Quik’s Farm Ltd is about to celebrate their 35th anniversary. This flourishing family business was founded by Mr. Harry and Lydie Quik in 1990 when they immigrated from the Netherlands to Canada. They started with growing potatoes and cedar hedging trees but gradually shifted to cut flowers. In 1995, Harry built their first greenhouse, and now they use over 20 acres of indoor growing space and close to 20 acres of seasonal outdoor space in Chilliwack (BC). Over the last couple of years, Quik’s Farm is seeing more of a generational shift as Harry Quik hands over more and more operational responsibility to his three sons, Andries, Leo, and Corne. In this article, the son and Business Development Manager at Quik’s Farm, Leo, tells more about the nursery, their innovations, demand, challenges, and future plans.
The owners. In the back are Harry and Corne. In the front, Andries on the left, and Leo on the right.
Full-service solution provider
At Quik’s Farm, a large part of their greenhouse is being used for their spray- and disbud- Chrysanthemums. In addition, they grow many different cut flowers, such as Alstroemeria and Oriental Lilies. They also offer many seasonal flowers such as Celosia, Hybrid Lilies, Kale, Lisianthus, Ranunculus, Snapdragons, Sunflowers, and more. “We always pride ourselves first and foremost in the products that we grow on our farm, but we never allow that to be our limitation,” Leo adds. They portray themselves in the mass market segment as a full solution provider with a key focus on local. “Whether that means working with other local or international growers to complement our lineup, we will always work towards collaborative and sustainable partnerships to ultimately provide a full-service solution to our customers. Thankfully we have great connections both at home and abroad with many colleague growers who value the close working relationship we have.”
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Over the years, Quik’s Farm has developed a trusted brand in all segments of the industry and particularly around the mass market segment of the business. Growth has been strong and steady. “We focus on quality and innovation, and by expanding our growing space and continually introducing exciting varieties and product concepts, we look to maintain a fresh and trendy offering to all of our customers. In the way of innovation, we are continually investing in more and more automation and systems to alleviate high labor costs. A key implementation in 2022 was the addition of Roboplant to our McSween facility for transplanting of young Chrysanthemum plants.”
Post-pandemic – think outside the box
According to Leo, the industry is back to a pre-covid reality. “We need to work hard for the business, and that’s a good thing. That keeps us with both feet on the ground and keeps us close to our roots.” Post-pandemic, they see a good opportunity to again think outside the box in the way of new product offerings. “During Covid, we realized it was simply coming up with enough production and supply to fill the high demand that was created. Now that things have settled down again, the focus is on how we can keep the consumer engaged and continue buying fresh cut flowers. The flip side is that costs remain high, so it’s of ultra-importance to work back to consumer affordability. The Status quo is never going to be enough. We have to continue to be innovative. Especially as things are tighter economically for consumers, we need to continue to engage the consumer with affordable, fresh ideas and concepts. Thankfully we find that by having great partner relationships with our customers, we are able to work together and bring value and happiness to consumers across the country.”
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Main challenge: High costs
As mentioned earlier, costs are high. “We need to manage costs in a way that allows us to keep flowers affordable for the consumers.” And they are also growing their business in a very challenging labor market. “So on the production side, we need to continue to automate and innovate to keep quality high, and production costs low. And we need good team players to operate the business effectively. Thankfully we are supported by a great team of amazing individuals who live and breathe the core values of our business. Our people are what truly make our company great, and without our people, we would not be where we are today. Our slogan in the workplace is Growing Smiles Daily. It’s great to be able to grow flowers that bring smiles to people’s faces everywhere, but what’s almost greater is empowering our people to grow both personally and professionally. By building a workplace culture that truly embodies the values of a family business, we see people grow and thrive each and every day, and that is a super rewarding experience to be a part of.”
Mother’s Day preparations are in full swing
Over the last weeks, Quik’s Farm Ltd has been busy with Easter, and at the same time, a lot of focus had to be and still is being put on the upcoming Mother’s Day. “We like to call it Mother’s Day madness as it is truly the zenith event in the world of fresh cut floral,” he says.
For the future, they are excited to continue to grow and develop their business for the future, and they are continuously working on it. They have several plans and projects running, from improving their efficiency and effectiveness in their operations to enhancing the quality of their young plants and their climate friendliness.
- Large software implementation
At the moment, they are working on a large software implementation which will add numerous benefits to our organization. “As the business has grown, we’ve developed multiple processes and means of doing things throughout the business. What the software will do is bring all that ingenuity together under a single ERP system and really allow us to reach new levels of efficiency and effectiveness in our operations. At the same time, our software is being developed with an eye to bringing value to our customers at the same time. Hereby we look to offer enhanced ordering platforms, better visibility to current availability and offerings, and more ready access to real-time shipping and delivery information. “
- Renewed focus on propagation and young plants
At the same time, they are also putting a renewed focus on their propagation and young plants. “We believe that success in quality truly begins at the roots, quite literally. By harmonizing our young plants to a central and specialized facility, we will have better control over the beginning of our crops.”
And, of course, sustainability is very important to them. “We have several initiatives in the works that will enhance our climate friendliness. For example, we are making several conversions in the greenhouses to LED lighting to save on energy consumption. Also, we have launched a renewed effort to biological pest control in our greenhouses using new technology and knowledge that has come out of Holland. Also, in our packaging, we are working closely with customers to incorporate more environmentally friendly packaging concepts into our lineups.”
For more information:
Quik’s Farm Ltd.