Mucci Farms' Team Reflects on Company Culture
KINGSVILLE, ON - Culture is everything. You may hear this phrase quite a bit across multiple industries and, in a business where we may spend most of our waking hours, it definitely makes sense. One of those companies striving to build its culture’s legacy is Mucci Farms. Mucci’s vision for building and elevating the culture at its company, is through an ongoing mission to find the perfect balance of maintaining a family-oriented work atmosphere while simultaneously being a rapidly growing organization in a multi-billion-dollar industry.
“Our culture is implemented both intentionally and unintentionally since our ownership grew up on the farm when the company was almost exclusively comprised of their family,” Emily Murracas, Director of Marketing, tells me. “We have been able to harness the type of culture that has kept hundreds of people here for several years, including a handful that have given us north of 25 years of service, some of whom can say that they played with our current owners on the farm when they were kids. This is only made possible by fostering a culture of job security, training and development, advancement, compensation and a leadership team that emphasizes inclusion and appreciation.”
The tenets of Mucci Farms’ culture are built around one of their five strategic pillars, a passionate team—a team of respectful, dedicated professionals driven to succeed through a genuine passion for the company and its work culture.
Recruitment is also part of this culture process with an emphasis on growth opportunities. Mucci Farms prides itself on offering “careers” rather than “jobs.” With Mucci Farms expanding so rapidly, the company has been forced to create and develop new roles and departments, now on both sides of the border with new facilities in Ohio and Texas.
Training and development of future leaders also strongly comes into play and of high importance for Mucci Farms, ensuring that growth is not happening at the expense of efficiency. “When staff sees internal growth, we believe this delivers a very strong message that elevates our work culture because it allows team members at all levels to see growth opportunities first hand,” says Carol Bendo, Human Resources Manager.
“With the amount of new roles and departments being created, ownership and senior management has taken an approach of empowerment for our team as opposed to one of micromanagement, which has allowed employees to develop their own roles and learn from their mistakes,” says Ajit Saxena, Digital Media Coordinator. “If you believe in a process, investment, or strategy that is beneficial for the company, you are always given an opportunity to make your case. When senior level management gives you this type of opportunity consistently, not only does it allow the culture to thrive, it gives team members a noticeable boost of self-confidence and passion for the company.”
To support the culture they are creating, the company also hosts two annual events to appreciate their staff and celebrate milestones achieved by members of the team. The Employee Appreciation Luncheon is a summer barbeque that not only includes their staff of 1200, but also extends an invitation to their families. The event includes games, prizes, face painting and a formal presentation of “years of service” awards to celebrate key employees that have given at least 5 years of service at Mucci Farms. A similar event is held at Christmas with a fully catered lunch for the entire staff and a fresh set of service awards.
With so many of Mucci Farms’ employees living in the community, the company is involved with many charitable events in the local area which are attended by several employees and their families. Many of their children attend local schools that the company regularly donates produce to throughout the school year for a variety of events. This creates an extra layer of pride within the Mucci Farms organization.
The employee satisfaction rate at Mucci Farms is high, if you ask the team. But why don’t we ask a few employees who span the company’s tenure from the new member just on board to that 15-plus years vet!
“I was drawn to the entrepreneurial spirit at Mucci Farms, a group of passionate owners that surrounded themselves with young, motivated professionals. The culture here is empowering, always looking for ways to make the business better. Since joining Mucci Farms, my initial perceptions have been affirmed, this is not a group that rests on what they’ve accomplished. They are constantly looking for ways to improve the business they run, the communities they are a part of and the corporate culture they’ve created," said Mat Walsh, CFO, who has been with the company for one year.
“Mucci Farms is the perfect backdrop for success in the very unique produce industry. We’ve got all the elements at arm’s length, the Buyers, Sales, Logistics, Grower Liaisons, Ad planners all working collaboratively. From the ownership down through the ranks, we hold the common goal of growth and success for the Mucci Farms group, which is what inspires our team," said Rob Medcalf, Director of Procurement, who has been with the company for 11 years. "I love my job and the industry, and have been involved in it for 35 years. “I have learned and I have earned” is my motto. I owe a ton of respect for the ownership team here at Mucci Farms who came from the ground up with nothing given to them. They promote good practices and have positive attitudes and the growth that I have seen in my tenure here is unbelievable and it’s all possible because the team remains banded together no matter the circumstances.”
“The Mucci Farms group continues to grow and constantly incorporates new technology and processes to improve our efficiency. This ever changing environment keeps me driven and after 17 years, I still get the opportunity to learn," said Sharron Barnier, VP Finance & Administration, who has been with the company for 17 years.
“A company that started with 8 employees is now at over 1200. Some of the employees here have been here for 30+ years, some of whom I grew up with. It’s just amazing to see what we went through to get this far. I consider you my family. I just want you to know that everybody is here equally, we all contribute equally and that’s the way we see you all. You’ve all made great contributions to Mucci Farms. Thank you and Congratulations," said Bert Mucci, CEO, at a Employee Appreciation Event.