History

Martin & Bill De JongDe Jong Greenhouses was founded by Martin J. De Jong. He started in the greenhouse business with two cousins, Ike and Bert Hoksbergen, at North Pella Greenhouse. However, Martin became disabled by polio and had to withdraw from the North Pella operation.

In 1933, at age 35, Martin's health had improved. Pursuing his love for growing plants he built one small greenhouse next to his family home on West 2nd St. in Pella. Soon after he opened a flower and seed store in the downtown business area.

Three of Martin's sons, Albert, Bill and Charles, were active in the store and greenhouse. In 1954, Albert was forced to give up management involvement due to health problems. At that time, Charles took control of the store, and De Jong Greenhouses was born as Bill began operating a stand-alone growing operation.

Bill's sincere love for growing flowers helped give his Company a reputation for providing high quality products. This high quality combined with integrity and hard work, enabled De Jong's to grow and prosper.

De Jong Greenhouses incorporated in 1958. Greeve's Greenhouses in Oskaloosa, was purchased in 1971. Extensive remodeling to the Greeve's greenhouse took place and expansion of the Company facilities was focused on that property. Atone time, the Oskaloosa greenhouse facility was largely devoted to the production of cut roses. However, South American roses and changes in the market place, made it necessary to eliminate the rose program in the early 1990's. Subsequently, the Oskaloosa facility was renovated for the production of pot plants.

Bill's son Mark joined the Company in 1969 after graduating from Drake University. In 1971, Bill's son-in-law, Dennis G Van Gorp joined the Company after attending the University of Iowa. At this time, he and Mary De Jong, Mark's wife, took over the bookkeeping for the Company from Bea De Jong, Bill's wife. Bea had served as partner, bookkeeper and homemaker for Bill throughout the formative years of the Company. In 1999, a buy/sell provision was exercised and Mark became sole owner of De Jong's.

By the mid-1980's both the Pella and Oskaloosa locations were built full and land locked by neighbors. Consequently, in 1988 a "new beginning" was launched when construction began at the Fifield Road property in Pella. Thirty thousand square feet of greenhouses were built with the primary goal of consolidating all of the Company's pot mum production. An adjoining service building was also erected. Stage two of the project was started in 1991. More greenhouses were built for the purpose of staging finished products from various locations. The service building was also enlarged to accommodate direct sales, truck loading, and office functions. the move to the much-needed new office space took place in January of 1992. Since that time, all new construction has taken place at the Fifield Road location.

De Jong Greenhouses has been blessed with many years of success. This is largely due to the diligent work of its employees, both past and present. We look forward to growing with you, as we face the changes and challenges of the future.

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