Leveraging Tradition, Innovation & Intention (Greenhouse Management)
When Joop Overgaag moved his family from the Netherlands to California in 1978, he left chrysanthemum growing behind and hit Carpinteria with rose-fueled dreams. Joop’s son Toine (pronounced 'Twaan'), then just six years old, says his father came prepared: “He had studied and spent a lot of time with rose growers in Holland. There weren't really any roses grown in this area when he got here, and he felt like he could distinguish himself with that.” And he did.
Within 20 years, Westerlay Roses grew millions of cut roses annually, with Joop’s product in demand nationwide. As Toine grew up, though, he never planned on joining the business. “I tried really hard to get away,” he says with a laugh. He went to an East Coast college, followed by a few Westerlay years, then got an MBA from the University of Southern California (USC) and branched out. Until a layoff came.
Back at work for his dad — just until the next opportunity came — he made a startling discovery: he really enjoyed it. While Joop thought that was all well and good, his life was at a point where he was considering next steps for himself and his business. If Toine was interested, Joop said, they could talk about it. Otherwise, the business would probably transition or be sold.
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