A belated Happy Halloween to all. I hope the holiday was filled with more treats than tricks.
It always seems to me that as soon as we turn off the porch lights and blow out the candle in the last jack-o-lantern, there’s a change in the air. I can almost feel the transition the whole country makes from fall flowers – so natural and gorgeous in their own right -- to the more festive and a little fancier holiday crops. Once we hit Nov. 1, it’s all about the party-filled, family-focused events that characterize the last two months of the year. It’s our passion here at Dos Gringos to remind the world that every event, every gathering, every gift gets better with flowers. It’s our obsession to make flowers from Dos Gringos better than anyone else’s.
Thanksgiving is huge for us, of course. Aaron Motola and his team checked in on several of our fields last week to secure our final Thanksgiving forecast and harvest projections. Aaron provides a brief update below. Our Sunflower numbers are tracking quite well as I write this newsletter, but an abnormal amount of rain this fall did put an early end to Pumpkin Tree. Eucalyptus and Sage are in ample supply and look fantastic. We’ll have all hands on deck leading up to Nov. 24, so please let us know what you need and how we can help.
I am very excited about our Dos Gringos Metallics Collection for December. Our color-enhance team has poured a lot of hard work and creativity into this line, and it shows. The whole line really sets itself apart, and it’s one of those important, innovative things we continue to do to improve the customer experience and to keep consumers coming back for more. If you haven’t seen a metallic twist in an arrangement or bouquet, I encourage you to have a look -- and to share the joy with your end users!
On a less-than-joyful note, the Dos Gringos family will say good-bye at the end of this month to Kevin Romani, our faithful and fearless Supply Chain Director. Kevin came aboard in 2002 as an intern while attending the University of San Diego. He hit the ground sprinting, and has given nothing less than 100 percent every day since. Honestly, he’s one of the best hires I’ve ever made. Kevin will have great success in his next adventure, and he will always have a family here at Dos Gringos. He shares his wit and his hard-earned wisdom below. Thank you, Kevin, for all you’ve done for this company and for the industry.
Let the holidays begin!
President & Chief Gringo
Kevin Romani: Parting Thoughts, Final Shots…
A friend of mine called out of the blue to ask me to help establish a satellite office in San Francisco for Dyn, his fast-growing technology company based in Manchester, N.H. Dyn (http://www.dyn.com) sells managed DNS and email solutions to companies with web stores and heavy internet traffic. Dyn’s customers include Facebook, Twitter, and Overstock.com. I wasn’t interested at first, because I very much enjoy what I do and everyone I work with at DG. As my girlfriend and I considered it further, however, we determined that moving to San Francisco would be great for her career in the health care field; a growth opportunity for me in a new and fast-growing industry; and a wonderful chance to be closer to my family. There were many conversations and several sleepless nights, but we believe this is the right move for us.
Q: What did you enjoy most in your time at Dos Gringos?
The people. I have met and worked with amazing people, not just here at Dos Gringos but throughout the floral industry. Trucking company personnel, farmers, grocery/floral buyers, wholesalers, floral designers, hard goods suppliers – I’ve worked with all of them and more, and I’ve loved every minute of it. When I started here as a college intern, I had no idea how complex, fast-paced and interesting this industry could be. So many things have to go right for the end user to have a wonderful experience and it gets complicated. I have great respect for the hard work and dedication each person puts in to make the whole industry run. We’re an interesting, hardworking bunch, and I’m proud to have worked with such neat people.
Q: Anything you WON’T miss?
Mother Nature related issues, crops that fail without any kind of warning and the endless challenges that come with having to get 100 out of 100 things right for the end user to enjoy that amazing experience. That said, a week or so out, I’m sure I’ll miss the constant engagement and problem-solving that go with this gig!
Q: What have you learned that will be valuable in the next chapter of your life?
Resiliency and the ability to separate emotions from problem solving. When something goes wrong, it’s very natural to be emotionally attached to outcomes and to all the work that’s been done. But emotion gets in the way of solving the problem and making sure it doesn’t happen again. There will always be issues and challenges; it’s how we respond to them that determines our success!
Q: What excites you most about the future?
I’m really looking forward to experiencing a new industry and living in a new city, closer to my family. My entire adult life has been spent working in the flower industry and living in San Diego, so it will be an interesting change of pace.
Q: In the spirit of Thanksgiving, what are you most thankful for as 2011 comes to a close?
I’m most thankful for the experiences I’ve had and the people I’ve met at Dos Gringos. I wouldn’t change anything in my time spent here because I’ve taken away so many amazing life lessons. I’ve experienced successes and failures and learned so much from the people I’ve met, whether it be from Jason or from Sixto Juarez, our packer with the longest tenure. It’s been an amazing ride. I feel fortunate for all of it!
by Aaron Motola, Director of Procurement
The team and I spent much of last week visiting fields and talking with each foreman about a variety of topics. A couple items to call your attention to:
- Many of you are excited to get your hands on Sunflowers with really big heads. Though we’re still very much in the trial phase, I am happy to report that we do have a small amount of our Sunsplash variety for show and tell, and we are optimistic about quality. Interested? Please ask your Business Development Manager.
- How do we get the larger head size when temperatures cool off in late fall and winter? We’re looking to wheat and cotton crops for ideas and best practices with regards to adding micro-organisms to the soil. This is a great learning experience for us, and we’re excited to see results in Jan/Feb.
- Weather patterns in general have not been favorable for Pumpkin Tree volume or fruit count. We are winding down production. Clover remains in terrific supply!
- There’s a different twist – think antique – to our Metallic Collection this year. We’ve expanded from natural metallics to tinted metallics. Don’t miss it!
- Cedar, Douglas Fir, and Princess Pine are on schedule and will be available for shipping the week of Thanksgiving.
- The greens for our Just Add Roses program are getting a lift this year with a more “Christmas-y” look and feel.
True to our pioneering spirit, we grew our first trial of Sunflowers this fall in the southern California desert near Palm Springs. We are constantly seeking out the best locations to overcome production challenges and meet the huge demand for Suns each fall.
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