NL: “A lot has changed since the years Mark and I took over this company”

Staff
7 Min Read

The history of nursery Grootscholten, partner of Van der Plas, goes back to 1944. Koos Grootscholten, the grandfather of current owners John and Mark Grootscholten, ran a nursery together with his brother Leen. After a bomb blast causes considerable damage to their nursery, both brothers decide to go their separate ways. Not much later, Koos buys for 324 guilders the land and building that will form the basis of the Grootscholten nursery we know today. Here, Koos and his wife work together growing grapes, among other things.

Africans
From the moment Koos’ sons are old enough, they help their father in the greenhouse. One of them is Hans Grootscholten, the father of later owners John and Mark. “At a young age, my father used to grow some African begonias (tagetes) in the grape greenhouse,” says John Grootscholten, co-owner of Grootscholten Nursery. “He did that in a spot in the greenhouse where there was some space left. Occasionally, the Africans joined the barge that took the crops to the flower auction to be sold. The good thing was that the African Marigolds also did well there. That was the beginning of bedding plants, where we grew some more luxurious flowers in the greenhouse.”

Family business
The success of bedding plants slowly expanded and after Hans took over the business from his father Koos, he decided to switch completely to growing bedding plants. As with the previous generation, Hans’ sons also help out in the greenhouse. This suits brothers John and Mark so well that they take over from father Hans in 1993. In 2017, Remy van der Knaap joins as a partner, having grown from a trainee to a valued employee and cultivation expert from 2002. “Remy’s joining reflects well how we are as a family business,” John explains. “The bond between all employees is very close and many people have been working here for a long time. For example, we still have a number of employees who have been working here for about 25 years.”

Changes
Another aspect that John says characterizes the atmosphere at Grootscholten Nursery is the tradition of having coffee and tea with all employees during the break. “A lot has changed since the years Mark and I took over this company, but we have always continued to have coffee and tea with all colleagues. I think that is also important for cohesion. Besides, my parents also still stop by every day.”

“As mentioned, things are also changing,” John continues. “For example, since my brother and I took over, we have switched to LED lighting and have been using geothermal heat to heat the greenhouses since 2017. We use sustainable raw materials that are reusable as much as possible. For pest control, we use natural enemies as much as possible to counter harmful insects. In this way, we are actively working on the best bedding plants with a low ecological footprint.”

Future
As owner and entrepreneur, John, together with his brother Mark and associate Remy, is also looking to the future. “We have now just expanded the nursery with a new location, which is right next to the existing greenhouse. We wanted to create extra space to offer larger quantities of the existing range while also expanding the assortment. In addition, my son Rick supports me and Mark in our operations. This allows him to grow and learn in practice quietly, so that he will be ready when he one day becomes co-owner of our company.”

Appointments
“Now that the expansion of our nursery is a reality, we are also working hard to further improve security of supply,” John continues. “We do this by making clear agreements with our customers at an early stage. Because we sit down with Van der Plas even before cultivation starts, we know exactly how much they expect to take. So we know exactly how much we need to grow in order to deliver the right quantities on time. That is not only nice for Van der Plas, but also for the florist who can then always buy in enough fresh bedding plants!”

Glee
Van der Plas’ webshop offers a varied range of bedding plants from Grootscholten Nursery. Think, for example, of colorful cyclamen in red, white, mixed colors, or other specials. But the beautiful osteospermum, calibrachoa, petunia, verbena, and lobelia are also part of the Grootscholten nursery’s range that you can order from Van der Plas. John himself is most a fan of the petunia and the hanging petunia. “These flowers have a beautiful, bright colour palette and bloom very ‘richly’. Like osteospermum and calibrachoa, they are very popular around Mother’s Day. The sun slowly starts shining then and customers then look for the cheerfulness and color that underline it.”

Colourful flowers
With Mother’s Day approaching and the sun starting to shine more often, now is the time to enrich your flower shop with the pointy petunias, dazzling osteospermums and distinctive calibrachos. Delight your customers with Grootscholten Nursery’s beautiful bedding plants from Van der Plas’ webshop. Order the most beautiful annual flowering bulbs in all colours of the rainbow immediately and give your customers a beautiful start to spring.

For more information:
Van der Plas
Tel.: +31 (0)71 4098999
[email protected]
www.vdplas.com

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