A customer mindset and a lot of hard work.
When the elder VanWingerden immigrated from Holland to America in 1948, adaptation and persistence was nearly all he had. But those qualities fueled the family business as if it were an infinitely funded enterprise. From selling on street corners in the New Jersey area to building greenhouses to serve national retailers, the family grew, and so did its orientation to customers. Aart and Cora’s 16 children have worked as growers, with seeds and cuttings, in facilities and greenhouse design, and in developing greenhouse automation.
Aart also passed to his children and grandchildren life values guided by Biblical principles. One manifestation of those principles was the act of giving back: Aart and Cora founded Double Harvest, a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing sustainable agricultural practices to developing countries. The work and giving continues 3 generations later. Ken and Art VanWingerden, 2 of Aart’s sons, share their father’s principles.
ColorPoint grew to 1.5 million square feet energized by determination.
After owning greenhouses in the U.S. and abroad, Art and Ken broke ground to build ColorPoint in 2000. Bourbon County, Kentucky, hosted the first 3 acres; the business now includes a facility in Illinois and multiple distribution centers. In those first years, brothers and first employees were hands on bricklayers, growers, and architects. But the common denominator was a vision supported by the hundreds of critical decisions it took to create a responsive, flexible, and customer-oriented company.