Bobby in his new kind of oven!

Bobby Whicker’s initial interest in joining the Steffes team was driven by the desire to find a career that offered a better work-life balance. But what he didn’t realize when he left the culinary industry after 23 years was that he would continue to knead his creative brain and feed his curious side in a new roll. (Ok, ok, we know… it’s “role,” …but we couldn’t help ourselves!)

Bobby is currently a production supervisor at one of Steffes’s two Grand Forks facilities and is celebrating seven years of dedicated service this month. Bobby began his manufacturing career in 2015 as an assembly technician for our contract manufacturing division. On the word of a good friend, he applied at Steffes, was hired, and quickly found himself curious about various processes related to his work, seeking out opportunities to make improvements and increase efficiency.

After working in assembly for several years, Bobby took the opportunity to learn a few new manufacturing skills, testing out his luck on the paint line. He quickly learned the tips and tricks of the trade and began to implement improvements and affect positive change. Advancing in his career to a supervisory role in only a few short years, Bobby takes pride in his division and has enjoyed seeing the growth of the areas he oversees, including his former stomping grounds: assembly and paint.

In his day-to-day role, he rises early – just like the fresh bread in his oven – to prepare himself and his team for the day. Working closely with production leads to understand the various priorities of the day, he preps his team with their assignments and begins to compile reports and communications based on the work that has been accomplished and the work that needs to be done.  

Just like running the line in a kitchen, Bobby guides his team, ensuring they pick up where the welders left off – washing, painting, and assembling finished product and getting it out the door. Served piping hot and fresh for our customers to sell!

And though he is definitely enjoying a more appealing schedule, that’s not what keeps him coming back. “I enjoy the work atmosphere and like the people I work with,” said Bobby. “I like that we wear our core values on our sleeves.” And that right there is the Steffes magic.

In his free time, Bobby enjoys various hobbies, including reading, woodworking, working on his 1978 Ford, and you guessed it… cooking! “My wife would tell you that I have too many cookbooks. But can you ever have too many? I also really enjoy baking. I have gotten into baking a lot of bread lately.”

And there’s your proof. Either way you toast it, Bobby’s busy making dough!

\\Our jokes aren’t so crusty NOW, are they?! 😉\\