Steele Brands Names Former Maggiano’s President CEO

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Kelly Baltes joins Steele Brands as CEO, overseeing growth of the company's concepts. Courtesy of Steele Brands.

Minneapolis-based Steele Brands, creator of the restaurant concepts Crisp and Green, Stalk and Spade and soon-to-open Paco and Lime, hired industry veteran Kelly Baltes as CEO.

He succeeds Steele Brands founder and CEO Steele Smiley, who will transition to executive chairman of the board of directors. Smiley founded Steele Brands in 2016 with the opening of the first Crisp and Green location in Wayzata, Minn., and led the company as it has grown to over 200 stores currently open or in development in 25 states.

Baltes brings 28 years of restaurant industry leadership experience, most recently serving as president of Maggiano’s Little Italy. Before that role, he held the CEO position at Good Smoke Restaurant Group, which merged with Jim ‘N Nick’s and Dinosaur Bar-B-Q. He also has served as CEO of Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen and held operations leadership roles at Darden Restaurants, including Red Lobster, Olive Garden and Pizzeria Uno.

In his new role, Baltes will be responsible for expanding Steele Brands’ footprint.

After founding the salad, grain bowl and smoothie brand Crisp and Green in 2016, Steele Brands launched the plant-based fast-casual burger concept Stalk and Spade last year. Paco and Lime, a Mexican kitchen, is slated to open in Q1 of 2023.

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