The history of Debets Schalke
The incorporation of Debets Schalke in 1985 was the start of what has since become an internationally renowned greenhouse construction company. Based in the municipality of Westland in the Netherlands, the company was founded by Martin Debets and Jan Schalke. The two founders are true entrepreneurs who recognise opportunities that others fail to see. Initially, the company engaged in the demolition of greenhouses and trading in used greenhouses and materials, mainly in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany.
Very soon, the location in Naaldwijk in the Netherlands became too small to store all its materials and Debets Schalke moved to Poeldijk. Within the space of three months, the company’s working area expanded by a factor of eight. Once again, these industrious entrepreneurs were forced to look for new premises. In 1987, Debets Schalke moved into a new building on Havenstraat in Monster which provided improved accessibility and better storage facilities.
Clearly they were following the path of their dreams. As true pioneers, Jan and Martin entered unfamiliar international markets to sell second-hand greenhouses made in the Netherlands. This was the start of their international success story. Horticulturalists, first from the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany and later from further afield, soon found their way to Debets Schalke.
Expansion of the product
At the beginning of the 1990s, Debets Schalke was asked to construct new turnkey greenhouses in Poland and China. This provided the motivation for expanding the product range. Besides second-hand greenhouses, Debets Schalke also started to supply new greenhouses and installations. Thus customers could choose between acquiring a new greenhouse, a second-hand greenhouse or a combination of the two.
The next generation
In 2009, Dave Debets joined the family business. He soon demonstrated that the entrepreneurial spirit ran in his genes too. Anticipating increased demand for second-hand horticultural materials and machines, he established DS Hortitrade in 2010. Two of Jan’s three sons also joined the company in 2011. Dylan Schalke found the perfect place to exercise his commercial talents in the export department. New markets were no problem for him. His brother, Jorel Schalke, provided the creative strength, translating customer requirements into unique sketches, since all greenhouses are different. This generation injected the spirit of innovation.
"As the former owners as well as fathers, we are very happy and proud that our sons have taken over the company because it means that they can continue to pursue our growth strategy, something that is essential in terms of the role in the greenhouse construction market. Furthermore, it maintains our culture of being a genuine family business,” says Martin Debets, former owner of Debets Schalke.
Debets Schalke today
Because many people still tend to regard Debets Schalke as a demolisher of greenhouses and a global builder of second-hand greenhouses, a new and more representative logo has been presented in 2014. This profiles the company as an enterprise focused on the construction of new turnkey greenhouses all over the world. In 2015 the daily management was transferred to the sons Dave Debets, Jorel Schalke and Dylan Schalke in order to maintain the continuation of Debets Schalke and the international approach. To this very day, Debets Schalke continues to build on the tradition established by Jan and Martin who made history with their entrepreneurial spirit in the greenhouse construction sector.