“When we placed the first concrete floor for you back in 1982, you were still walking around with your stroller”, Leen Verkade, of Verkade Beton, tells Jan van Geest with a proud smile on his face. Jan is now a father of four and owner of Esperit Plants. This year, the company moves to a new building in the Dutch town of ’s-Gravenzande in order to provide shelter for the company divisions; Youngs (breeding) and Elements (creative concepts). This new location on the Wouterseweg also requires a new test garden and a show greenhouse.
Jan grew up among the young pepper and tomato plants and started to work on his own business 25 years ago. “I followed in my family's footsteps, with a side hustle involving breeding houseplants. For this reason, I had a concrete floor placed by Verkade Beton, after which it didn’t take me long to start focusing solely on the breeding of houseplants.”
The years went by, and the company has seen massive growth, besides the ficus that are being sold under the Esperit Ficus label and the greenery plants under the Esperit Greenss label they now also sell blossoming plants under the Esperit Bliss label. Esperit also takes care of the breeding and also keeps the presentation of the final product in mind. “We have long since stopped just merely breeding plants and are also taking care of the final product as well as the different concepts for both consumers and companies.”
In order to be prepared for the future, they thought it was time to invest in a new building. The choice to go with Verkade Beton was quickly made, since Marco van Vianen has also returned to the concrete company since the 1st of February 2019. Marco confirms the close ties between the two: “Jan and I have known each other for thirty years and back when we first met, we often went out to have some fun in the pub.”
When Leen, Marco, and Jan ran into each other again at HortiContact, they were quick to come to an agreement. “Tuesday we ran into each other, and by Thursday we had our agreement. The people at Verkade took care of the permits, the demolition of the house that used to be in the location, and the placing of the ebb and flood floors in the greenhouse”, Jan sums up.
Double parking spaces
There were a lot of things that needed to be changed in regards to the location on the Wouterseweg. Marco: “You are not allowed to turn your car around on the Wouterseweg these days, so we needed to adjust the location in such a way that it would be possible for everyone to park their car and for truck drivers to turn their trucks around.” Trucks that help them ship the, by now, 100,000 young plants and 20,000 houseplants to the right destination.