James Worthington: Forty Under 40

Congratulations to James Worthington, chief executive officer at Kneaders Bakery & Cafe. He was named one of Utah Business’ 2018 Forty Under 40 honorees.

James Worthington, Kneaders Bakery & Cafe - Utah Business 2018 Forty Under 40

As a young college kid at Brigham Young University who’d grown up experimenting with recipes alongside his parents, James Worthington thought he could impress girls with his cooking skills and his signature dish: chunky cinnamon French toast. Today, that item is a much-beloved staple at Kneaders Bakery and Café, which his parents started in 1997. Worthington would learn the “ins and outs of running a service-based business and worked in every aspect of the bakery” and later ascend to CEO in 2013. With his guidance, Kneaders has seen 500 percent growth in restaurant locations to 59, with more projected to open in 2018.

“Successful business is grounded in building a solid foundation with guiding principles, but within those solid plans there has to be flexibility to roll with the punches and meet whatever the day might bring,” says Worthington. “If I get to the end of the day and my team has left feeling good about the work we have done together, our company partnerships are in good standing and we have meet the needs of the customer, then I feel confident and motivated.”

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: Kneaders is a title sponsor of the American Fork Canyon Half Marathon and a founder of the Hope Fights Childhood Cancer Campaign. It has also donated one million loaves of bread to feed the hungry throughout the last 20 years.