1937-2017: 80 years of Aad Prins!
In 2017 Aad Prins has been in existence for exactly 80 years. His grandfather, originally from ’s-Gravenzande, laid the foundation for the company in 1937. At that time, he was growing tulips in the village of Sint Annaparochie in the province of Friesland. On the journey back to The Hague, he has to wait at the Anna Paulowna train station. It just so happens that a flower bulb company in Breezand is being publicly auctioned off in the café across the way. Grandpa bids 63,000 guilders and becomes the owner of five hectares of land, including house and barn, right then and there. He doesn’t buy the property for himself, but for his son Huib, who is 18 years old at the time. Huib moves to the province of Noord-Holland and starts cultivating flower bulbs, vegetables, and potatoes.
He continues the bulb business after the war, growing tulips, hyacinths, daffodils, and other flowers. A small greenhouse is added to the enterprise in 1968. The greenhouse is expanded with another 3,000 square metres when his son Aad joins the business in 1976. 3.5 million stems are produced each year during this period. In 1983 Aad continues the company on his own. He parts ways with the forcing business four years later but continues cultivating virus-free starter material for lilies and callas, and keeps growing flower bulbs in the fields outside.
The company expands further in the 1990s. More glass is added and by this time 20 hectares are under outdoor cultivation. Calla production in particular expands tremendously, and will ultimately overtake all other spring crops.
Greenhouse production expands
In 2009 Aad Prins constructs a new greenhouse measuring 15,000 square metres, intended as a replacement for the old greenhouses and the leased premises. But it’s not enough: three years later the area under glass grows to 22,000 square metres and additional greenhouse space is rented.
As greenhouse production keeps expanding, the company decides to move the calla production outside. Aad Prins continues to cultivate for third parties and by this time has earned great renown in the propagation of virus- and disease-free starter material for the flower bulb industry.