Establishment of the Yoshimi & Grace Shibata Family Fund
Last October, our family, company and the floral industry lost an industry icon – Shimi Shibata, the owner of Mt Eden Nursery Co. (Now Mt Eden Floral Co.) He was 100 years old. Shimi is survived by his wife of nearly 70 years, Grace, and their three children, Naomi, Robert, and Michael and their respective families.
Yoshimi & Grace Shibata
At the age of 31, Shimi became the president of Mt. Eden Nursery, a position he held for 55 years. With Grace by his side, he went on to lead Mt. Eden Nursery through accelerated phases of growth, expansion and vertical integration. Shimi’s son, Rob, and grandson Alex continue Mt Eden’s legacy into its fourth generation.
An acknowledged floral industry visionary and leader, Shimi served on the AFE Board of Trustees, as President of the Wholesale Florists & Florists Suppliers Association, and on the boards of nearly every national floral industry organization. Shimi was inducted into the SAF Hall of Fame in 1976, and most recently received CalFlowers’ Distinguished Service Award in 2015.
In 2006, Shimi published his autobiography: “Across Two Worlds: Memoirs of a Nisei Flower Grower.” Not to be outdone, in 2014, Grace published her biography, “Bend with the Wind: the Life, Family, and Writings of Grace Eto Shibata”.
We created a video to honor Shimi and Grace’s legacy of giving back to the floral industry. It also tells us the reason that the ” Yoshimi and Grace Shibata Family Fund” was established.
Yoshimi Shibata: A Modern Day Samurai
With several generous contributions from the Mt Eden companies and the Shibata family, then bolstered by gifts from friends and industry members, this fund has reached more than $200,000. The earnings from this fund will be used to fund floral research projects and industry internships through AFE. Shimi and Grace can continue giving back to the industry they loved so much through the establishment of this fund.