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.”
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.