Willem Ruigrok began growing fruits and vegetables in De Zilk, in the Netherlands in what would become the heart of today’s Dutch flower bulb district. At the same time, he also started a small flower bulb nursery.
Inspired by his father’s work, Willem’s son, Carolus (C.J.) Ruigrok, also started his own bulb business at the age of 20. Together, the two built the first warehouse to store and treat their bulbs. This warehouse was different because it had opening doors on all sides for optimal air circulation, an idea that was actually very modern at that time. Soon, Carolus began exporting his products into in Europe.
With Europe’s economy crippled by years of war, young people began migrating to United States looking for new opportunities. In the spring of 1946, C.J. Ruigrok sent his 19 year old son Simon to America to work the USA market and soon the first flower bulbs were being exported to America. Simon would end up travelling the United States and Canada for more than 50 years.
Simon became a partner in the company and joined later on by his two brothers Anton and Cor. At this time the company name was changed to C.J. Ruigrok & Zonen (Sons). They also formed a new corporation in the USA, called Ruigrok Bulbs Inc. This was initially a small distribution center in Wyckoff, New Jersey.
Ruigrok Bulbs purchased two local bulb wholesalers, DeGroot Bulb Company and George Alkemade Inc, forming present day A.D.R. Bulbs, Inc. Now in need of someone to manage his growing American operation, Simon turned to his young cousin, Walter who agreed to move to the United States permanently to become A.D.R’s manager.
In keeping with the family tradition, Simon Jr. became a partner in C.J. Ruigrok and Sons at the age of 21. Simon also began to travel New England for A.D.R Bulbs. At this time, his uncles Anton and Cor retired from the company. 1985 also marked our 75th anniversary.
Walter’s son Chris joined A.D.R as a salesman, becoming the 4th generation of the Ruigrok family involved in A.D.R Bulbs. A.D.R. moved to a new factory; a 33,000 square foot warehouse with modern storage and cooling facilities in Chester, New York.
In line with the Ruigrok tradition, Simon’s oldest son Carlo Ruigrok joined the family business at the age of 22, marking the 6th generation of Ruigroks. Carlo graduated at the HAS University of Applied Sciences in horticulture. Like his father, he also started traveling New England for A.D.R. Bulbs.
We improved our sustainability by installing a total of 2.600 solar panels on the roof of our warehouses which produce a yearly 7,5 mega watts of electricity.
International Bulb Company in Montvale NJ, partnered up with our company. We already had a long relationship with International Bulb Company for many years and both parties are further solidifying our industry leading presence in the Northeast.
An additional warehouse in Hillegom was acquired. The new warehouse will be used for storage of our planting stocks and helps us expand our farming of crocus, hyacinths, daffodils and tulips: over 300 acres and counting.
Nowadays Ruigrok Flowerbulbs is one of the largest growers and exporters of flower bulbs in Holland, remaining a family owned business. We use only the most modern equipment in the industry to harvest and store our high quality bulbs in a cost effective way. This enables us to trade the highest quality of bulbs against competitive prices all over the United States and Canada.