C-Store Veteran Takes the Helm at Buddy’s Kitchen

Distributor has hired new president, new culinary and convenience-store vice presidents
Photograph Courtesy of Buddy's Kitchen

BURNSVILLE, Minn. — Retail foodservice distributor Buddy’s Kitchen Inc. has promoted convenience-store industry veteran Joseph Chiovera to president. Chiovera succeeds former CEO Dave Smith, who has retired after 12 years with the Burnsville, Minn.-based company.

Chiovera joined Buddy’s in 2016 as president of innovation, design and emerging channels. Prior to joining Buddy’s, he worked in the c-store channel for nearly two decades. His roles included concept development manager for Sheetz; U.S. concept development manager for ExxonMobil On the Run; senior director of fresh food for 7-Eleven; and vice president of foodservice for Alimentation Couche-Tard.

“Becoming president is the next step in this journey,” Chiovera said. “I am extremely passionate about working closely with our customers, addressing their challenges in the ever-changing and evolving world of foodservice in today’s demanding, ‘I want it my way and I want it now’ atmosphere. We will continue to dig into understanding needs and required functionality before developing platforms for our customers. This is the most excited I’ve been about food in my career. There are no rules and with the migration of other cultures coming into our country, flavors are exciting and limitless.”

Buddy’s has also hired Joshua Rappaport as vice president of culinary and innovation and Keith Solsvig as vice president of convenience stores.

Rappaport brings more than 20 years of corporate and restaurant experience to Buddy’s. After a decade of luxury-hotel experience, he became executive chef and district chef for food and beverage company Eurest/Compass. Since 2013, Rappaport has worked as executive chef for LSG SkyChefs, an airline catering company. In his new role with Buddy’s, Rappaport will lead the culinary and design team and target airline, convenience-store, big-box, grocery and restaurant customers.

Solsvig has nearly three decades of marketing experience, including more than 15 years in the c-store industry, having worked for ExxonMobil, Thorntons, Tyson and Hunt Brothers Pizza. Most recently, he was senior director of marketing for Dawn Foods.

Buddy’s Kitchen specializes in custom frozen food and co-packing services. The company makes more than 250,000 meals daily for its customers, which include convenience-store retailers, specialty-food and consumer packaged goods companies.

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