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Interview Bloemgoed 2.0

In Alkmaar, we visited Jan Pieter Hartog, who has been the proud owner of the flower store Bloemgoed 2.0 for five years. 

What do you think is important about your flower store?

"Flowers are the most important thing to me and the choice was quickly determined after closing my first store in downtown Alkmaar. When I opened this store five years ago I really wanted to have a look of a flower store and not a store with all kinds of cushions there, candles and napkins. I found it very important that when customers came in they immediately saw the flower presentation and thought 'wow this is a real flower store'. For that reason I created a kind of large flower meadow in the middle of the store. In this way I clearly put the flowers in my store at the center. Customers can walk around this, look at everything and grab the flowers themselves." 

What makes your store unique?

"As I mentioned earlier, I think it's important for us to be a real flower store. That is also what makes us unique. For example, our counter is also a binding table at the same time. From here we can look outside and welcome customers as soon as they enter. I find it very important, especially in this day and age, to have contact with customers, to make them feel comfortable and welcome in the store. People are looking for contact, at a time when many things are digital and more impersonal. Contact with customers can already be in a small gesture, just walking with the customer to the door and possibly holding it open for them."

Jan Pieter Hartog's flower store in Alkmaar.

Do you consider supermarkets to be competitors?

"Well, supermarkets also sell bunches of flowers but I don't see it as a competitor myself. In fact we with Bloemgoed 2.0 deliberately sat opposite a supermarket. I see it as a customer magnet. We have designed our store so that customers can walk through the store with a shopping cart. In addition, the quality of our assortment (is) quite above the flower offerings of supermarkets."

Of the Alstroemeria, the Charmelia, the one with the little flowers is my favorite!

What is your favorite type of flower?

"The Strelitzia and the Gloriosa are my favorite. Of the Alstroemeria, the Charmelia, the one with the little flowers is my favorite. I include many different types of flowers in my assortment. That is also our strategy, we buy by 10 branches and not barrels full. We like to offer a wide assortment every day, 7 days a week. In the flower display we have an average of 100 varieties of flowers, which is also what the customers really like in the store."

Jan Pieter Hartog together with his employee Annelies

Which flowers sell the most?

"A lot of people choose to have a bouquet already prepared. The advantage is that it takes the customer and ourselves less time, and I think 90% of the flowers go out the door as a bouquet faster than a bouquet composed by the customer himself."

What flowers are always in your assortment?

"We always have Gerberas, usually the large variety. We also always have roses in stock and only from Dutch growers and Alstroemerias, they really form the basis of our assortment. Customers always respond very positively to the Alstroemerias, because it's often a surprise what comes out of the bud, what color it is and how long the flower stands."

Jan Pieter Hartog and the assortment of flowers

What makes a bouquet of flowers a (floral) good bouquet?

"For me, a good bouquet means very colorful and with many distinct or different flowers that are well positioned in the bouquet and look at you, so to speak. We have therefore included many loose varieties of flowers in our assortment."

What moments do you prefer to create bouquets for?

"I really like being able to make a funeral arrangement for a client. I especially like it when that person can share his or her story about the deceased and we can reflect that story in the piece. It's really customized and that makes it very personal. You get a lot of appreciation for your work."

Making bouquets

Where do you get your inspiration from?

"I actually just get my inspiration from everyday life and by looking around me a lot. Think stores, fashion and visiting events or reading trade magazines like Flower and Leaf."

Do you have any tips for other florists?

"I want to help remind other florists that it is very important that they continue to put the customer first. That they feel welcome and always greeted. Another tip is to put together many bouquets in advance and prepare them for sale, that way you can easily and quickly pass on the cost."

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