Ad van Heesbeen has worked more than 25 years as entrepreneur of Asra Plant. When he met grower Robert Huijbregts about 13 years ago there was a good business click, and they decided to merge their nurseries. Ad mainly takes care of sales and Robert is focused on cultivation. Along with Ad's wife Annemarie, they are the driving force behind Asra Plants.
Ad with the new Mini Mels Blue
They grow partly on container fields and partly in open and closed greenhouses at various locations. They cultivate more than 200 varieties of garden plants and trees. In addition, they do a bit of their own breeding, which leads to new introductions on a regular basis.
A nice example of this is the new variety of the Cornflower Master Mels Blue: the Mini Mels and the Mega Mels. These species are named after the son of Ad and Annemarie, Melvin, who also had a significant role in the breeding process. Asra Plant will show these varieties to the general public for the first time at Plantarium.
Quality vs. price
Other species that the grower focuses on are garden plants such as euonymus, junipers, conifers, ilex, thuja, skimmia, photinia, rhododendron, viburnum and more. In fact, every garden plant is eligible for production, provided they find the desired match between price and quality: the quality that Robert demands and the financial picture that Ad finds workable. "After all, it is more important to get your margins than to be the cheapest," says Ad.
Sense of Nature
The collaboration runs like a well-oiled machine. Most illustrative is probably the fact that the strong sales brand "Sense of Nature
" has been built, which is now known by garden centers and consumers throughout Europe. In addition to quality, one of the factors that makes the brand a success is the contagious enthusiasm of Ad himself. He uses videos to get customers as enthusiastic about the plants as he is.
Finally, Ad emphasizes their collaboration with parties throughout the entire chain: "We build a consumer brand, but not without our exporters who distribute our plants to our customers throughout Europe. We want to supply everyone wherever we go, but in this respect logistics will always demand attention."
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