Last Saturday, Sebrechts Groenten & Fruit opened its new warehouses on the Kielsbroek in Antwerp. It was a double celebration, because the company also celebrated its 60th anniversary. The third generation of Sebrechts, the sisters Ellen and Nathalie, now runs the company with father Karel and Bart, Ellen’s partner.
The Sebrechts family with partners
It was a festive day, although it was also a bit of an emotional occasion because the company said goodbye to warehouses that were used for 40 years, and where the roots of the family can be found.
The new warehouses are nearly double in size, Sebrechts expanded from 1,600 square metres to 2,200 square metres. “It’s necessary because we want to continue expanding our range. We continue to keep the stocks as low as possible, we’re striving for fresh product every day,” Ellen says. Space is also needed because the direct supply of buyers is increasing, in addition to the cash&carry for the customers who pick up their trade personally.
“We’re therefore growing considerably, but it isn’t our goal to become very large. We want to keep everything under our own control, from purchasing to selling. As business managers, we always have direct contact with our customers, and we want to keep it that way,” Ellen emphasises.
A number of suppliers talk about their brands and products
The sisters Ellen and Nathalie joined the family company with Bart early in 2017, when they took over management from their uncle Dirk. “We’re continuing the dream,” Ellen says. Her grandfather and his brother had a fruit company, and 60 years ago they started their wholesaler’s. Their sons Karel and Dirk took over the top fruit company and started importing citrus under their own brand, Picnic. Ten years ago, Sebrechts expanded with vegetables when buyer Rogier de Wachter became employed by the company.