Long before Qualitree, launched its Ready for Retail program, Tony Van Oort and his founding partner, Gary Neels, created the company on paper as part of a college project.
“It was called an enterprise project and we had to build a paper business, including a production plan, budget, sales plan, business plan and more,” Van Oort said. The pair did well on the project and wondered, “Why don’t we do it for real?”
“We purchased our first greenhouse off of Craigslist in August of 1994 for $2000 and built it in Gary’s parents back yard,” he said. “Working full time day jobs, we filled that house with thuja cuttings at night and weekends with a lot of volunteer help. I stress that point because now 20 years later, just as then, we couldn’t do it alone.”
Qualitree is located in the Fraser Valley of British Columbia, about a half hour away from the U.S. border. The company ships from California to Maine with strong shipping at the I-90 corridor.
“Our minimum order is one full pallet,” Van Oort said. “We pool orders into multi-drop trucks and give our customers the benefit of full truckload rates. This allows our customers to order as little as one pallet but still get very competitive freight rates.”
With strong principals and customer awareness, Qualitree built a successful Ready for Retail program that is now available on ePlantSource.
“One of our goals is to provide no-touch delivery for our customers,” Van Oort said. “We know that every time a customer has to handle one of our plants for the most basic operation, like adding a SKU sticker, is going to cost them at least 10 cents, so we offer to decorate the plants, sticker them and have them retail ready when they arrive.”
Customer success, not profits, is the company’s goal. If customers are delighted with the product, the service and the delivery, Van Oort believes the money will follow.
At every opportunity, Van Oort and his team ask themselves, “How can we #growthingstogether?” Partnering with ePlantSource seemed like a logical step.
“We admire ePlantSource’s click-to-order rather than brick-and-mortar approach — maybe it’s because we love technology and innovation so much,” he said. “We knew ePlantSource would be able to showcase our product well.”
A variety of Qualitree’s Ready for Retail products will be available on ePlantSource, including a few of the company’s most popular cultivars:
- Lavender. Qualitree is the largest lavender grower in North America.
- Picea Conica. Commonly known as Alberta Spruce, these plants are desirable because of their more traditional look and great shelf life.
- Gaultheria. Qualitree’s heavily berried Gaultheria Procumbens (Winterberry) are known across North America.
- Lemon Cypress. A staple in Europe, Qualitree is determined to give it the same “must-have” status here in North America.
- Chamaecyparis Ellwoodii. Often referred to as Euro Cypress, this plant has been the mainstay of Qualitree’s Christmas program for years.
Visit the Qualitree partner page for more details on programs and availability.