For several years, Van Hoekelen Greenhouses in Kline Township (PA) has been growing Christmas Cactus liners, Ivy, and 4 and 6 inch foliage in Apopka (FL) in a 6 acre greenhouse, and they recently got the opportunity to buy it. They named it VHG South, and with this purchase they are eager and able to grow in the future.
Larry Huff and Alexander van Hoekelen in traditional Dutch clothing at the PMA Fresh Summit in Anaheim (CA), in October 2019.
Reason for purchase
"We have been using this facility for several years and as the owner announced he wanted to step out of the business, he offered us the opportunity to buy it. For us, it fit in well to purchase the place", explains Alexander van Hoekelen of Van Hoekelen Greenhouses, who is very excited about their new purchase.
They bought the facility in October 2019 and they are currently in the transition process. So, what will change? "Not much in the short term", says Van Hoekelen. "We practically used almost the entire facility, the only change now is the change of ownership. All employees, equipment and products will remain. As owners, we will stay in Pennsylvania and we will communicate with the ones handling the day-to-day operation on a daily basis. And as it is not that far, we can visit the facility often as well. "
Growing in the future
In the long term, however, Van Hoekelen has big plans. "We are eager to expand, grow and use it as our home place in Florida, to continue operations. In turn, we are eager to improve the infrastructure and invest in the cooling systems so that we can use it as a hub of the Van Hoekelen Greenhouses products that we grow in Pennsylvania.
Van Hoekelen Greenhouses in Pennsylvania
Van Hoekelen Greenhouses Pennsylvania has been in the business for about 30 years and have become one of the largest bulb growers on the east coast. They distribute many types of seasonal plants and flowers such as tulips, hyacinths, mums, poinsettias, cactus, and so on. They have their roots in the Netherlands, and that is where it all started. Alexander's father, Cok van Hoekelen, has a lifelong work experience in the greenhouse field and began his career working with his father on a bulb farm in Holland and earning his degree in Horticulture. He relocated to the US in 1969 and brought his knowledge and experience to the country. To this day, they are working with Dutch methods, like growing their tulip in a soil and sand mix, and several times a year they visit the country to learn about the newest developments.