For Noud, Olga and Roy Steegh from Wellerlooi tomato growing is in their blood. As long ago as 1953, Noud’s father started the first crop and now, nearly 60 years and two generations later, the family still grow the product with just the same passion.
A lot has changed in that time, of course. In 2008 for example, a brand new nursery was built, 4 ha in size, and the product itself has developed. In the early 90s, Noud was one of the pioneers who started selling the product as truss tomatoes. “I remember very well how it all began. Together with a greengrocer from the area we sold the first boxes of truss tomatoes,” Noud recalls. “They sold within minutes and we have never grown anything else since then!”
Club of regulars
Their policy on personnel also looks at permanence: Noud and Roy consciously choose to employ a club of regulars, all enthusiastic and very dedicated people. “We want to give everyone the feeling that this is also their nursery. That is why we always explain to our workers why we do certain things and we will never display lists showing who came last in the performance stakes. The work has to be done, of course it has, but in a pleasant way. Combining business and ambience: that’s our challenge!”
Carrying on the family business
Noud is pleased and proud to be part of a true family business. Olga does the books and up to a few years ago Noud’s father (94 at the time) also helped out now and then. “As early as 7.30 in the morning he would already be busy stacking boxes onto the carts. I am very pleased that Roy will be carrying on the family business. That also gives me the chance to gradually do less on the nursery. But for the time being I am only too happy that I can still be a tomato grower, because I’ve lost my heart to tomatoes!”
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