Written by Jose Herrera
If you have ever walked into our Kingsburg Apple Packing facility, you may have noticed a set of windows which looks down onto the whole operation, which in my opinion looks like a “Skybox”. This season we had two new guys handling the operation of the packing facility, Donny and Danny Caggianelli.
These guys might have been new to making the actual decisions but in no way are they new to Kingsburg Apple. Danny C. has been with Kingsburg Apple since 1998 starting off on the tag station and palletizing. Donny C. has been with Kingsburg Apple since 2000 and was a palletizer when he first was hired. It was time to get to know these guys a little more so I asked a few questions.
What do you enjoy about your job?
Donny C. - Every day is different from the previous and working with the people here makes it feel less like work.
Danny C. - Working with GREAT people
What is one of your most memorable experiences while working at Kingsburg Apple?
Donny C. - One day while running cases through the sticker machine 1/10 of the cases were missing a piece of fruit. After about the 5th case with a missing piece of fruit the line supervisor (a Jr high teacher in the off season) started to investigate why there was missing fruit. He went around asking the guys and with fear of being fired one of the guys answered, “Sorry teacher, I like the Mango Tango”. This guy had been stock piling the fruit as the cases went by him.
Danny C. - The day Marcelo Solis made me put a pallet into the racks in the pre-cooler and then pull it back out hours later and load it into the trailer of a truck. I had never loaded the racks or a truck and drove very little forklift; which is what made it a memorable experience for me. It was one of those sink or swim moments for me.
What is your favorite piece of fruit and variety that you pack? What do you enjoy about it?
Donny C. - It’s a tie between Black Velvet Apricots and Red Phoenix Pluot. I like the Black Velvet Apricot because it is sweeter than any other variety of apricot I’ve eaten. As for the Red Phoenix, it is one of the sweetest pieces of fruit around with its unique flavor that tells you are eating something special.
Danny C. - A cold Honey Gold Apple Pear with its almost tropical taste and a Flavor King Pluot which is as aromatic as it is sweet.
There are more things that separate these two than just one letter in their names. The Caggianellis worked their way up through Kingsburg Orchards, which has prepared them for the intricacies that the job entails - from making decisions on pack styles to understanding the many varieties Kingsburg Orchards offers. Kingsburg Orchards is fortunate to have these two guys on staff.
Thank you, Caggianelli Boys for all you do.