What do you do when arable farming is in your genes and you want nothing more than to make it your job? Then you start looking. Looking for possibilities and for what is not there yet. Or that which may be there, but which you can do better. Because you are going to do it just that little bit differently.
This is the story of Leo Koolen. Born as the son of a farmer with a great desire to work in his father’s farm when he was older, and who and by coincidence rolled into the world of mushrooms. And this world, he liked it.
In 1981, he started as a mushroom grower with two employees. Quality, the pure and natural taste of the mushroom, that’s what the first harvest was all about. And all the harvests that followed. Today, growing mushrooms, just like in those days, is still done in an environmentally friendly way, without crop protection products.
However, there is more that has made Coal Mushrooms special already for forty years. Leo had a vision, in addition to a simply very good product. He wanted short lines in short chains. He wanted to know and see for himself where his products ended up. Only then is quality the guarantee.
This is why sales via the auction clock quickly made way for direct delivery to supermarkets and wholesalers. These have been the customers from the very beginning, and Koolen Mushrooms still collaborates with them. Because that is the foundation. Together. By having direct contact with each other, you strengthen each other and thus the products.
Opportunities and possibilities
What do the (end) customers want? Do they only want white mushrooms, do they want chanterelles or portobellos? Leo listened and responded to the wishes. And at the same time, he kept looking around. Where are the opportunities and, above all, opportunities to innovate, to further sustainability (even more), and to deliver a(n even) better product? All this knowledge and experience make Leo a true craftsman. Kool Champignons? The very name stands for true craftsmanship.
And it stands for more. For the company has grown considerably over the years. Thus, in addition to the old familiar white mushrooms, many more species of mushrooms are cultivated by hand in one of the three nurseries that Kool Mushrooms now owns and that are located across the country. In addition, Koolen Mushrooms have their own packaging lines that allow for packaging the products in many different ways.
Moreover, a new branch of sport has been developed. A branch in which listening, tasting and producing is going on. In combination with other vegetables and vegetable proteins, different species of mushrooms are used to produce new products. Organic or classic, frozen or fresh, raw or pre-cooked, vegan or vegetarian. After all, there is no arguing about taste. (vankoolen.com)
The original team of three has expanded into a team of over one hundred co-workers. And in shifts seven days a week they work to guarantee freshness and quality plus the highest delivery reliability there is.
And at the helm? You will now find Teun and Koen there. Indeed, the sons of. But daughters/sisters Emma and Lotte also have a role within the company. Because those mushrooms, they are in our genes…
Nowadays, Koolen Champignons is the only mushroom grower in the province of North-Holland. We are Planetproof, Skal, BRC, Fair produce & Global G.A.P. certified as well as the most modern nursery in Europe.