Espinoza, a former high-rank executive at Just Eat, Marquez Brothers, Kraft, and Mondelez, has taken up the chief operating officer role for a start-up that makes fermentation-based dairy products

By Murielle Gonzalez

Portrait photo of Luis Espinoza
Luis Espinoza, co-founder of cannabis growing company Posibl, has joined Change Foods

Change Foods has appointed Luis Espinoza as its new chief operating officer. Espinoza, who is the co-founder of cannabis cultivation company Posibl, has joined the fermentation-based cheese and dairy products start-up after a one-year tenure with egg alternative company Just Eat, serving as vice-president of manufacturing. Previously, Espinoza held key manufacturing and operation positions at Amy’s Kitchen, Marquez Brothers, Kraft, and Mondelez.

Espinoza commented: “It was during my time at Marquez Brothers that I fell in love with the art of cheese making, which is real science that when combined with traditional methods, becomes a form of expression, a form of art for the cheesemaker. I spent some time in Wisconsin, Italy, Bulgaria and Greece learning the old traditional methods of producing the best Mozzarella, Parmigiano Reggiano, Feta, Graviera and Kasseri cheese and yoghurt.”

Espinoza co-founded Posibl in September 2017. The company has raised more than $17 million in funding and became a top-five business-to-business supplier in California. He joined Change Foods with the ambition to realise some of the required improvements to the food system he had identified in years prior.

“I think my professional experience is extremely relevant to what we are doing at Change Foods, now and in the years to come,” said Espinoza. “We will be building a team, making strategic decisions, starting up new operations, building a company with a real mission, scaling up new technologies and I will get to make cheese again with a very different approach.”

Change Foods: A multi-disciplinary team

David Bucca, Change Foods co-founder and chief executive, said the appointment of Espinoza is more than strategic. He said building an experienced core team as early as possible is paramount to achieving the company’s goals and go-to-market strategy at warp speed.

“Having worked as an aerospace engineer at Boeing for many years instils a systems engineering mentality, where highly-complex systems are dictated by many requirements, processes, and inter-dependencies,” Bucca explained. “To develop a deep-technology consumer product in a newly emerging industry, get it to market as soon as possible, and navigate the associated technological, regulatory, and manufacturing challenges, warrants a well, thought-out plan.”

Aligned with his thought, Change Foods has built a team of world-class scientists coupled with food industry experts early on.

Based in Palo Alto, California, Change Foods made the news last month by appointing former Danone executive Irina Gerry to the chief marketing officer role.

Change Foods also announced that its co-founder Junior Te’o, an associate professor from Queensland University of Technology in Australia, has transitioned from more than 20 years of an academic career in microbial biotechnology to take on the chief technology officer.

“I am excited to bring my translational skillset in cellular and molecular biology, and microbial fermentation technologies to the company,” said Te’o. He said Change Foods has an amazing team that embodies forward-thinking innovation and sustainability mindset. “I am thrilled to be part of the team that genuinely seeks to make a real-world positive change,” Te’o concluded.

Date published: 4 January 2021