This past Friday, we had a retirement luncheon for Jesus Lopez. Jesus had been with Kitayama Brothers for 25 years and he was the grading room manager.
Over the past 25 years, Jesus has ridden the roller coaster ride called the flowers business with Kitayama Brothers. 25 years ago, Kitayama Brothers Watsonville was the largest rose grower in the USA with 2 million sq. ft. rose. Today, we don’t grow a single stem of roses.
Jesus has seen the transition from roses into what we are today, a large grower of a variety of cut flowers: oriental and asiatic lilies, gerbera daisies, lisianthus, snapdragons, gardenias, iris, stock, mini callas and a few other crops.
The challenge for Jesus was to learn the standards for grading a variety of different flower crops. Management often takes it for granted that staff will adapt to changes we implement and Jesus has always been able to train his crew to take care of whatever new crop we sent to the grade.
We also must recognize the flower holidays that Jesus and his crew had to worked weekends and into the night to get the extra flowers graded for our customers.
We want to thank Jesus for his work and wish him well as he moves to Gardnerville in Nevada.
30 Year Employees
At the same luncheon, we took a picture of 6 employees who have been with Kitayama Brothers Watsonville over 30 years. They include Guadalupe Melendrez, Isidoro Mendoza, Manuel Cruz, Heriberto Garcia, Alfredo Ramirez and Jose T. Zavala.
Hard work and flower knowledge was how we grew great flowers and grew our company over the last 30 years. The reason we still grow flowers in the USA is because our staff still carries on the tradition of hard work and flower knowledge from the old days.
These gentlemen continue to be the messengers of this ethic. Kitayama Brothers must continue to look forward, but we should not forget who helped get us here.