immediately. For the past year and since his time with Kneaders, Checketts has served as the organization's vice president of food safety and quality assurance. Checketts brings more than 17 years of experience as a registered environmental health scientist with an expertise in food safety and food quality.

 Neil Checketts
Checketts was the first to serve in this food safety position at Kneaders and will continue to oversee food safety and quality assurance. Checketts 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. Checketts will report directly to the CEO.

"Neil brings extensive experience and knowledge in food safety. 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," said Kneaders' CEO James Worthington. "Neil has become a part of the Kneaders family and we congratulate him as he assumes the title of COO."

Checketts previously served as senior director of food safety at Walmart, where he managed the food safety and communicable illness programs for the nearly 4,000 Walmart stores in the domestic market United States and Puerto Rico. He also served as vice president of food safety, quality assurance, quality control and regulatory affairs for Sobeys Inc., a Canadian retailer with over 1,600 stores. Checketts began his professional career working for several health departments in Utah as a registered environmental scientist. Through these positions, he has gained strong leadership and project-management skills that will aid him in being successful in this new role.

"I am thrilled to continue my work with Kneaders in my new role as COO," said Neil Checketts. "I am committed to the continued success Kneaders has seen over the past 19 years and look forward to working the Kneaders family."

Checketts graduated from Utah State University in 1998 with a bachelor's in environmental biology with minors in chemistry and Russian. He then went on to complete a master's degree in business administration in 2002.

Kneaders Bakery & Café was recently ranked as one of the 5,000 fastest-growing private companies by Inc. Magazine and has earned the No. 8 rating on Restaurant Business magazine's "Future 50" list, and a No. 100 rating in the Technomic's "150 Fast-Casual Sales Growth" list. The fast-casual restaurant continues to receive top honors and praises from customers and industry experts alike.