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Hempery relocation: How to

Hempery growing pains

In 2022 we made the call to move KANAPU Hempery into a larger premises. Being a start-up business means crucial decisions need to be made frequently. The timing of these decisions have a critical impact on growth and ability to execute. Having experienced growing pains since 2018, we now required more production floor space. The increase in new capabilities coming online, warehousing for our increasing seed stock off each harvest as well as cool storage for finished goods.
We have become masters of minimalism. A super power we intend to carry into our new premises, to ensure we run a lean yet smart ship with the ability to flex as required. Hence this brought forth the to do list of tasks we needed to complete prior to the big move and the ambitious timeframe…

4 weeks Isaac and Simon said. Four weeks to produce enough stock for not only a contingency down period of our production lines and relocate KANAPU Hempery. Throw in a hemp seed milk commercial trial in the middle of that four week period for a change of scenery and well, one can only imagine.

How to relocate a Hempery

With our feet firmly planted on the ground, we reconsidered the potential repercussions relocating could have on a growing business reliant on vertical integration. Batch processing. Known for producing fresh batches of product regularly. Prior to dismantling our lines, we needed to produce enough product to see us through to the other side of the relocation. Forecasting quickly became our friend and so too did our team’s ability to have all hands on deck.

Kaimahi. We run a lean ship here at KANAPU. Did we have enough boots on the ground to achieve what we had set out to do in four weeks? Would being masters of minimalism come back to bite us or could we find it within ourselves, our whānau, our community to steer clear of the clutches of burnout? Lastly, logistics. We needed a clear four week relocation plan from production and dismantling through to relocation and reassembly.

The good, bad & the ugly

Across the next few weeks the good, the bad and the ugly reared their heads at any opportunity. Week one saw half of Team K go down with the fierce winter flu which in turn halted production schedules and forced time to be put into logistical mahi instead. We ticked off the final team member to gently tap the top of our ducting system with the forklift which provided a welcome laugh to the middle of a hectic week. And whānau arrived in the form of Isaac’s Dad, David, for the week to lend a hand and play a critical role in production and on the tools. Where would we be without our whānau; He tini ngā whetū engaro i te kapua iti | Many stars cannot be concealed by a small cloud.

Enter week two, another forklift mishap and a commercial upscale hemp milk trial. As the gentle hum of our production lines and powerful voice of Rob Ruha rang out across the Hempery, the other half of our team directed their attention to final secret recipe tweaks of our hemp seed milk.

Week three knocked and we were in the thick of it. This week involved the most varied activity. Bottling, dismantling machinery and palletising finished product. Throw in another forklift mishap for good measure and we hit the trifecta.

Precision and perseverance

As week four neared it became clear that dismantling our lines was a process of precision. Carefully measuring distances between lines before loading safely onto flatbed trucks for transporting to our new Hempery. We felt like NASA as our large cyclones were relocated, drawing the attention of onlookers on their journey across town. Wednesday morning came and went. With the final large items relocated and by 7 o’clock, there were two more business days to go. Or for those who can relate, just two more days of access to critical tools and services. It would then be up to employing the familiar kiwi ingenuity we have come to know all so well.

Saturday and Sunday were nothing but a hoot. Our whānau was out in full force. Dismantling wiring and cables, re gibbing and plastering previous ducting holes and carrying out final cleaning tasks. The playlist contained nothing but Aotearoa’s finest artists. Blasting at full bore, to keep morale high and drown out the sounds of our own attempts to hold a note.

On Sunday evening we stood on what had been KANAPU Hempery’s production floor for the past four years. We let the feelings of emotion wash over us, what an adventure we are on.

It was the end of our beginning, and the start of the next chapter…



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