Spice Kitchen Incubator Program Specialist

International Rescue Committee

IRC Background:

The International Rescue Committee (IRC) responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises, helping to restore health, safety, education, economic wellbeing and power to people devastated by conflict and disaster. Founded in 1933, the IRC is at work in over 40 countries and 25 U.S. cities helping people to survive, regain control of their future and strengthen their communities. The IRC in Salt Lake City (IRC SLC) opened in 1994 and provides resettlement services through extended case management to newly arrived refugees for up to 24-months as well as over twenty different programs to educate and empower refugees. Spice Kitchen Incubator, a program of IRC SLC, is an innovative food business incubator supporting refugees, immigrants and disadvantaged community members to start successful food businesses in Utah.

Job Overview:

Spice Kitchen Incubator assists refugees, immigrants, other new Americans, and community members of low-moderate income to plan, launch, scale, and sustain their own food business through free technical assistance, subsidized kitchen time, and market access. This position supports service delivery for all program participants in the Spice Kitchen Incubator. The position supports program operations including recruiting program participants; supporting volunteers; delivering training and technical assistance activities for participants; and community engagement. The Program Specialist reports directly to a Spice Kitchen Program Coordinator. This is a full time, regular term position.

Major Responsibilities:
This position supports program service delivery including entrepreneur application processes, interviews, orientations, pre-incubation, incubation and graduation services by assisting participants to develop clear and intentional business plans in the pre-incubation phase and acquiring the skills and resources needed to grow their businesses once in incubation resulting in graduation within five years.

  • Events:

    • Develop entrepreneurs’ digital literacy skills and familiarity with permitting and licensing regulations, including product review and approval, renewal of necessary permits and food safety inspections as needed
    • Utilize culturally and linguistically appropriate guides to facilitate teaching entrepreneurs these processes, including regular due dates and estimated costs associated with different permits, licenses, and applications
    • Provide capacity building technical assistance on special event planning and operations
    • Provide one-on-one technical support related to packaged or prepared products
    • Assist Coordinator to incorporate market research results and develop business operations to increase participant capacity for sales independent of Spice Kitchen’s marketing opportunities
    • Provide support in SKI-liaised activities and initiatives including Spice-to-Go, Community Food Boxes, and caterings
    • Upkeep the scheduling system for staff and entrepreneurs to see upcoming renewal deadlines and due dates
  • Outreach:

    • Expand network of SKI customers through targeted outreach
    • Assist the team in collecting customer and event feedback and utilize feedback to improve event services
    • Support entrepreneurs in identifying local partners and incorporate locally-sourced ingredients in entrepreneurs’ products and services
  • Kitchen and Administrative:

    • Support oversight and management of commercial kitchen and facility operations including maintenance, facilities upkeep, and other tasks related to building infrastructure and equipment
    • Support operations of Spice Kitchen Café space including entrepreneur support
    • Advocate for client needs in commercial kitchen ensuring equitable treatment, safety and food safety guidelines are adhered to
  • General:

    • Support accurate monthly billing to clients and timely payment as needed
    • Assist with data collection for participant outcomes and contribute to reporting efforts as needed
    • Support development efforts including fundraising and public relations as needed
    • Maintain professionalism, customer service, and IRC Way ideals when working with the community
    • Participate in program meetings, weekly staff meetings, staff development activities and national skills building trainings, calls, and communities of practice, while fully engaging as a member of the team
    • Support general office logistics, such as office support and front desk, as applicable and feasible
    • Comply with all policies, procedures, and protocols of the organization
    • Other duties as assigned

Job Requirements:


  • Undergraduate degree, or equivalent experience, in Culinary Arts, Business, Small Business Development, Finance, Entrepreneurship, Food Justice, Education, or related field, preferred.

Work Experience:

  • A minimum of two years related professional experience within the food industry
  • Experience in adult education
  • Experience working in a direct service role preferred
  • Experience in small business ownership or management preferred
  • Experience and training in trauma-informed and person-centered services

Demonstrated Skills & Competencies:

  • A passion for great food and a willingness to taste anything

  • Demonstrated understanding of local food businesses, catering, logistics, food business development

  • Ability to communicate effectively both orally and in writing in English, and with people of different linguistic backgrounds; bi-lingual ability preferred.

  • Ability to provide services and guide programming with a lens for diversity, equity and inclusion

  • Highly organized with excellent time and space management skills.

  • Proficient in MS Office Suite; especially Excel and Word

  • Good people and conflict resolution skills. Job requires a high level of interaction with program participants, staff and community stakeholders.

  • Patience, flexibility and a good sense of humor

  • Ability to speak passionately and articulately about the IRC and SPICE Kitchen mission

  • Excellent interpersonal relation skills. Professional, friendly, and courteous attitude a must

  • Ability to safely lift 30+ lbs

  • Valid driver’s license, active insurance policy and access to reliable transportation

Key Working Relationships:

This position is supervised by: Spice Kitchen Incubator Program Coordinator

This position supervises: May superviseinterns and volunteers.

Work Environment:

  • Standard office work environment along with travel in and around the service delivery area
  • Flexibility to work some Saturdays and some weekday evenings as needed to support programming

COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement: In accordance with IRC’s duty to provide and maintain a workplace that is free of known hazards and our commitment to safeguard the health of our employees, clients, and communities, IRC requires new hires to furnish proof of vaccination against COVID-19 in order to be considered for any in-office or hybrid positions. All IRC US offices require full vaccination to attend any in-office functions (e.g., meetings, trainings).

Commitment to Diversity and Inclusivity: IRC is committed to building a diverse organization and a climate of inclusivity. We strongly encourage applications from candidates who can demonstrate that they can contribute to this goal.

Equal Opportunity Employer: We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status. We will ensure that individuals with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodation to participate in the job application or interview process, to perform essential job functions, and to receive other benefits and privileges of employment. Please contact us to request accommodation.

US Benefits: We offer a comprehensive and highly competitive set of benefits. In the US, these include: 10 sick days, 10 US holidays, 20-25 paid time off days depending on role and tenure, medical insurance starting at $120 per month, dental starting at $7 per month, and vision starting at $5 per month, FSA for healthcare and commuter costs, a 403b retirement savings plans with immediately vested matching, disability & life insurance, and an Employee Assistance Program which is available to our staff and their families to support counseling and care in times of crisis and mental health struggles.

How to apply

Please apply to our website: