About Us

At Rä Foods, we believe there’s been an awakening to the benefits of healtful eating and simple preparation.
modern-business-office-HWMUDS8.jpg

We have lived food and food technology and innovation for more than 40 years…it’s what we do, it’s who we are.

Rä Foods has hands on experience in the processed food and fresh produce industries from agricultural research programs and seed breeding to expertise with growers, shippers and processors to developing products and bringing them to market.

Our team has degrees in microbiology, civil engineering, food science and psychology with experience gained from top companies and universities.​

Rä Foods: Simple and delicious for a healthier you

At Rä Foods, healthful eating is made delicious, nutritious and simple. Whether you want a delicious homemade, fresh baked bread or a refreshingly different, flavorful, healthful alternative to lettuce, Rä Foods has options that will add variety and wholesome goodness to all eating occasions.

We believe all age groups are moving to adopt a healthier lifestyle and are incorporating better for you foods into eating occasions everyday, not just occasionally.

Our Passions

Food

We know food. We’ve built our careers, our businessess, our lives around food and food-related technologies.

Innovation

As foodies and scientists we are curious and everything we do is driven by our curiosity.

Technology

We continually seek to develop creative and innovative new technology solutions for the food industry.

Food Safety

Everything we do at Rä Foods stems from our deep experience in and concern for food safety.

Our Team

The Leadership Team

Our senior executives have hands on experience in the processed food and fresh produce industries from agricultural research programs and seed breeding to expertise with growers, shippers and processors to developing products and bringing them to market. Our team has degrees in microbiology, civil engineering, food scieince and psychology with experience gained at General Mills, Pillsbury, Land O Lakes, Haagen-Dazs, the Paul Ecke Ranch, Bumble Bee, Van de Kamps, DecoPak, Potandon Produce, Colorful Harvest, and the University of Minnesota.

Our executives have served on high level boards including the U.S. FDA’s Science Board along with numerour other FDA, USDA, NIH, NSF, NAS, NRC, and IOM advisory boards. Executive team members also hold numerous U.S. patents in food technology as well as having extensive published works. 

Jeffrey Sholl, PhD

Jeffrey Sholl, PhD, Principal/Chairman RäFoods, LLC has 40+ years of experience in the processed food and fresh produce industries holding many senior management positions at the Pillsbury Company, GrandMet, Haagen-Dazs, and The Paul Ecke Ranch. He acquired the Green Giant Fresh Brand from GrandMet in 1995 and has been active in the fresh produce business ever since. Jeff provides passion and strategic direction for Rä Foods!

Dennis Lonergan, PhD

Dennis Lonergan, PhD has more than 40 years of experience in food product and technology development with degrees in microbiology, civil engineering and food science. Previously Dennis was VP of Technology for Bumble Bee and Van de Kamp’s Seafood and Director of Strategic Technology Development at The Pillsbury Company and General Mills. Dennis holds 16 US patents in the area of food technology and is responsible for the development of the patented cold-grown process for Wild About Sprouts™ and the development of the process for Wild About Bread™.

Tina McKenna

Tina started her career in marketing with Nestle and then Pillsbury. She left big corporate life and marketing for the president role at DecoPac LLC, a Minnesota based cake decorations company with licenses from all major entertainment companies and sports leagues. Tina currently serves on the Board of Rä Foods.

Susan Harlander, PhD

Susan Harlander, PhD has worked with the food industry for over 30 years. Prior to joining Land O’Lakes as Director of R&D and The Pillsbury Company as VP Green Giant R&D and Agricultural Research, Susan was Associate Professor of Food Microbiology at the University of Minnesota. She has over 110 publications and has served on numerous federal government committees for FDA, USDA, and the National Research Council. Susan is focused on food safety aspects of the Cold Grown® process and helping team members and consumers understand food better, from farm to fork!

Stephen Harper

Stephen Harper joined RäFoods as CFO in March 2021 and oversees finance, legal, HR and IT for all our businesses. Before joining RäFoods, Steve was a finance director at Borden Dairy for eight years and held multiple finance positions at Frito-Lay over the ten years prior to that. Before his extensive consumer products tenure, Steve worked in the Investment Banking Divisions of both BMO Capital and Morgan Stanley & Co., where he was involved in the completion of numerous mergers and acquisitions and acquisition-related financing transactions. Steve received his Master of Business Administration from Columbia Business School and his Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Houston Honors College.

Michael Pennella

Mike started his career in sales at Procter and Gamble and has held general management and senior executive positions with a number of major food companies, including: Hillshire Farms, Sara Lee, Pillsbury, Lamb Weston, ConAgra Foodservice, and Schwan’s.

Meet Additional Team Members