Jan Aartsen was entered in the population register as a "Vegetable trader", marking the birth of the Aartsen family.
Jan Aartsen set up Vof Aartsen en Zn and the 2nd generation, namely Koos Aartsen, made his appearance.
The third generation came along at this point. Jack joined the company first, followed by his brother Henny in 1966.
Koos Aartsen died far too young at the age of 56. But not before making a very important decision: to buy the farm and land of the current location in Breda. Brothers Jack and Henny Aartsen gave the company a major boost in the 1970s, developing it into one of the leading import companies in the Benelux.
The company acquired Elisen Fruit AGF, a wholesaler in Veldhoven.
The fourth generation, Jack Aartsen Jr., left school at the age of 17 and joined the family company.
In order to generate sufficient financial support for future plans and expansions, Jack and Henny Aartsen sold their successful company to the quoted UK company Albert Fisher Group.
The Veldhoven branch was relocated to Grubbenvorst, creating more growth potential. The branch was rechristened "Aartsen Venlo".
In November 1992, a completely new branch was opened in Enschede and "Aartsen Twente" saw the light of day.
After having spent over 30 years building up the complete import package, Jack Aartsen Sr. handed over the reins to his son Jack Jr., who became responsible for the commercial activities within the company.
After thorough research, the company ventured into the Belgian market. Aartsen N.V. was based in the strategically located St. Katelijne-Waver, near the largest Belgian wholesale produce auction ‘Mechelse Veilingen’.
The explosive growth in Venlo meant that this branch was now too small. A completely new business premises measuring 5,000 m2 was built.
After having focused on the organisational and general affairs within Aartsen for over 30 years, Henny Aartsen became the last of the third generation to leave the company, in August 2001. The general management was now transferred entirely to his nephew Jack Aartsen.
In July 2002, Jack Aartsen bought the entire package of Aartsen shares back from the English parent company Albert Fisher Group.
The future of the successful company was ensured, with the 4th generation bringing Aartsen back into the hands of the family.
Start of a major restructuring of the business premises and offices in Breda. The company invested in a large central cooling installation, expansion to include a new, modern, 5,300m2 wholesale facility, bringing the total area to 15,000 m2, the construction of a new and extremely modern commercial office, the renovation of the old farm and a complete upgrade for the existing premises. After 2 years of construction work, the entire project was completed at the end of 2005.
100th anniversary of Aartsen. This joyous event was celebrated with numerous business contacts and the entire team. As Aartsen didn't just want to celebrate but also wanted to give something back, the company set up the Aartsen Kids Foundation.
The Belgian branch in St. Katelijne-Waver was restructured. The existing warehouses were completely renovated in the Aartsen style. Here too, the cold stores were expanded and new sales areas were added. This brought the total area to 4,800 m2.
In Venlo, a plot of land measuring 15,000 m2 was purchased in Fresh Park Venlo to enable the construction of new premises.
The new building in Venlo was taken into use in September. It included a modern wholesale facility, distribution hall and a commercial office. The total area was 7,500 m2.
Aartsen opened an office in Hong Kong, thus creating Aartsen Asia.
The management decided to close the branch in Enschede for strategic reasons.
After having worked for Aartsen for 35 years, Toon Aarts decided it was time for some well-earned retirement.
Both in Breda and Venlo, extra land was purchased to enable the further expansion of both branches. Building plans are being drawn up.
As of today, Aartsenfruit will continue to exist as Aartsen. In all previous years, aartsenfruit covered half of our business. After all, an equally large amount of fruit and vegetables passes through our gateway. But even more importantly, with the name Aartsen, we are going back to the roots of our company. Aartsen is a family business and we are tremendously proud of that.