A healthy addiction

When you enter Waterman’s headquarters in Emmeloord, you won’t be able to escape Hessel’s smile. This Frisian man, born in Gelderland and raised in Brabant, manages all transport-related matters and communicates with our customers, transporters and suppliers. Actually, he talks to everyone who has contact with Waterman in any way.

Fitting the pieces together
What he loves most about his job? The puzzling part. Working with his colleagues to make sure that everything goes off without a hitch: that, at the end of the day, everything fits properly and went smoothly. As long as he manages to make sure that all the day’s work is done!

And when the day is over, he enjoys spending even more time at Waterman, because his sports club has the very same name, although that’s not entirely a coincidence, of course.

‘De Watermannen’ is a tug of war club that was initially established to help Waterman’s employees blow off some steam after work. Now, eight years later, it has grown into a fully fledged sports club that has won many a prize. Recently, the youth team won the Dutch Championships for the second time in a row.

“It’s a healthy addiction,” says Hessel. “It may be a small league, but that doesn’t mean we’re not serious. In the winter months, we have a match every other weekend and we practice about three times a week. The rest of the year, we practice about once a week.”

We train for our matches in a farmer’s barn with home-made setups. What goes for Hessel’s job, also goes for his athletic exploits: it’s all about making sure that everything fits and runs smoothly. Tug of war and working in Waterman’s Logistics department are both great examples of the power of cooperation, that much is clear!

Once upon a time

Once upon a time, there was a poor onion harvest. The onions could not be sold, but if they were peeled, they were perfectly suitable for consumption. Father Pol Roussel didn’t know what to do, but ever-practical Jaklien Roussel, the mother of the family, simply started peeling.

And so it happened. Was there anyone who needed peeled onions, though? To find out, they grabbed the phone book (we’re talking about 1995, after all) and started calling. The very first company they called has remained a customer to this day, in 2019.

This emergency move turned out to be a veritable success, and over the years, the company grew from peeling onions at home to what it is today: a modern company with 45 employees, specialising in peeling and cutting onions.

A lot has changed over the years, but some things have stayed the same. Uien Roussel is still a family company, with Pol and Jaklien at the helm. Their eldest son Louis and their daughter Charlotte also hold active positions in the company and their youngest son Maxime is rearing to go.

“When our parents told us that they were going to open a factory in the late 1990s, we couldn’t be happier,” says Charlotte with a smile. “We were just kids, so we thought it would be a sweet factory!” Nothing could be further from the truth. They stuck with their trusted onions.

Charlotte decided to study Pedagogical Care. “I wanted to do something completely different: anything but onions. It used to be all my parents could talk about and, as a young girl, I was fed up with it. Now that I’m older, I see things differently. They were passionate back then, and they still are today. Actually, I ended up in the company by accident, but I’m very proud of it now, and the same goes for my brothers.

This is the story of the Roussel family. It’s a special, unique, and entertaining story. A story about smart entrepreneurship and about taking the bull by the horns instead of giving up. A story about thinking differently,  but above all a story about a passion.

That’s why Uien Roussel and Waterman Onions are such a great match, and why we have been working so well together for over 10 years now. And we hope to peel happily ever after…