Your strawberries will probably are available in one of many 100-year-old Watsonville firm’s packaging

Take it rapidly

Now a fourth technology helps information Sambrillo Packing Firm, an organization that started with wood crates that Charles Sambrillo hand-packed for apple growers within the Pajaro Valley in 1923.

When Charles Sambrillo, the son of Croatian immigrants, first started working with apple growers within the Pajaro Valley to pack their items, he would set up wood crates by hand. A century later, his grandchildren proceed to develop the enterprise he began with new merchandise, new strains and a transfer to extra sustainable choices.

Charles’ great-granddaughter, Kirsten Sambrillo Clontz, is a part of the fourth technology of Sambrillo’s working at what later grew to become Sambrillo Packaging, alongside along with her brother. Her father, Mark, serves as CEO and president, following in his father’s footsteps. His brother Michael is co-owner.

Within the a long time since its starting, Sambrailo Packaging has grown to now serve a number of the world’s largest berry growers, with places in each California and Mexico. Throughout peak season, the corporate employs about 400 to 450 employees and has about 50 full-time staff, about three-quarters of whom reside in Santa Cruz County.

The corporate’s trays, oysters and baskets are distributed all through america and Mexico, then shipped domestically and internationally, in line with advertising and marketing director Sarah Lozano. Whereas berries account for about 80% of the enterprise, the corporate has additionally expanded into new areas comparable to mushrooms and row crops comparable to lettuce and different greens.

Charles Sambrillo began with wood crates, and the corporate later added corrugated cardboard trays and inexperienced mesh baskets which have grow to be virtually ubiquitous in terms of berries. Within the late Eighties, Clontz’s grandfather, Invoice Sambrillo, launched the business’s first plastic clamshell. In keeping with household lore, it was impressed partly by seeing plastic sandwich packaging on a airplane, in line with Klontz. Earlier than that, the corporate used paper pulp baskets that have been wrapped in plastic wrap and a rubber band.

Transition to sustainability

In 2017, Sambrailo launched ReadyCycle, a 100% recyclable, compostable, single-use packaging line constituted of cardboard and printed with plant-based inks as an alternative choice to plastic. Along with Packing ReadyCycle berries, the corporate now additionally has a line for tomatoes and mushrooms.

ReadyCycle Strawberry Basket.
ReadyCycle Strawberry Basket, a 100% recyclable and compostable single-use different to plastic from Sambrailo. credit score: Sambrillo packaging

Providing extra sustainable choices like this can be a massive focus for Sambrillo, Klontz mentioned, including that it is a fixed steadiness between contemplating what’s finest to guard the fruit and what may be performed to cut back the corporate’s carbon footprint.

Along with offering packaging supplies, Sambrailo additionally helps its clients with issues like stock administration and traceability (principally, this ensures that it is simpler to find out the place a person bundle finally ends up and the place it got here from).

The corporate’s adaptability and dedication to excellent customer support haven’t solely helped contribute to its longevity, however have additionally earned it accolades all through the product business. Not too long ago, Mark Sambrillo was named to the 2023 Packer 25, a rating of the most effective individuals in produce packaging compiled yearly by one of many business’s prime commerce publications.

Rooted within the household

Additionally important to the corporate’s success, in Klontz’s opinion, is the corporate tradition.

Klontz’s father had a rule that she and her brother needed to work not less than 5 years outdoors of the household enterprise, however she all the time knew she needed to return to the corporate, she mentioned. After attending faculty in Oregon, then spending six years working in recruiting and staffing in each IT and healthcare, she returned to the corporate her great-grandfather began a century in the past.

“I feel we do a reasonably good job of separating work and life and following the golden rule,” she mentioned. “I actually get pleasure from working with my brother and pop.”

From left: Eric Sambrillo, Kirsten Sambrillo Klontz, her son Porter Klontz, employee Bruno Garcia, and CEO Mark Sambrillo at the company's Family Day picnic in October.
From left: Eric Sambrillo, Kirsten Sambrillo Klontz, her son Porter Klontz, worker Bruno Garcia, and CEO Mark Sambrillo on the firm’s Household Day picnic in October. credit score: Sambrillo packaging

The core of the corporate’s success, in Klontz’s opinion, is its company tradition — which incorporates the loyalty of its staff. One worker, Tony Cadente, retired only a few years in the past after 54 years with the corporate. He was featured in a video celebrating the corporate’s a centesimal anniversary.

“We now have staff who’ve been with us for 30, 40, even 50 years,” she mentioned. “They really feel like household and that is why they’ve stayed so lengthy. Household is a very powerful factor, and that basically magnifies all through the corporate.”

Do you’ve got something to say? Inside our insurance policies, Lookout welcomes letters to the editor from readers. Pointers right here.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply