Rest in Peace Klaas Puul Founder Evert Mooijer: 1947-2018
FrozenFoodsBiz.com regrets to report that Evert Mooijer, founder of the Volendam, Netherlands-headquartered Klaas Puul seafood processing company, has died at the age of 70 after battling an illness for some time.
Starting out as a fish monger in the employ of his father on the Frederik Hensrikstraat in Amsterdam during the mid-1960s, the young entrepreneur went on to transform a small business into an international seafood enterprise specializing in shrimp, crayfish and salmon as well as becoming a major supplier of complete fruits-de-mer kits to foodservice and retail customers in Europe. Operating in seven countries, the company today provides jobs for approximately 3,500 people and generates annual revenues of about €200 million.
After home peeling of shrimps was prohibited by law in the European Union during 1989, Klaas Puul, named by Evert after his father, moved quickly to build a new peeling plant in Tangier, Morocco. This was the only way to competitively remain in business.
“It was a huge investment, which was not without risks,” said Sander van den Berg, the company’s current chief executive officer “And there have been more defining moments in which Evert dared to take steps that others didn’t. He did not spend much time studying extensive prognoses and cost-benefit analyses. He made them on the back of a beer mat and, after that, mostly followed his instincts. And they seldom let them down. He was a unique entrepreneur in many ways, and a remarkable person.”
Mooijer relinquished the day-to-day management of Klaas Puul five years ago, and today the H2 Equity Partners private investment firm owns over 50% of its shares. However, he remained involved with the company until the end.
Indeed, only seven months ago, together with his wife Gaartje and their grandchildren, Mooijer laid the first stone of the new Klaas Puul’s headquarters office in Volendam. In addition, decisions were taken to expand the company’s frozen products plant by 3,500 square meters in the neighboring town of Edam, as well extend the flagship Volendam facility by 5,000 square meters.
“With these new plants, we are definitely well prepared to conduct business for the next 25 years,” said Van den Berg. “The company is in excellent shape. While we will absolutely miss the bold entrepreneurship and passion of Evert, he will always be part of Klaas Puul.”