20 June 2012

Rumiano Cheese Family Spotlight

Written by Owen Rumiano, Posted in Our People

Meet Enrique Leal

Rumiano Cheese Family Spotlight

It's that time again! This week, the spotlight is on another employee that has been with Rumiano Cheese for over 20 years. Our focus is on Crescent City's Enrique Leal and his 23 year career with the Rumiano Cheese Company Family.

Rumiano Cheese Blog: What is your job title and what do you do at Rumiano Cheese Co.?

Enrique Leal: I am the Production Manager, and besides planning, supervising shipping our daily production, I also need to be checking and maintaining a very close eye on all my ingredient supply inventory of all that we need, to be able to keep making our excellent product!

RCB: Do you have kids? Are you married? Where are you from originally?

EL: I am married to my lovely wife Connie for 27 years, we have 3 wonderful kids, Montzerrat, Enrique Alonzo and Marcela. I'm originally from Santa Anita, Jalisco Mexico.

RCB: How long have you been working at Rumiano Cheese Co.?

EL: I have been working at Rumiano Cheese Co. for 23 years. Who brought me to Crescent City was my wife, (sic) after we were thinking and talking for a long time the options for me to find a job in USA -- since her family was living in Crescent City for a long time -- I thought, ok let's give it a try and after the long journey of moving to a different country for me was kind of hard at the beginning but I survived it.

RCB: What brought you to Crescent City? And how did you end up working at the cheese factory?

EL: After 3 long months of looking for a job and doing odd jobs; like helping paint and remodel a house or do some yard work, [even] working at a fishery (smelly), and checking my job application at the cheese plant. Finally my effort to try to find a steady job was here [and] one of the guys (Ernesto) who worked at the plant called my house one night and told me "If you want to work at the cheese plant you better be there at 4:00 AM." And guess what? I'm still here!!

RCB: What aspect of your job do you like the best?

EL: What I like best of the many things that my job brings me, I can say, is the opportunity to help others. Especially my co-workers either in the office, production, packaging, shipping, etc. But my main challenge is to try to help to maintain a good relationship between all the employees in the plant. Regardless of the positions that everybody is working in, my goal is to make conscience to them of the importance that everyone of us has in keeping a good job environment because it also will reflect in the final product.

RCB: Working 6 days a week doesn't leave much time for relaxing, what have you found that brings you the most R&R on your days off?

EL: Working 6 days a week sometimes doesn't give you much time off to relax, but once you are back home everyday and being busy with the different chores that we have at home, like working in the yard, helping cook, walking the dogs or playing with them, checking with everyone in the family, having dinner together every night that makes your day (sic) definitely relaxing. Also when we don't have rainy evenings I like to ride my bike or do some exercise to maintain better health. (See, there is time to relax regardless of working 6 days a week).

RCB: What is your fondest memory of working at the cheese factory?

EL: Being an "old timer" at work I remember that sometimes our floor manager use to give us a very hard time during and after production. At the end of our week on Saturday, some of us made a plan to get him "showered" while we were washing and rinsing the floors. We use to plan that when he came and told somebody that he was going home the one with the hose had to get him wet, pretending that it was an accident and we would get our fun time. Good thing that it is over, otherwise now I might be the one going home all wet.

RCB: What's your favorite cheese and why?

EL: My favorite cheese is Dry Jack. Since I started working here it was the first type of cheese that I learned how to make it. It's made by rolling it into the shape of a soccer ball, then pressing it overnight and the next day unwrapping it and letting it rest in cold, salted brine water for 2 nights. After that we ship it to Willows for aging. Then wait and let it age for at least 1 year (sic) before being able to have a piece of it. That's why it is one of my favorite cheeses.

I'm very happy and pleased to have found this job and to have the opportunities that the Rumiano Family provided for me and my family.

Rumiano Cheese Company would like to thank Enrique and is proud to have team members that have such inspiring stories of hard work and success. We will uncover more in the future months to come with our team member spotlight.

About the Author

Owen Rumiano

Owen Rumiano

Born and raised in Willows, California, Owen is a fourth-generation Rumiano. Residing in San Francisco, Owen calls on stores throughout the Bay Area and southern peninsula. 


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