Michael Mendes is the former CEO of Just Desserts, a high-quality commercial bakery marketing its products across the United States. Just Desserts offers a wide variety of baked goods, including organic, vegan, and gluten free products; it is a completely nut free bakery. Just Desserts offers premium cakes, cupcakes, brownie bites, and mini cakes. The company won Top Honors at the IBIE Best in Baking Competition in 2019. Michael is committed to community and excellence and as such remains a valued member of the company’s board. In 2010, Mendes was recognized as the Bay Area Most Admired CEO for Public Companies over $500M.
Mendes founded WBM Holdings LLC in 2014, a real estate California firm based in San Francisco. He has also served on the board of Envision Education and was Chairman of the Board of Directors for the City Ballet of San Francisco. Mendes also served on the board of Hormel Foods, The Grocery Outlet, The Wine Group and the Grocery Manufacturers Association.
Prior to Just Desserts, Michael Mendes held various positions at Diamond Foods, Inc. ultimately becoming chairman, president and CEO. During his tenure there, Michael transitioned the firm from a farmer’s cooperative to a publicly traded company with a robust line of products, expanding the Diamond brand building snack brands Emerald, Pop Secret and Kettle Chips. He led the successful acquisition of Pop Secret (formerly owned by General Mills) and Kettle Foods US and UK, expanding the global penetration of the business. Michael also revamped the operational and marketing efforts of Diamond, restructuring the way the company did product development, advertising, and promotion. He established a German subsidiary to provide distribution and marketing support to Europe, the Middle East and the Scandinavian region. Through the use of integrated marketing campaign featuring high profile event such as the Academy Awards, the Super Bowl, and NCAA March Madness, the company achieved double digit annual retail growth. The company’s 2007 advertisement during Super Bowl XLI, was named one of the Top 10 Super Bowl ads of all time.
Michael is married to Dr Wendy Berry Mendes, Professor of Psychiatry at the UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences, and the Endowed Sarlo/Ekman Chair of Emotion and Psychology. He has an MBA from UCLA’s Anderson School of Management.