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In the early sixties (1963), Clement Carolus started out as a market gardener, growing fruit in the small Hesbaie town of Nieuwerkerken. Over the years, he steadily drove his business forward, until in 1980 he decided to expand by moving into growing his own fruit trees, alongside growing the actual fruit. Soon he found himself being approached by friendly fellow fruit farmers to grow trees for them too, which laid the foundations for the present day tree nursery.
The tree nursery saw its annual production output reach an impressive 300,000 fruit trees and went on developing to the effect that in 1991 Clement decided to get his son Koen on board as part of the company’s management team. The business moved into its present location at the Heuvelstraat, where the private limited company Carolus C. bvba was incorporated, which has remained the legal entity behind the ‘Carolus Trees’ trade name to this very day.
Along with his father, Koen decided to further professionalise the tree nursery. So they devised an ambitious plan which was built around a vision centred on innovation and quality. A vision which continues to be endorsed and supported by the entire company to the present day.
After successfully coaching his son, in 1997 Clement Carolus decided to step aside. By this time, the company had acquired a solid reputation both at home and abroad for its quality trees. The numerous business trips undertaken by Koen meant that exports to countries such as the Netherlands, Germany, Poland, Austria, Slovakia, Italy, the UK, etc. were flourishing. These trips also meant that Koen kept a firm finger on the pulse of the latest developments and technologies in the fruit sector. Driven by his vision on innovation, this enabled him to continue to expand the business to become a leading player in the fruit growing industry..
Investments in extra cooling capacity, new machinery, cultivation techniques, renewable energy (solar panels) and new offices meant the company enjoyed unrelenting growth and that Carolus Trees is now producing 2,200,000 apple and pear trees a year, with the business operating across the whole of Europe and Central Asia..
October 12th 2014 will forever remain etched in our memory as a dark day ... It was the date when Koen Carolus, the company’s figurehead and driving force, passed away.
Out of respect for and devotion to the Carolus family we are continuing his life’s work and have vowed to make sure Carolus Trees continues to enjoy the renown it has gathered for its top quality fruit trees, based on Koen’s vision which was all about quality and innovation..