‘Hidden, deep in the woods of Ham’, with that sentence you are welcomed at Ollevier & Co, a garden and pond shop in Ham, and yes indeed, literally hidden in the woods. Hans joins us for our interview, and we make ourselves comfortable in the tavern, that is a part of the garden centre: “the Vuvuzela”.
Ollevier & Co is a real family business. Established by the pater familias, meaning father Ollevier, about 30 years ago, as one of the first garden and pond centres in Belgium. The business kept on growing in all those years, and a major change happened just four years ago. It was then that they renovated everything, and the business was handed over to the two sons Ollevier, who grew up in the store, and who now are aiming for the future with their hearts and souls. One brother handles the tavern, the other one the garden shop.
The first thing you notice when you walk through Ollevier & Co, is that they want to provide a total experience for the visitors. You’re surrounded by all kinds of plants and statues, and by little ponds that just radiate with peace and serenity, brightened by little details. It gives you the chance to make up an idea about what kind of pond you would want for yourself, because both tight as more natural ponds are represented in different forms. Hans’ favorite is the long swimming pond in the back of the terrain, aside with the big pipes, used as a plant filter, and also shown at a former Belgian Koi Show. Hans also tries to promote that swimming ponds can be free of chlorine, a much healthier alternative.
A year ago, Ollevier & Co expanded even further by breeching out to our little Koi world. The vats in which the Koi are sold, were thoroughly renovated, and then Hans and his brother travelled to France Koi, a place where they could gather all the necessary knowledge. They also decided to only sell Israeli Koi, because of their safety against KHV, and their progress in quality. These fish were chosen by themselves, in Israel, and they’re going again this February, to proceed in their Koi adventure.
Be sure to watch the film of the complete interview and images of the shop.
For accompanying pictures and video: navigate to “Media”.