Since May this year, Wout van Es has been working as product and market specialist for Van Nature. He’s the connecting link between growers and mercantile houses, and every day he dedicates himself tirelessly to both parties.
It’s an understatement to say Wout has an extensive fresh produce background. It started before he was even born: “I was born in Woerden as the son of a greengrocer,” he says. “My mother manned the shop and my father went door-to-door. I started going along with him when I was very young, and later I worked in the shop as well. After getting my education at the MEAO, I had two of my own greengrocer’s shops in Alphen aan den Rijn. The work was great, but at some point I just couldn’t do it anymore. The arrival of more and more supermarkets meant I had to work harder all the time to keep my sales up, and I became frustrated because people didn’t mind paying three guilders to my neighbour for a portion of chips, but they were unwilling to pay even 40 cents for a head of lettuce. That’s when I sold the shops.”
Wout continued his career with wholesalers, he worked as a distributor of the Plus supermarket chain for 20 years, he was the manager of Fruit World Breda, and he worked as a retail sales manager for Wilkofruit for a few years. “I have now found my place at Van Nature,” he says with a satisfied grin. “The work can be hectic, but I always manage to keep my head. A solution can almost always be found. I care about the Dutch product a great deal , and I feel right at home here.”
Dog person and gourmet cook
Speaking of home, what does Wout’s life look like outside of Van Nature? “I try to live my life in a way that allows me to do the things I enjoy,” he says. “That includes working, but I also enjoy other things. I live with my wife and two of my children in Dordrecht. We have three dogs, two golden retrievers and a dachshund, so I get plenty of exercise. We take long walks on the beach and in forests. Dordrecht is a wonderful city to walk through and for having a drink. I enjoy learning about the history of the city, and sharing this knowledge with others. Another favourite pastime of mine is cooking. I usually cook in the weekends, and when we have guests I enjoy preparing special dinners.”
Source: Magazine Meer, Van Nature