Can you describe a typical work week?
“On Sunday evening, my week starts with loading the car. A colleague then drives it to Germany.

On Monday morning at 03.40 my alarm clock rings and fifteen minutes later I get in the car to leave for my first customer. I have a group of twelve to fourteen supermarkets as customers within a radius of one hundred kilometers.

With each customer I spend about three quarters of an hour to an hour. I put the flowers in the store and the plants outside. I make sure everything is neat and tidy. The nice thing is that we do everything ourselves, we decide how everything will look. Then, together with the owner of the store, I check the order and the order is turned into a delivery note.

I strive to return to the warehouse with an empty car. This is always a challenge, but gives great satisfaction when it succeeds. And just to brag: it almost always works! Around 7:30 p.m. we clean up the barrels and take stock of what is needed for the next day.
In the meantime, I think about next week’s order, because we have to order from the grower on Tuesday. During the week we also buy in on the clock.”

What do you like most about your job?
“The freedom I get and the fact that no week is the same. Every day is a surprise and every customer is different. It is a lot of fun
the clients and getting the best result for them. You build a relationship with them. This goes even further than just the business part. For example, I recently had a customer who wanted blue roses for his wife’s birthday. I delivered these especially for him at the door. That personal attention is greatly appreciated.”

What challenges do you often encounter in your job and how do you deal with them?
“The customer’s wish is our biggest challenge. For me personally, that has also been a learning process. In the beginning it was sometimes frustrating when something didn’t work out and I experienced a language barrier. Now I find it easier to deal with. I speak the language and know how to anticipate the client’s wishes, which has widened the playing field.

Not only the customer, but also the weather plays an important role in selling flowers and plants. It is always a challenge to offer the right assortment to suit the weather of the moment. In bad weather we sell more flowers and in good weather we sell plants. In between, we always have to make the right trade-off.”

What do you like about working at J&N?
“Cees and Ernst have given me the opportunities to develop myself. In the position, but certainly also as a person. I now work as a franchisee
on my own account. It hasn’t made the work any different, but it does give me room to learn and grow further.”