No small company can grow or be successful without staff to back them up along the journey, and Kiwi is no different.
Many of Kiwi’s employees have been post-secondary students who’ve worked there for the summers but ultimately chose to continue following their passions into industries other than landscaping. Although they didn’t choose to remain in the industry, many of these student learned valuable skills working at Kiwi that they were able to take with them into other jobs and industries. One such past employee couldn’t help but jump out of his vehicle in his pilot’s uniform onto the meridian where Kiwi was planting, because he needed to tell Murray how much he valued the work ethic and skills he gained working there years ago. At the time while he worked for Kiwi, he thought it was just hard work, long days in the sun and a hard summer job, but now he saw how it shaped his work ethic.
Because of the seasonality and physical demands of the work, it has been difficult in the past to find long-term employees. Because of this, Murray and Alison have helped their long-term employees in ways many employers don’t. Some ways they’ve done this was by providing financial assistance in difficult times, helping international workers obtain their permanent residency, providing low-cost accommodations and even having some employees live with them in their family home.
Over the years, a handful of Kiwi employees with the inclination to “be in charge of their own destiny” have used the skills they’ve learned at Kiwi and have gone on to start their own businesses, often with the help of Murray and Alison along the way. Although it is hard to lose great employees, the Munro’s have always been supportive of previous employees who’ve gone on their own. Even now, they are helping one of their staff with the passion for baking. She now does all the baking for the nursery’s latest venture, the Caffeinated Kiwi.