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April 22, 2021updated 11 May 2021 6:57pm

Urban Farmer hires Steve Jungmann as CEO of US pizza firm

By Simon Harvey

Investor-backed Urban Farmer, a US plant-based dough-products manufacturer, has instigated a top management reshuffle with chief executive John Keigher moving to the head of operations.

Steve Jungmann, previously the CEO of personal care firm Convenience Valet in Illinois, has been hired as the new chief executive of Urban Farmer, which produces branded and private-label pizza crusts, topped pizza, flatbreads, tortillas and empanadas sold into the retail and foodservice channels in North America.

Founded in 2013, Urban Farmer, based in Manteno, Illinois, sold an undisclosed majority stake last year to private-equity firm Paine Schwartz Partners in California. The company also supplies “better-for-you pizza brands” in North America from its gluten-free facility in Illinois.

“Transitioning to COO allows me to focus on what I enjoy the most at Urban Farmer – overseeing operations, quality and community affairs while remaining engaged with customers,” Keigher said. “I am confident in Steve’s industry experience and leadership and excited to support him as we accelerate the company’s move into its next phase of growth.”

Prior to joining Convenience Valet, Jungmann was the president for sales at Richelieu Foods, a US company supplying private-label frozen pizza. He has also served in various roles at companies including US grocer Supervalu and Kraft Foods, part of which became Kraft Heinz following a business split in 2012.

Jungmann said: “I appreciate the work John and the team have done in shaping the company, helping take it from a small business to a leading US manufacturer of plant-based specialty products. Building on this strong foundation, we have significant opportunities to drive growth through innovation in our key channels, including co-manufacturing, private label and foodservice, as well as in the Urban Farmer brand.”

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