Empowering manufacturers. Creating jobs. Transforming our city.

Senior Product Manager

Company Overview

Dandelion Chocolate

Dandelion Chocolate Website
Dandelion Chocolate is a bean-to-bar chocolate factory in San Francisco’s Mission District. We make chocolate from only two ingredients, cocoa beans and cane sugar, and travel to origins as often as we can to build good, trusting relationships with the farmers and producers who grow cacao. Bean-to-bar chocolate is new to many so we hope to create new product experiences that inspire others to learn more about the passion and hard work that goes into craft chocolate.

Designing and creating products and experiences with chocolate is a joy – almost everyone loves chocolate! And while many people are accustomed to seeing chocolate in gift baskets and tasting bundles, we hope to create new, meaningful experiences that connect the world with chocolate’s science, origin, and flavor potential. As a key product leader on the team, you’ll work directly with execs and thought leaders on key strategic initiatives, develop multi-year roadmaps, design systems (project management, product maker SOPs, retail training, and info sheets) that will scale, and proactively remain abreast of market research. On a day-to-day basis, you’ll be responsible for product development from concepting, planning, logistics, roll-out, and long-term metrics. Developing new products might mean researching food safety regulations, understanding machine limitations, connecting with new collaborators, reaching out to new printing vendors, developing new SOPs stretching across multiple teams, testing different shipping packaging, or working closely with Marketing for social media campaigns. We hope that a product looks simple and effortless when it’s in the recipient’s hands. However, we know that to bring a product to our shelves and online store, there are typically hundreds of tiny issues to consider and address. This is an on-site role at our Mission District factory.

Job Categories

  • Hours: Full-time
  • ,
  • Industry: Food and Beverage
  • ,
  • Senior Manager/Supervisior
  • ,

Job Duties

- Vision: Design a product roadmap of beautiful, inspiring experiences that despite all of the crazy logistical complexities (e.g. technical limitations, resource limitations, not-sure-it’s possible, etc) still maintain a coherent vision promoting our internal values of transparency, craft, and community. When possible, develop “out of the box” solutions to new problems rather than making easy compromises that lead to mediocre products.
- Cross-Organization Coordination: Work with the key team leaders to see product launches run smoothly including developing SOPs, quality guidelines, and submitting necessary requests ahead of time so that everyone is appropriately looped into the development process.
- Stakeholder Relationships: Proactively schedule regular bi-weekly or monthly meetings with appropriate stakeholders to ask for feedback and to give visibility into projects. Ask as many questions upfront with all key team members to fully understand objectives, to build alignment among execs, and to be a reliable resource to the team so everyone can make good day-to-day trade-off decisions. You are first to know when you need more time, money, or resources, and you proactively propose solutions as soon as possible rather than waiting until the last minute or taking on unnecessary risks.
- Planning & transparency: There are so many amazing ideas! We have such an amazing team! And yet, we only have the resources to nail a few concepts each year. Maintain an open list of ideas and share how you’re prioritizing so the team knows all ideas were considered and fairly prioritized. Proactively share expectations of the cost, budget, revenue, lead time, etc so teams can plan ahead. Maintain a rhythm of daily check-ins so teams are in sync and we spot bottlenecks as early as possible. Work closely with the Planning and Finance team to ensure we know when large expenses will hit so we can minimize impact to cash flow.
- Specs and systems: Develop product briefs, marketing collateral, and organize materials so that we can continue to improve products over multiple years without forgetting details. Maintains space and organizational systems anticipating repeating projects with minimal overhead. When developing a new product, think about what is necessary for this product to be successful in the second and third iteration.
- Operational savvy: Be able to put yourself in the shoes of anyone in the organization from Pastry, Operations, to Retail teams to predict potential issues -- like asking the kitchen to work on a large order over the holidays, avoiding shipping chocolate to Dubai in the summer, anticipating how much space is necessary to store 25,000 boxes over two years, or considering whether teeny bows might result in RSI. Your first weeks with the team will be on the floor building relationships and working side by side with the different teams so you have that working knowledge and vocabulary.
- Team player: Translate concerns and issues into a language that is best understood by different teams. The Creative team might understand an issue from a design perspective. The Operations teams might better understand schedules and logistics. The Pastry team wants deadlines. Provide feedback, receive feedback, and reconcile issues without overstepping boundaries. Spot where leaders aren’t yet aligned and open up communication lines without creating rifts or politics. Ultimately, we aim to align the teams so that our product looks like it was designed by a single person with a consistent eye rather than multiple teams in conflict.
- Research, planning, & logistics: Research market data, competitors, regulatory issues, technical constraints, so that products launch smoothly and there are few recalls, hiccups, safety incidents, or unnecessary revisions. Guide the team through daily stand-ups using Agile principles to maintain momentum and communication so team members stay up-to-date. You have the organizational chops to make sure that roadmaps stay up to date. When an exec stops by and says, “When will it ship?” you have a response ready. Maintain invoices to track costing and vendor information.
- External relationships: Work with vendors and artists with additional expertise and resources as the trusted contact that represents Dandelion Chocolate. Many of our relationships extend back a decade or more and when something goes wrong, this external network and their goodwill has helped us out when we’ve had last-minute emergencies. Continue to build upon that goodwill by going above and beyond to be kind.
- Tools: Continuously further your toolkit for planning, prototyping, communicating, and research. Our team uses many tools ranging from the Adobe Suite, Figma, Shopify, Trello, Google Suite, Jotform, and Airtable. When necessary, help roll out new machines and technologies across teams by socializing upcoming new changes and helping managers support their teams with changes & trade-offs.
- Metrics & Reports: Plan and track metrics so it is easy for exec & operational teams to see progress. Run analyses to test our assumptions and make better decisions. Think about what metrics to track long-term so we gain useful insights for future iterations.
- Maintain Good Standing: As a key leader of the organization, others look to you to maintain good standing within the organization. Good standing includes treating each person with respect, writing weekly reports, providing updates at All-hands meetings, staying up-to-date with expense reporting, answering help desk tickets, submitting interview feedback promptly, updating OKRs, and maintaining strong relationships across the organization.
- Other tasks as necessary

Job Requirements

Our ideal candidate is user-focused, buttoned-up, and a team player. The best products come from informed, aligned, and inspired teams -- all guided by your leadership. As one of Dandelion Chocolate’s first Product Managers, you will also be developing best practices and tools for future Product Managers. Having a few previous tricky product launches under your belt will serve you well. There are always surprises and even when we think we have a bullet-proof plan, beans fall off ships, the government shuts down, and a vendor discontinues a part without notice. Your previous experience will help you develop a plan B (and a plan C and D) so we can continue a tradition of exquisite, thoughtful products.

- Entrepreneurial savvy: You’ll be starting projects from scratch with many potential headwinds and in markets where there is no precedent. We’re looking for previous examples where you’ve led a significant, multi-team project from start to finish.
- Brand and visual language: You can look at a mockup and articulate where the user experience and brand language is strong or weak. We’re especially interested in product professionals who have worked with elevated brands in food or a parallel market where high-touch care and attention to detail is essential.
- Presentation skills: Can use graphic or presentation tools to build a mockup, prototype, or storyboard that excites and aligns team members and allows them to give feedback at appropriate parts of the process.
- Technical skills: Can build spreadsheets with formulas and pivot tables where the assumptions are easy to track and can be shared across the team. Can develop schedules in a medium that makes the most sense for the team (spreadsheets, charts, calendars, etc). Proactively evaluate new tools for scheduling and planning.
- 3-5 years in a product-oriented role: Previous experience in a customer-focused product role such as a Creative, Product, Packaging, or Engineering team is a big plus. You know how to handle the inevitable last-minute hiccups, how to build documentation for future iterations, and have the patience and perspective to work on product initiatives that may span 2-3+ years. Many of our initiatives take multiple years to fully execute so a record showing previous experience at one organization for 3 or more years is a huge bonus..
- Bonus: Prior UX/HCI experience is a huge plus for reshaping business strategy into user-focused product priorities.

Skills/Experience Preferred

Compensation

$80,000-$120,000/ year

Benefits

The benefits and perks continue beyond a robust chocolate education. Dandelion Chocolate constantly invests in our people and culture. All team members receive heavily subsidized medical, vision, and dental benefits as well as the option to enroll in our 401k program. All team members receive paid vacation time, holiday pay, and paid sick time. In addition, our team members enjoy commuter benefits, FSAs, chocolate tasting opportunities, and a range of opportunities to grow and develop within the company.

Hours

Full-Time

Resume Required

Yes

Cover letter Required

Yes

Other Application Requirements

Dandelion Chocolate is growing and we are invested in employees who take ownership over their role in order to contribute in a bigger way with us. You will stand out from the crowd if your resume is accompanied by a cover letter summarizing your background and interest in team building and this opportunity. We look forward to hearing from you!
APPLY NOW