Alumni Spotlight - Torrey Nelson

Torrey Nelson started working for King’s Hawaiian while a student at California State University Long Beach, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in business marketing. “I worked part time in the retail restaurant and bakery while I was in college,” Nelson said. After graduation, he stayed with King’s, moving to the wholesale side of the business and eventually working his way up to his current position as Director of Baking Science. “I worked for King’s as a plant manager and also in project management before taking on my current role. I’ve been with King’s for nearly 15 years.”

Commitment to Employee Education

Nelson’s department at King's Hawaiian provides learning and baking science development to production employees. “We conduct research and development for ingredients, prototype new products, and develop requirements and recommendations for process improvements and new technology for production processes,” he said. “Our goal is to consistently meet our product quality standards.”

Early in his career with King’s Hawaiian, Nelson was given the opportunity to attend Bakery Science and Technology (BS&T) Class 170. “I was fortunate that my company wanted to invest in me and develop my skills,” Nelson said. “They offered me the opportunity to take the course, and I was all for it.”

Benefits of Attendance

Attending the BS&T course benefited Nelson in multiple ways. “I gained many useful skills and knowledge that I used when I returned to work,” he said.  “One big benefit was using the science of baking vs. the art.  Learning the functionality of ingredients, equipment to measure ingredients, and dough rheology really helped me bring new skills to my company.” He also found the course beneficial in networking and building relationships in the industry. 

Nelson’s commitment to the baking industry is rooted in the relationships he built in the BS&T course, and over the path of his career. “My favorite thing about working in the baking industry is the people,” Nelson said. “Working with our suppliers, equipment manufacturers, consultants, universities, and customers, everyone is very friendly and willing to support each other.” 

Nelson recommends the course for other baking industry employees who have not yet attended. “It is a great experience. You will gain a lot of knowledge in the real cereal chemistry of baking, and what you learn will definitely apply to your career. My favorite part of the course were the instructors and fellow students.  I made some great friends that I still keep in touch with.  I’ll never forget Class 170,” he said. 

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