Managing all things Kingsburg Orchards can be an arduous task but Robert Cepeda is the man we have entrusted with this responsibility because he has the answers. Robert has a long association with the Kingsburg family; he began working in the orchards during his summer vacations as a teenager before he went off to Cal Poly, with the intention of becoming a banker. When he returned to the valley after graduating from college, there were few jobs in banking and he opted to go to work full-time for the Jackson family in 1984. Now, twenty-eight years later, Robert is the General Manager.
In 1984, when Robert began his career here, there were only two pack styles (tray pack and volume fill), no inventory system, no computer and only a handful of employees. When you talk with him, he fondly recalls hand writing hundreds of pallets tags, bills of lading and taking inventory by hand, sometimes until well after midnight. With the innovative technology that has helped to increase efficiency and accuracy in packing, Robert most values the advanced technology of our sizing machines. He says our packers do a great job but the sizing really helps to have more uniform weights and a consistent box of product. Robert’s job may be a little easier because of the computers and an inventory system but he has been dealt other challenges. We now offer over seventy pack styles, from clamshells to specialized options and Robert has to field calls, requests and fun verbal jabs from over twenty sales staff.
Now, almost three decades later, he has done every position in the company except sales and says his favorite thing about working here is the satisfaction he gets from seeing a thousand bins of fruit come in from the fields and visibly watching the pile turn into boxes ready to be shipped in a single day’s work. Although Robert is dedicated to Kingsburg Orchards, most of his personal satisfaction comes from being a family man. Like most of the staff here, he is all about family! He is a loving husband of over twenty years and a proud father to two teenage girls accomplished in singing and swimming, enjoys the sweeter things in life like a “Sugarine” Nectarine and the Raspberry Jewel Pluot and is an avid golfer who recently shot a hole in one!