Employee Spotlight: 10 Things to Know About Luis Tapia, Production Supervisor Value-Added
Luis Tapia, Production Supervisor Value-Added, has been working in the industry for over 26 years. Most recently, he joined the Ocean Mist Foods Team becoming Jose Ibarra’s (Operations Manager) right hand in leading the Value-Added production for Ocean Mist® Farms. Keep reading to learn more about his role at Ocean Mist Farms and his passions outside of work.
1. What has been your career path with Ocean Mist Farms?
I have been working in this industry for over 26 years. My first job was harvesting artichokes. From there, I did almost every job where artichokes were front and center, from artichoke packer, tractor operator, and harvesting machine operator. I have been working in the Value-Added room for over 11 years, most recently as a Production Supervisor.
2. What does your typical workday look like and what are you & your team responsible for?
My morning starts out pretty early, at 6:00 a.m. First and most importantly, is making sure that my team is equipped with all necessary gear and working machinery for the day. Next, I review all sales orders to make sure that all product needed is both available and has been inspected. Then, I oversee the production line processing and fulfilling each order. My team is responsible for guaranteeing good quality for each package packed on the processing line, this includes product quality, accurate packaging and labeling. We take great pride in making sure that Ocean Mist Value-Added products are the very best that they can be.
3. What are some challenges in your role?
A challenge specifically in Value-Added, is our team’s contribution in the development of new and competitive packaging that keeps the fresh cut vegetables fresh from Ocean Mist Farms to the ultimate customer's plate. Processing fresh vegetables is a daily operation that requires the very highest standards in efficiency, quality and safety. I am fortunate that Ocean Mist Farms makes sure that all employees are trained and equipped to perform at this very high level.
4. What internal departments and external people do you work with?
Value-Added is fortunate to have contact with almost the entire Ocean Mist Farms team, everything from Packaging & Sustainability, Marketing, Human Resources, Sales, Food Safety, Shipping & Receiving, and Operations. To be efficient in our day-to-day responsibilities, we work collaboratively as a team.
5. Describe your job in 3 words!
Responsibility, Quality, and Passion.
6. What is your best memory of Ocean Mist Farms?
That’s a funny story. In 1998, I was tasked with moving a harvesting machine to a different location and that meant driving this large machinery through town. I immediately said yes, “I’ll do it!” While “cruising” through Castroville, I noticed I was being watched by all the locals. Just imagine the size of this machine that I was lucky enough to drive! The local kids and their parents were looking on in amazement and started waving at me like as if I was a celebrity. I waved back and just for a brief moment I was in heaven. 😊 Who would of ever thought that such a large machine would be so exciting for everyone!
7. Are you involved in your community?
I support all organizations that my community supports. One of my favorite organizations is The Artichoke Festival for how it supports the local communities and causes. Another is the Annual Community Halloween “Fun Nite”, an event that brings the community kids together on Halloween Night.
8. What is the best advice you have ever received?
The best advice I have received is to acknowledge the value of every person you meet with fairness, empathy, and respect. I think that you can’t go wrong if you follow this piece of advice.
9. What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
I love spending time with my family, especially my granddaughter. We enjoy watching TV together whether it’s cartoons with my granddaughter Delilah or a telenovela (Spanish soap opera) with my wife. On the weekends, my family and I love going on bike rides and travel to places like Reno and Las Vegas for a quick mini vacation.
10. What’s the most interesting thing about you that most people would not know?
Most people don’t know I’m very passionate about cars. I am fascinated with working on engines, enjoying the vivacity from the roar. I take pride in working on my 1984 Buick Regal. 🚗
One final nugget: If you were a vegetable, what would you be and why?
Ocean Mist Farms Artichokes, of course! It’s a sturdy vegetable that can resist many adversities and climates.