On September 20, 2014, Hollandia Produce, L.P. celebrates its 44th anniversary. The company’s roots trace back nearly 100 years to Holland, where CEO Pete Overgaag’s grandfather Leo first began farming. Although we have remained a family run business, Hollandia has undergone many changes. In honor of our storied past, here’s a peak at some of our most memorable milestones. It’s true what they say, time really does fly when you’re having fun!
Milestones in Time
Art Overgaag, Hollandia Produce founder at his first greenhouse in Holland.
1920: Leo Overgaag began farming in Holland and soon after adopted “flat glass” agriculture technology, which uses the same basic concepts greenhouses do today. A few years later he installed the family’s first greenhouses and began growing a variety of vegetables.
1953: At age 19, Art Overgaag, Pete’s father, started his own nursery in Den Hoorn, Holland, growing tomatoes in the spring and summer and lettuce in the winter.
1968: Art moved to America with his wife and four children (three of whom still work for the company). Soon after arriving in New York, Art moved the family to California, where he began working as a groundskeeper for a large Montecito estate.
Present day greenhouse at Hollandia Produce.
1970: Art bought the Carpinteria property where Hollandia Produce operates today and officially began greenhouse operations, growing cut flowers. As business flourished, Art later purchased the adjacent property to expand Hollandia’s footprint.
1987: Pete Overgaag and his brother Leo began shifting the family crops from cut flowers to greenhouse grown vegetables. This is also the same year Leo formed Hollandia Produce’s sister company: North Shore Living Herbs and the company landed its first retail account.
1989: Art retired from the day-to-day business and let his children take over.
1997: Hollandia harvested its first hydroponically greenhouse grown lettuce crop. This is the same lettuce we grow today!
1998: Hollandia launched a multi-city radio campaign promoting its Live Gourmet® line of living lettuce and leafy greens (listen to radio spot).
2000: As sales for its lettuce crop began to grow, Hollandia began phasing out its tomato and cucumber crops and focused on growing its lettuce and cress products with their roots still attached.
2004: Live Gourmet® went national with commercials airing on such channels as Food Network, Lifetime and HGTV (watch TV commercial) and a specialty feature with PBS’ Huell Howser.
2005: Hollandia brand went mobile with the introduction of its graphically enhanced trucks
2011: New Oxnard, California facility began production of Grower Pete’s certified organic brand of hydroponically greenhouse grown lettuce and watercress. Hollandia also earned the PMA Impact Award for its innovative, clamshell package design, called the Squircle.
Showing their support for the Netherland’s during the 2014 World Cup, the Overgaag family thoroughly enjoys the summer family reunion.
2014: Twenty two members of the Overgaag family return to Holland to celebrate Art’s and Magda’s 55th wedding anniversary. Art was ecstatic to share his hometown and visit the original Hollandia farm for the first time with his grandchildren, especially while the Netherlands were winning in the World Cup.
As you can see, it’s been a busy few decades. We’re proud to share our journey and look forward to many more successful years to come. Thanks for all of your support!