In 1945, brothers Tom and Ray Kitayama came to the San Francisco Bay Area, where they worked for the Mt. Eden Nursery and the San Lorenzo Nursery. After gaining invaluable training and experience at these two well-established East Bay nurseries, Tom and Ray were joined by their brothers, Kee and Ted. Together the four brothers started the Kitayama Bros. Nursery in Union City in 1948. By the late 1950s the Kitayama Bros. Nursery had 40 acres of flowers under glass and was the largest carnation grower in California. In the 1970s the Watsonville location was opened. Today the Kitayama Bros. Nursery in Watsonville is run by a new generation of Kitayamas. Through diversification and innovation the Kitayama Bros. Nursery has managed to remain one of the largest flower growers in the country.