Shipping and Packing Manager

Company Overview

Orta Kitchen Garden

Orta Kitchen Garden Website
Orta’s mission is to help people grow their own plants from seeds, confidently and successfully. Our unique self-watering pots take the guesswork out of watering seedlings.

Gardening, and starting seeds in particular, reconnects humans with the magic of nature. At Orta, our deeper mission is to promote human and environmental health by helping more people become gardeners. We manufacture terracotta self-watering pots in our Berkeley studio with low energy processes and non-toxic materials. We package and ship all our products in 100% plastic-free packaging.

Orta is a company in transition right now. We’ve worked through the pandemic with a skeleton crew to allow for social distance in our old Oakland studio. We moved to North-West Berkeley in February. This spring we’re in a beautiful, airy new space, and rebuilding the team basically from the ground up.
This is an opportunity to help build a company based on shared values of environmental responsibility, operational excellence, and community mindedness. We welcome all races, genders, and backgrounds, as long as you’re ready to commit to growing a thriving, healthy business.

The Opportunity: Shipping and Packing Manager
Our first hire in the new space, the shipping and packing manager will be in charge of everything related to shipping, receiving and packaging. This will eventually become a supervisory position, but will initially include both managerial duties and the shipping and packing work itself.

Job Categories

  • Hours: Full-time
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  • Location: East Bay
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Job Duties

The ideal candidate will take pride in making Orta’s packing and shipping truly excellent. You will feel great satisfaction in seeing your work areas neat and tidy, knowing that you’ve set them up with careful attention to process, ergonomics and efficiency. When customers open your (and your team’s) boxes, they will feel your attention to detail.

You will continually seek to improve shipping and packing, tackling projects such as a deep analysis of shipping costs, rate negotiations with vendors, and Kanban inventory management systems. Some people may see shipping as a clock-in clock-out day job, but you see it as a complex ecosystem of moving parts, with infinite possibilities for innovation to save labor, delight customers, and use fewer natural resources.

Initial job duties:
• Pack and ship all online and wholesale orders.
• Work regular hours (somewhat flexible), opening and closing the shop, to receive deliveries easily, and manage local customers’ in-person order pick ups.
• Communicate with customers about order status occasionally.
• Pack all products (finished pots plus bulk seeds and soils) into retail packaging.
• Keep shipping and packing areas neat and clean.
• Keep inventory area neat, clean and properly organized.
• Take inventory weekly, and update inventory on website.
• Share in communal cleaning duties.
• Purchase all packaging materials and supplies.
Future job duties as the role grows:
• Establish, document, and refine standard operating procedures for shipping and packing team to follow.
• Maintain Kanban system for inventory management. (Kanban is a hybrid storage / ordering system.)
• Manage kai zen process for making shipping and packing seamless. (Kai zen is the Toyota “constant improvement” process.)
• Manage shipping and packing team schedule.
• Supervise shipping and packing team.
• Keep shipping software updated, current, and connected to other systems – working with database manager.
• Prepare monthly reports on shipping costs.
• Maintain relationships with shipping providers and negotiate rates.

Job Requirements

• Physically able to move ~25 lb packages easily and regularly, and ~ 60 lbs occasionally
• Work on your feet for most of the day some days.
• Strong written and verbal English for communication with customers and suppliers.
• Strong and flexible computer skills. Excel and Word at a minimum, plus curiosity and facility with browser based services. You will be working within the Shopify e-commerce platform along with connected shipping software.
• You must like to work and move quickly, precisely and carefully. • You must have an attitude of constant improvement, making every package and every process just a bit better than the last.
• You must be interested in processes: Developing and refining procedures to make them efficient, seamless, and elegant.
• People skills: You will represent the company to customers who pick-up online orders in-person, and eventually you will manage other team members.
• You must like organizing and being organized.

Skills/Experience Preferred

• Gardening experience
• Bi-lingual Spanish
• Experience managing others
• Retail or customer service experience
• Experience in a production environment
• Office or administration experience


$18 / hr. to start, then rising after initial 90 probationary period



Schedule and number of hours is somewhat flexible, but will be approximately 9-5, Monday - Friday. Full-time position.

Resume Required


Cover letter Required


Other Application Requirements

Covid safety note: Our workspace is a large, airy warehouse with roll-up doors on both ends, with a maximum of 4 people working in 1700 sq ft, though it’s usually one or two people. Our air circulation is such that you might call it a wind-tunnel when all the doors are open. (You can also close one door for ventilation without gusting wind.) We require masks at all times when more than one person is in the space. The all-gender bathroom is private to Orta only.