Paula Ray

Getting to Know Paula Ray, NOCK Operations Manager

We believe it’s important to know who you’re working with.

We’re continuing our Getting to Know CIFT series with our Northwest Ohio Cooperative Kitchen (NOCK) Operations Manager, Paula Ray. Paula has been with CIFT for 15 years and she works with all our NOCK tenants and keeps the facility running smoothly. We asked Paula some questions to get a glimpse into her role and what makes her excited to go to work every day.

What do you do at CIFT?

I manage the Northwest Ohio Cooperative Kitchen (NOCK) and work with clients that are interested in using the facility. I arrange and maintain all documents that are needed for regulatory inspections, schedule all maintenance on the facility and handle FDA/ODA and local health department inspections. I also make sure that all clients are following food safety protocols and are compliant with Good Manufacturing Practices. 

What motivates you to wake up and go to work?

I like being a part of the team that helps entrepreneurs get their products on shelves by making their items in CIFT’s licensed commercial facility. CIFT has been committed to this project for many years and I am happy to be a part of it. Every day is different. Seeing small food companies that have a dream and the fact that we can help with that dream makes me feel like I’m making a difference. The energy they put into creating a recipe and producing is extraordinary. 

What has been your favorite project so far?

I can’t say I have a favorite, but I like the first phase when entrepreneurs are over excited and thrilled to take the plunge on producing a product. Then seeing companies excel and find their niche is so gratifying.

What’s one thing you want people to know about your role, service or CIFT?

I throw myself into all projects and if I can’t figure something out I will reach out to the CIFT team for the necessary help and find the correct way to get the job done. It’s been a pleasure to be part of CIFT and everything that we have to offer. 

What’s something most people don’t know about you?

My down time and a place that I go to when I just want to unwind is my greenhouse and gardening. Everyone needs something to do that makes them truly happy. Jumping in our camper and escaping from realty for a few days is always a plus.

Learn more about the Northwest Ohio Cooperative Kitchen and our services on our Emerging Food Processors webpage.

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