Besides one of the most famous faces, Suzan is also one of the most experienced colleagues at ten Kate. Together with her husband Tom she took over ten Kate in 1978. In the first beginning, she mainly worked with Tom on the future of this great company. When she was pregnant with their first child, Joachime, an extra staff member was soon added. After a year and a half, a little brother joined Joachime, Bastiaan, after which another colleague joined the team. In the following years, the team has grown further and Suzan is part of the permanent team in the store. Together with her colleagues, she ensures that everyone can enjoy the most beautiful flowers, plants and home accessories. Suzan has done everything in the years that lie behind us, that cannot be otherwise if you can be found in the store 6 days a week. In recent years she has been outsourcing more and more and takes a day off to look after her three grandchildren with great pleasure.
How did you actually end up in the profession?
“When I met my husband Tom in 1974 I knew he was a passionate florist and wanted to start his own business one day. When he came to visit the then owner and his old employer, Piet Groters, in 1978 for a cup of coffee, he came home with drawings and the message “I can buy ten Kate and I think I should do that”. ‘ ‘
Did you already have experience in this field or have you built up all the experience within ten Kate?
“No, I had no experience at all. I myself was trained as a carer and I enjoyed that work with great pleasure. When Tom had made the decision to take over Kate, I stopped and immediately started assisting within the company. In a starting company it is important that you do a lot yourself and we have done that as much as possible. In those years I have mastered the profession just by doing and listening to the experience of my husband and our first colleagues. “”
Can you tell us some nice things you have experienced in the company?
“” We experience many fun, beautiful and rewarding things. Flowers make people happy, give people support and comfort. Because Tom and I have owned ten Kate for over 40 years, we have also seen our clientele grow, change and age. While children used to come with their father or mother to buy flowers, now they come themselves to buy flowers or we take care of the bridal work. That is of course great fun.
Another memory goes way back: a man who called in tears in the late evening hours because he had forgotten to order a bridal bouquet for his future wife. If we could please arrange that for the next day. Of course we could and the man was so happy.
“We also had a customer who came to collect flowers every week and always had a basket with him, in which he then took plants with him. When he passed away, the family came to us with the basket to ask if we wanted to process it in the funeral. “”
How would you like to envision ten Kate’s future?
“” As many of you know, our business is two-fold. In addition to a beautiful flower shop, we also have an event branch with which we decorate events with greenery and flowers. This part of the business has been deeply affected by COVID-19. And that hurts. Especially after we had just made the decision that our son, Bastiaan, together with his wife, Barbara, would take over the business from 1 September 2020. We have postponed this takeover for a while. Our daughter, Joachime, also works in the company. As parents, you are proud that your children want to continue what you have built. In this way Tom and I also remain a bit involved in the company. I have every confidence in the future, we will maintain our beautiful name: Ten Kate Semperflorens = ten Kate Always flowering.