800 sausages. 720 chicken thighs. 700 employees. 180 pounds of Mann’s veggies. And 1 intern in a giant green snap pea outfit.
Those are just a few of the numbers behind the Mann Packing Annual BBQ that took place on Wednesday at our plant on Hansen Street. While a DJ spun tunes, employee volunteers helped grill, make salads, and serve each other lunch. It all happened again Wednesday evening for the night shift workers.
The most impressive numbers though, came during our recognition ceremony. It’s our tradition every year to present longevity awards to those who have worked at Mann’s for 20 years or longer. Get this: 109 people have worked here 20-29 years. 13 people have worked here 30-39 years. And 3 people have been here 40 years and more.
In today’s gig economy, we think that’s pretty impressive. I sat down with a few employees celebrating their “Mann-iversary” and tried to get to the heart of what makes working here so special.
What’s the best part about working at Mann Packing?
Diana P, Sales. Mann’s Class of 1996: “I know people say this all the time, but it’s true. The people I work with in Sales, I love them all!”
Debbie T, Human Resources. Mann’s Class of 1986: “The people here are hard-working and kind, and the owners have worked hard to maintain a family-owned feeling.”
Ricardo R, Shipping. Mann’s Class of 1986: “Everyone from the line workers to upper management, we all appreciate what the other does. I’ve worked here since I was 19 years old, and I hope to retire here. It’s a really good place.”
What is it that makes Mann Packing special?
Diana: “That it feels like one big family”
Debbie: “The owners really promote a sense of work-life balance. They’re family owned, and family friendly. They really get that.”
Ricardo: “ We really are a family.”
What has changed the most over the years?
Diana: “The diversity of our products. When I started, we had Broccomole as our one “specialty” item. Now, wow – we have so many great items, and they just keep getting better.”
Debbie: “Back in the day, we were still hand-bunching broccoli and loading it into railroad cars on the side of our shipping dock. Now the machinery, the maintenance, the number of skus….it’s pretty amazing.”
Ricardo: “We’re still doing the same things, it’s just how we’re doing it. It was busy back then but nothing compared to now.”
Any favorite memories?
Diana: “My co-worker tried to scare me once by jumping out at me in the kitchen. He hit his head on the door and ended up lying flat on his back, moaning. It wasn’t funny at the time, but every time I think about it now it cracks me up.”
Debbie: “All of our team sports and parties. It’s great to be able to bond with people outside the workday.”
Ricardo: “Friday afternoons. Sharing a drink with co-workers on the back of a pickup truck after working hard all week.”