Friday, January 31, 2014

KB Valentine’s Report 2014

Another Valentine
Like rings on a tree, everyone in the flower business marks the passing of time by how many Valentine Days they have endured.  To be honest, we need a jolt of flower action to get the juices flowing.  Nothing does it like a busy Valentine’s holiday. 

Jan 31, 2014: KB Pre-Valentine’s Report Video (HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR)
Here is a short video regarding Valentine preparations at KB Greenhouse in Watsonville.  The weather has been incredible and our head grower, Jimmy Zheng has done a good job keeping the crops on time.  We hear that several other growers might be early since the weather has been sunny every day - we need rain!  

A rare treat on this video is watching Jimmy harvests iris, it’s the first time I have seen it. 

Then you can see and hear the power team of Rich Dallimonti and Tony Scalisi tells you what we have and don’t have at KB.  We are very busy shipping between Feb 3rd and Feb 7th, but don’t hesitate to call if you are looking for beautiful California flowers.

Monday, January 27, 2014

KB Bouquet Division

Kitayama Brothers has finally diversified into selling directly to mass merchandisers.  

For most of our history we have relied on wholesale florists as our main market.  We still hold a large percentage and have great relationships with the leading wholesale florists in the US, but in order to increase our flower production - we had to be able to increase our customer base.  

KB hired Karen Nakamura 2 years ago, she has many years of working for and selling to mass merchandisers such as Safeway, Vons, Gelsons, Raleys, Krogers and other large retailers.  One of Karen’s challenges was to build a production team, and we are proud of the work she has done with her floor leader Wilbur Yam.  Here are pictures of the team ramping up to Valentine’s Day.

KB is working to build the right mix of wholesale florists, bouquet makers and large retailers to guarantee a bright future.  We plan to continue to increase our flower production, and being able to service all large sectors of the industry is a major part of this plan.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Walking for the Life

Kitayama Brothers has finished our first year on our WalkingSpree employee health program.  Our employees work hard and are the reason for our success.  We believe in programs to keep our employees healthy for their good and definitely for Kitayama Brothers good. 

WalkingSpree tracks our employees’ steps and we award prizes for reaching higher step limits.  In the 2013 year end drawing among the 10 steppers, here are the four winners:

Congratulations to the 2013 WalkingSpree final drawing winners!!!

Keep on stepping!!!

Jose Lois Orozoco  $250.00 Walked 3,793,729 steps

Antonio Perez $125.00 Walked 3,861,709 steps

Juana Rubalcava $75.00 Walked 4,979,735 steps

Vicente Reyes $50.00 Walked 5,192,716 steps

Monday, January 13, 2014

Pre-Valentine's Day Greenhouse Report

January 8th, 2014 Sunset Beach, CA 65 degrees…Looking Good!
Another nice January day at KB Farms.  I took a quick walk through the greenhouse to check the Valentine’s production.   According to our grower Jimmy Zheng, everything is on time and looking good.

Oriental Lilies:

The lilies are looking great, strong stems, good bud size with dark green foliage.  

We will have a good supply of every oriental but we added more Starfighters. 

So call your KB sales rep to add or book more fighters.  

Tulips and Iris:
The Valentine tulips are just starting to bud, and the timing might be a few days later than we wish, that means they will be fresher.  We had a great tulip crop last year, and we believe, we will have nicer tulips this year.  We did not produce a lot of iris because the bulbs were difficult to get, so we might be sold out. Please call KB to inquire about our iris and tulips.

Lisianthus, Snaps and Stock:
Lisianthus cannot be cropped for Valentine’s Day, but the weather has been nice, we believe we will have more than last year.  We did increase snaps because the demand at Valentine continues to rise.  We will have some stock but not in huge numbers.

Stemmed Gardenias:
We want to thank J Schwanke for saying that KB stemmed gardenias were his favorite flower.  As you can see in the photo, we have doubled our gardenia production.  Gardenias are very hard to propagate and there are no cutting suppliers, so we have to create our own. 

Artemio Garcia who takes care of the gardenias has done a great job making new plants. Try them yourself.  Also, make sure to visit to order your “Flowers and Fun” book by J.