“It’s not the Caviar business,” he said, “It’s the company business. People know the way I think. It’s everyone, from the highest manager all the way down.”
From two bonuses a year to an annual picnic at the company, Caviar said he treats his employees the way he wants to be treated, and they do the same thing back.
“It’s dedication, it’s love, it’s taking care of your employees,” Caviar said. “We do that. All the employees know that.”
But it’s a two-way street. If the company gets jammed with work, the employees are willing to put in 14 hours a day to take care of it. They say they’ll put in the hours anytime its needed for Caviar.
“Do they want to go home to their families? Absolutely,” he said. “But if you get in a bind, they’ll take care of you.”
“Eight years ago,” Caviar said, “I made one of the best decisions I’ve ever made in hiring Scott Danner.”
When Caviar hired Danner, he wanted to start stepping back from the company, bit by bit. Now that he’s 70, he wants to step back more, but it’s not easy.
“You can’t step back totally,” he said, “especially when you’ve worked that hard.”
The company still has his business strategy to build around. It’s not difficult to remember.
“Our whole thing is service, number one. Quality, number two. And price, number three,” he said. “We’re big on quality. It’s proven to be the right decision throughout the years.”
And spending money to make money?
“I’m all about that,” he said.
Liberty Fruit spent money to buy an old produce warehouse in 1994, where it now sits, and then spent more money to refurbish it. Then in 2007, it added a 9,000-square-foot processing plant expansion, which made it 13,000 square feet. In 2009, a 30,000-square-foot repacking and storage expansion paved the way for the company to grow to 162,000 square feet.
And, thanks to being a family business, decisions are quick.
“The big expansion was basically an hour’s discussion between Arnold, his son Allen and me,” Danner said.
The company isn’t sinking into complacency, however. Caviar and Danner mention the possibility of a second 30,000-square-foot expansion.
And then there’s Caviar’s granddaughter, 9-year-old Morgan, to name something after.