Old boys' currant bread
It must have been in the late 1980s, quite some time ago, when Hans van der Ende and Jan Vellekoop first did business. Hans was growing Gypsophila in his farm at the Madeweg in Monster and got interested in a screen. “He gave me the key, he was going on holiday for 14 days”, says Jan. “Just put it in, he said, you can manage, right? And don’t forget to feed the cats.” Thus began a business relationship that endures to this day. Just last year, the new greenhouse was fitted with a double screen by Peter Dekker Installaties (PDI), the business of which Jan is co-owner. “The great thing is that we can talk well”, where talking is actually more like babbling. “We talk about work 5% of the time, the rest of the time we are solving world problems.”
About the roses
Van der Ende grows Red Naomi and white Avalanche on two adjacent farms on Waellandweg in Monster. Father and son started this company together in 2008 (sons Bob and Tim joined the business in the following years); before that, they grew more or less independently at different locations: Sam in Poeldijk, Hans in Monster. It is clear that father passed on being a grower to his sons, but conversely, it was Sam who helped father get into roses. In 2000, he started his own rose garden; a year later, Hans also traded in his Gypsophila for roses.
In all those phases and moves and expansions, ties with Jan were rekindled. “One of the great things here at Van der Ende is that he really is one of the original customers”, says Jan. “But that's not all: with a shading screen in Gypsophila, we were really pioneering together, hardly anyone had that. And in 2008, Van der Ende was one of the first with a double screen for roses: a dark screen to keep radiation in as well as a climate screen to keep radiation out.”
That climate screen is another story in itself. The three of them recall the story as if it happened yesterday. “The thing is, we had come up with something new together, but in practice it didn't work. Or at least not really”, Hans explains. “It just didn't fit, we grew with it for several years and in that time we tried all sorts of things”, Sam adds. “We even resorted to cutting and sewing pieces together, but never quite to our satisfaction.” “But neither of us are quitters”, Jan concludes. “Eventually we took it out completely and put in an entirely new screen, at our expense. More than 10 years later, in the new greenhouse next door, we did the whole thing all over again, but this time properly.”
Due to the roses just being ‘cut ready’ and being in the fortunate position of being able to keep the lights on properly – the energy story is complicated and affects Van der Ende too, but let's not talk about that for a change – a good Valentine's Day was run. The greenhouse on Madeweg still has Hans, who nowadays only acts as an ‘intern’ at the rose nursery. Summer flowers are grown there and, you guessed it, PDI fitted a new energy screen last year.