Not really a 'regular cucumber grower' anymore, is how Jan Reijm describes the company he runs together with his father Piet and uncle Jaap Reijm in a story by Alfa accountants and consultants. It is actually two companies because in addition to the cucumber nursery, Reijm & Zn. also has a pepper nursery. With 11 hectares of cucumbers and 8 hectares of peppers, Reijm & Zn. can deliver all year round. Not to just any customer, by the way: through wholesaler Bakker Barendrecht, the products can be found in the supermarkets of Albert Heijn.
In his story, Jan talks about the company's history, energy, difficult years, and the bond with customer Albert Heijn, 'business partner' Alfa from Bleiswijk, and the bond with Rijk Zwaan.
About Albert Heijn: "Albert Heijn is a reliable customer. They are only critical when something is wrong with the product. Product quality and delivery reliability are their number one priorities. For example, we grow a pepper variety, Casey, specifically at the request of Albert Heijn. Some varieties are more productive, but Albert Heijn does not consider that quality good enough."
And on Alfa and the acquisition process of a new nursery: "Alfa supported us throughout the acquisition. Not only in the financial side of things but also in our motivation as entrepreneurs towards the bank. We had almost daily contact with senior customer manager Cock van Adrichem and business consultant Joost Hoogendoorn during that period. As entrepreneurs, we have also always been creative and flexible in order to achieve a return, even though that has changed with the new company. In the past, we were really cost-oriented, but it is much harder to cultivate in a cost-price way when you have a customer who puts quality and reliability first."