You probably know them from their world renown preserved rose brand, RoseAmor. Characterized by their high quality and always innovating colors and designs. This ambitious brand is market leader and wants to stay there. Flowex imports their products already for more than 20 years. Situated in Cayambe, Ecuador right on the Equator at 2.800 meter above sea level, lays the farm and offices of Emihana. But who are the faces behind this world renown brand? What drives them and what makes their product so special? We are asking these and many more questions to Juan Diego Ucros, sales representative at Emihana and son of CEO Diego Ucros.

It all started with a pressure cooker

23 years ago Diego moved with his family from Colombia to Cayambe, Ecuador to run a new rose farm as a CEO. The rose farm Emihana started in 1997 as a fresh flower grower famous for its high quality garden roses. Because of the high altitude, 2800 meter, and its location right on the Equator. Which ensures the most hours of day light year round. They can produce the best quality roses. Flowex and Emihana are partners already for more than 20 years. Back in the day we were importing their famous beautiful garden roses and nowadays we represent them in Europe with RoseAmor preserved roses. Together with Carlos Maldonado they were always striving for excellent quality and looking for new opportunities in the business to stand out from the crowd. That is why they started 20 years ago with experiments in a pressure cooker to preserve roses. In the year 2000 the brand RoseAmor was born and they started specializing exclusively in preserved roses. Nowadays, 95% of the flowers grown at Emihana farms are roses exclusively used for preservation, and 5% are other flowers that are used for preservation.

Take a tour on the farm

Number one in preserved roses

Today RoseAmor is a market leader in preserved roses. Their roses have bright deep colors, are uniform and are durable. Juan tells us that, it is their mission to be the number one brand and stay the number one brand on the market. His dream is to see the RoseAmor roses at the biggest hotels, cruise ships, weddings, events and public places. They aim to get everyone to know the RoseAmor brand as the best high quality brand for preserved roses on the market. RoseAmor aspires to be a brand that people recognize. A brand that people specifically ask for. Like consumers don’t just want sneakers, they want Nikes.

One big family

With around 450 people working at the farm, Emihana is quite a big farm. But that doesn’t mean that Diego doesn’t know every single employee. They strongly believe that an employee who feels good physically and mentally is a hardworking and happy employee. If you have some kind of problem that is work related or a private matter, you can always turn to Diego or Natalia who are respectively called El Papa and La Mama by everyone at the farm. They want everybody to feel good and care about all their workers. Not only Diego and Natalia are important at the farm, also Carlos is a very important person at the farm. He is responsible for the quality of the roses and the preservation process. Without him, they wouldn’t  have those high and constant standards, that they have today.

Team Emihana and RoseAmor family employees
Cooking lunch for the whole team and the workers for a reasonable fee
At the farm of RoseAmor, the beginning of a preserved rose

Not one day is the same

We ask Juan how he got involved in the company of his father. He tells us that at first he was not planning to enter the flower business. He studied psychology at a University in Colombia. After he graduated, a friend offered him a job as a sales representative at a rose farm in Ecuador. After a year there was a job opening at his father’s company, who was looking for a sales representative that was trustworthy and long-term committed to expand the brand RoseAmor. Now 8 years later he cycles every morning to the farm and loves the contact that he has every day with people all over the world. One moment someone from Flowex calls for an order, the next minute someone out of Dubai needs a big amount of preserved roses and 10 minutes later someone from the USA is interested. He tells us that he loves the way flowers make you feel, you are not selling a product like a pen or staples. You are not selling just flowers, but you are selling emotions, a gift to someone you love or a dear friend. When you see flowers they always bring you some kind of emotion. For what can we wake up Juan? He laughs and says we can always call him in the middle of the night if we need a sea container of roses. Although he doesn’t sleep that much as he works 24/7 and his daughter of just 4 years old also wakes him up sometimes during the night.

Bonita is more than just a pretty rose

The past years preserved flowers grew in popularity, but because of the situation with Russia it became a bit more challenging as it caused more tension in the world. Also the strong dollar is a challenge at the moment says Juan. For countries in Europe for  example it becomes more expensive to buy products from Ecuador. But Juan always sees an opportunity in every challenge and stays optimistic. He sees that new upcoming trends like ready to sell flowers in gift boxes or in glass bell jars are becoming more and more popular. When we ask him about his favorite flower in their assortment he immediately tells us he loves the Bonita roses. He even gave them the name. As he thinks that they are very pretty, it is a big flower with perfect open petals. He especially likes the Bonita Blu 03 with its beautiful deep night blue color that is not found in nature, therefore it feels special to Juan.

The perfect rose

The RoseAmor preserved roses are the best on the market at the moment. They stand out because they are uniform and have the capacity to produce large quantities, while keeping the same quality. All roses have to have the perfect spiral and no spots or crooked petals. The process is made to perfection from the perfect uniform flower to the preservation process. Where the flower is first dehydrated and then the water is replaced by glycerin. After that it is painted in the desired color and slowly dried so it stays as pretty as a fresh flower for a long time.

Preserved rose Bonita Blu 03
Bonita Blu 03
Preserved roses in production. All the roses have to look almost exactly the same. They need to be uniform, completely spotless and have perfect petals. Note the that they all have exactly the same deep colour
Preserved roses in production

A happy and motivated team

You could say that the whole team at Emihana is a hard working family. They are all highly motivated to take that extra step for their clients and deliver them the best quality. When Flowex make a big order they happily make longer days so we can get all our flowers in time. To keep the staff motivated and happy, they offer lunch to all their employees for the small fee off $ 5,- per month. They celebrate holidays and birthdays but also pay attention to other important days to raise awareness like, international day for the elimination of violence against woman.

giving back and helping the community caring for staff and people social cummunity
Giving back to the community
Water treatment plant. Cleaning used water environment sustainability recycling
Water treatment plant
RoseAmor raises awareness on special days like international day for the elimination of violence against woman.
International day for the elimination of violence against woman

Caring for natural recourses

When making a preserved flower you cannot avoid to use several chemicals. Emihana deeply cares about the environment and tries to keep their impact as low as possible. They feel it is their responsibility to care for all natural resources. Not only do they need fertilizers and sometimes crop protection products to keep the quality of the fresh roses constant. They also need to use glycerin and paint for the preservation process. These products all end up in the water eventually. To not contaminate the river, they clean and filter all their water. The glycerin and paint is then recycled. In addition to that, they find education very important. That’s why they help other farms with improving their sustainability.

With its great ambition to stay market leader and to let everyone fall in love with RoseAmor. This hardworking company is one to watch. Their excellent quality of preserved flowers is like you have never seen before. The endless creativity of inventing new colors and designs makes it timeless product, perfect for every occasion. We are very proud that we have a long term partnership with them and represent RoseAmor in Europe, where we can offer you a big range of preserved roses right out of our stock. With new stock arriving year round we can provide you with all their beautiful preserved roses and other flowers that RoseAmor has to offer.

Founded in 2002 Flowex started as a modest company with a small assortment of cut flowers from South America, focusing mainly on the Dutch market. Now, around 20 years later, Flowex is a flourishing international company with a large customer base and big assortment. Let’s meet directors Marcel Ursem and Peter Meskers!

As a proud father of 4 sons and with his dog, Marcel is a real family man. Beside his family he is also sportive and can often be found on the tennis or padelcourt. Social, sometimes stubborn and thinking in solutions, not in problems, that is how you can describe him.

Together with his 2 sons and his wife, Peter lives in Noordwijk. In his spare time he likes to do sports such as football, running and cycling. Important qualities for Peter are integrity, reliability, focus on customers, do what you say and constantly looking for improvements.

 Let’s start at the beginning, how did you start at Flowex?

Marcel: “Peter and I already knew each other from our previous job at Heembloemex. When Peter started at Flowex I followed him a year later. When we came to Flowex it was a small company of 4 people and a small number of customers. There was a huge opportunity for growth, that growth is now visible in our number of customers. We have grown into a million dollar company that supplies flowers to 24 countries and I’m very proud of this achievement.”

Peter: “After working in the flower export business for about 16 years I started at Flowex in 2011. The first year I really had to adjust. Flowex (part of the Flowersexpress group) was started in 2002 by founders Peter van der Eijk and Paolo Santacroce. Flowex had a successful start but due to the crisis in 2008 there was a great loss of turnover. In the beginning I visited customers, particularly in France, twice a week with a box of flowers in my arms to show them our product. It was really old-fashioned pioneering but that also made it fun to do.”

„When also Marcel joined Flowex we had more manpower to serve other markets as well. As a result big steps were taken in the following years and Flowex started to grow again.“

In 2016 Marcel and Peter became co-shareholders and in the recent years, both Flowex and the Flowersexpress group have grown fast. This result is partly because of a good product, made possible by our network of more than 80 different top growers especially in South America, and an excellent team of highly motivated and experienced people.

 “I assume this growth will also bring many new challenges. What is the biggest challenge for you within your work/company?”

Peter: “ For me the biggest challenge within Flowex is to bring Flowex to the next level every time in terms of professionalism. Quality, assortment and reliability must be our top priority. I also think it’s very important that we function well as a team and that everyone enjoys their work. Import can be quite challenging because we often have to deal with delays for example. For us it’s important that customers don’t notice what it takes to get the product to the right place in time.”

Marcel: “To ‘get it done’ that is for me the biggest challenge. Within our work we have to deal with many different countries and therefore different time zones. It can be challenging to structure everything well so everything comes in at the right time. Working at Flowex is not a 9 to 5 but rather a 24 hours job. When we process the orders at the office, the entire process of purchasing, transport till/until delivery to the costumers begins.”

“If you had to describe Flowex as a company, what does Flowex stand for to you?”

Marcel: “Reliability! We honor our commitments. Our customers find it normal that everything is done correctly. This already shows how we have built up this reliability over the years. If something does go wrong we will inform our customer directly and solve it in a correct way. Flowex also represents a hard-working company that has experienced tremendous growth. The motivation and involvement of the team is characteristic of Flowex. I’m very proud of the Flowex team and we show this by giving them space and freedom. This confidence, good motivation and hard-work reflect on the results.”

Peter: “Flowex stands for quality, reliability, service and a highly motivated team. Anyone can import flowers themselves but that also brings a lot of challenges. We as Flowex and Flowersexpress group, with our own, strong office in Ecuador, can perfectly unburden our customers in this.”

“My last question to you is how do you see the future of Flowex, what do you want to achieve?”

Peter: “I’m very positive about the future of Flowex! Despite the changing market conditions (expensive dollar, rising transport costs, inflation) and prospects I’m convinced that we will find a positive way in this and take Flowex to an even higher level. Thanks to our network of very reliable growers, especially in South America, we have a wide range that will only increase in demand in the coming years. Especially given the developments in production in the Netherlands.”

Marcel: “We look positively to the future despite a number of negative factors we have to deal with. High fuel prices and inflation have a major impact on us. The challenge here is to stay positive and implementing this in a correct manner. Making a profit will be difficult but with hard work we try to turn this negative into positive again. A long-term approach is also very important to us. Maintaining our contact with customers and suppliers therefore remains top priority for us.