Every month with Trade talk, Dekker Chrysanten highlights one of their trading parties that sell Dekker Chrysanthemums' varieties. "We find out more about the company, its relationship with us as a breeder, and its experiences with the many chrysanthemum varieties Dekker has marketed."
With a big smile on his face, Jeffrey Lasander welcomes us to flower wholesaler C. Leeuwenburg. C. Leeuwenburg, located in both Naaldwijk and Rijnsburg, has been a close-knit family business for years and, according to good custom, we can't start before having a cup of coffee. Not much later, Jeffrey passionately starts talking about the beautiful company that is C. Leeuwenburg, while his phone rings several times, and colleagues come to ask a question. It's perfectly clear how it's done at C. Leeuwenburg right away. C. Leeuwenburg: a beautiful family business with the perfect balance between traditional standards and values and a contemporary approach to today's flower market!
He was only 18 years old when "Grandpa Cees" started selling his own flowers. At the time, it was still door-to-door, but it would not be long before this grew into the establishment of a real wholesale company. Together with two other families, Cees Leeuwenbrug was at the helm of a thriving business for many years until he split from the existing company in 1950 and started his own wholesale business. Flower wholesaler C. Leeuwenburg was born.
Traditional standards, contemporary approach
Almost 75 years on, C. Leeuwenburg has developed into a well-known flower wholesaler with a branch at both the Naaldwijk and Rijnsburg auctions. Over the years, the family business has built up a loyal customer base that relies on the high-quality product Leeuwenburg offers its customers every day. C. Leeuwenburg's customer base consists of a wide range of flower-selling companies. From small-scale market traders to well-known exporters of stature: everyone knows where to find the family business. As a result, C. Leeuwenburg's assortment is large, and every single product is sourced with the utmost care. "A great product for a workable price, that's what we strive for every day," says Cees junior.
A true all-rounder
With a substantial customer base and an equally impressive assortment of flowers, C. Leeuwenburg has a driven and enthusiastic group of people working daily to process all orders. One of those people is Jeffrey Lasander. In his own words, he is officially responsible for the purchase and sale of the assortment of flowers, but as is typical for a real family business, Jeffrey's job list consists of much more than that, from driving the trucks to collecting orders. The work is just there, and "as long as you have two hands, you can pick up the work," Jeffrey tells himself. Fortunately, Jeffrey has always done his job with great joy, which can be explained by his great passion for the job.
Into flowers from an early age
Ever since he was eight years old, Jeffrey joined "a line" in Germany during holidays, selling flowers and plants to local florists. Only a few years later, Jeffrey started his first job at a flower wholesaler at the age of 15. Over the years, with various positions at various employers, he got to know the flower industry inside and out. From working for a packaging company to running his own flower transport to Scotland, Jeffrey really knows the world of flowers like the back of his hand. Nevertheless, love eventually made his most recent move to the Rijnsburg family business, and so Jeffrey ended up in the position of buyer and seller for flower wholesaler C. Leeuwenburg.
Chrysanthemums at the base
Every morning, Jeffrey puts his heart and soul into buying a varied range of high-quality cut flowers. One of the product groups under his responsibility is the chrysanthemum, a product with a special role in the history of the company. In the early days, Leeuwenburg was one of the few suppliers of chrysanthemums at the Rijnsburg auction. If you had to have chrysanthemums, you went to Leeuwenburg, and thus, in its own words, the chrysanthemum is at the basis of the company. With the advent of the internet and online web shops, the supply has now changed considerably, but chrysanthemums can still be found in large numbers at the cold store of C. Leeuwenburg.
Reliability is everything
Within C. Leeuwenburg, reliability is a common thread running through the company's history. "Let your yes be your yes," even if it sometimes costs you something. The family business has therefore had a warm and good relationship with many of the supplying growers for years. "You know what you get from each other and can rely on each other," he says. According to Jeffrey, that is worth more than gold. Jeffrey looks for that same reliability in the products he buys. The weights shown must be correct, continuity is a plus, and the vase life must simply be excellent. This is precisely why the chrysanthemum is a product Jeffrey likes to buy. Jeffrey's absolute favorite is Bolte, a spray chrysanthemum grown by van Wordragen. But AAA Peptalk is also a product that Jeffrey is happy to offer to his customers.
Taking a gamble
Anyone who has ever walked into C. Leeuwenburg's cold store can't ignore it: the chrysanthemum forms an important part of the products offered by the flower wholesaler. And many of the varieties on offer concern varieties once developed by Dekker Chrysanten. Dorias from van Schie Nursery, Aljonka Salmon from Arcadia, Topspin from Vannova: Dekker's varieties can be found in large numbers at C. Leeuwenburg. "Dekker dares to take risks, and I like that," says Jeffrey himself. In terms of outlook on the trade, Dekker Chrysanthemums and C. Leeuwenburg, therefore, appear to be very similar. Besides, both are family businesses, and both like to shake up the market. The latter is also something Jeffrey appreciates about Dekker Chrysanten. According to Jeffrey, in order to be successful, you "sometimes have to dare to take a gamble." We look forward to the future successes ahead for C. Leeuwenburg!