The Dutch company Montfleury, the biggest exporter to France and a powerhouse in retail supplies, celebrates their 20th anniversary. The company of Frederic Meniai and his sons Cédric (Commercial Director) and Dion (Executive Assistant) has steadily grown over the years, from only two employees in 2002 to 25 in the office and about 65 in the processing room. The latter strongly varies. With seasonal returns, public holidays, or Christmas, it can grow to around 200 employees.
Once upon a time, Frederic worked for Movrie, an exporter to France that met its end around the turn of the century. He started his own business and could take a few clients with him, which made for a decent start. Initially, he settled in a building on a street near the former Buis JR. Later on, he rented a building for a while on the industrial site De Lasso in Roelofarendsveen. In 2008 Frederic bought a plot of land in De Kwakel, in the municipality of Utrecht, and built the current facility, 12,500 m2.
Mainly bouquets are made there, while the entire customer product range of flowers and plants is prepared in France and partially in Spain. In the past, other markets were targeted, particularly Italy. Now they are looking to potentially start with a client in Poland, but market expansion has always been considered a side issue. Clients are mainly supermarkets, but not the so-called 'discounters.' The biggest peaks are during seasonal returns, the first day of school (which is also mainly celebrated in Eastern Europe), a few public holidays, and Christmas.
A Frenchman himself, Frederic often has a competitive edge. That undoubtedly has to do with the language but also with an understanding of the market. "A Frenchman comes to take a look and wants to know everything for certain. Is the price appropriate? Is he getting fooled? You must show your reliability, and then you may supply. If this is repeated a few times and you win his trust, he won't suddenly leave."
This mentality is also reflected in the relationships Montfleury has with their suppliers, the packaging and added value, the logistics, and the staff. For nearly two decades, the company has done business with essentially the same companies in all of these fields. In honor of the anniversary, these suppliers were welcomed, together with regular clients and relations, at a beautiful celebration in On the Rock in Aalsmeer.