Interview with Vlasman Nursery

Since October 2018, Luuk van der Burg is the proud owner of Vlasman, a pot plant nursery in Mijdrecht. ‘It’s Richard Bremmer, sales advisor at BVB Substrates’ fault,’ he laughs. ‘He put me into contact with the previous owner, and now look what has happened.’ The 32-year-old entrepreneur is happy with the step he has taken and is very proud of his company. ‘It is a nursery with a beautiful product: Saintpaulia. Doesn’t this plant cheer you up?’

Luuk van der Burgh Vlasman

Luuk van der Burg: owner of Vlasman Nursery

The history of Vlasman Nursery dates back to 1950 and started in De Kwakel. Grower Vlasman cultivated cut flowers during the first years and switched to pot plants in 1982. Saintpaulias have been the main product since 1992. Anton and Lianne Vlasman were looking for a candidate to take over the business in 2015 and Luuk van der Burg happened to be looking for a company to get started. ‘I was working for my father’s horticultural business and he retired. I was very keen to take on a nursery, but hadn’t found an entrepreneur with whom I really clicked. After Richard Bremmer put me into contact with Anton and Lianne, the ball started rolling very quickly. As a result, I started working at the nursery in 2016 and now–two and a half years later–I am the owner.’

Stubborn

Finding your way to self-employment through your potting soil supplier is an interesting story, to put it mildly. According to Luuk, it shows the special bond he has with BVB Substrates. ‘It is based on trust, which is very important to me. I am a firm believer in the power of cooperation: together you can really achieve more than you would alone.’ He continues with a token of self-knowledge: ‘Although I can be quite stubborn at times, I know that a specialist like BVB Substrates has much better knowledge of potting soil than I will ever have. Why would you not put that knowledge to good use?’ Luuk knows that Vlasman Nursery has been a customer of BVB Substrates since 2004. At first, they only purchased their mix for cuttings, and since 2015 also the soil for the end product. ‘We also make use of the services of BVB Research. We have water and soil samples analysed and receive new nutritional advice every six weeks based on this analysis.’

Contemporary look

Voilà Saintpaulia is a private brand of Vlasman Nursery. Voilà La Fleur stands for cheerful and hip Saintpaulias in mono colours, and Voilà Crême de la Crême for special multi-coloured varieties. ‘Our own brand gives the product a fresh and contemporary look. This is necessary because as a pot plant it has a rather old-fashioned image.’ Luuk is passionate about the product. ‘It may sound crazy, but the sight of a tray of such brightly coloured plants still makes me happy.’ He says he is going to focus on the development of a paper sleeve in the near future. ‘Those images of plastic soup really affect me. If I can make a small contribution to solving that problem, I’ll be happy to do so.’

Take a look at the website of Vlasman Nursery