The company started as an agricultural concern, growing and harvesting Chinese cabbages
and melons. In 1982, Sanwa had 5 full-time employees and 50 full-time employees
in 1992. By 2001 Sanwa employed 180 full-time employees. At the end of 2002,
Sanwa's employees numbered 230.
Tony saw the wisdom of vertical integration, from both economic and marketing standpoints,
and moved toward that goal steadily. Connie worked at obtaining sources for financing
and negotiated rates and terms.
The farm in Canada was still being operated by a partner, and much of the product
from Florida was used to supply their Canadian customers during the winter months.
As the farm acreage grew, the Leungs approached the chain stores with their product.
By 1992, Sanwa had opened their own nursery to grow starter plants. As a way to keep
employees busy year-round, herbs were grown to fill in the slow months. That
product line eventually became a high-volume sales item. A fleet of delivery
vehicles was built, assuring better control of temperatures through distribution,
and therefore better quality product. A recently purchased packinghouse was doubled
in size. Distribution centers were opened in Miami and Atlanta.